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Nintendo Switch successor



An arsTechnica staffer apparently overheard someone saying, "I'm working on the thing after the Switch." and wrote a whole article about it (which I read, although it's a lot of empty musings).  Of course, it's no surprise that Nintendo would be working on a successor to the Switch.  For home consoles they have a pretty regular 5-6 year cycle.  The Switch was released back in 2017 (how time flies) so I'd expect a successor in the next 18 months.!?


But it got me to thinking - if I were coming up with a successor to the Switch, what would I build?  Nintendo has sold over 73 million Switch but also almost 16 million Switch Lite.  To me that says there's a real demand for a portable system, so I'd stick with the same form factor as the Switch Lite.  But have a dock just like the Switch which would allow the system to be connected to a TV.  In addition, single player offline long-form games are one place where the traditional sale model (versus the "free to play" model) work; and theses games also lend themselves to portable play.


This also means Nintendo wouldn't be directly competing with Sony & Microsoft as the system would be advertised as a portable system you can connect to your TV versus a home console which is also portable.  However, the successor to the Switch will be somewhat competing with the Steam Deck.


One big question is whether the successor to the Switch will be backwards compatible with the Switch.  Nintendo has a history of maintaining backwards compatibility to the previous generation with three exceptions: the Super NES, the GameCube (N64 was cartridge based and Nintendo finally made the transition to disc based media), and the Switch (single screen vs Wii U / 3DS).  So I think there is very good chance the successor will be backwards compatible.  However, this also means Nintendo is somewhat tied to NVidia (versus AMD).  On the plus side, Nvidia already has successors to the Tegra X1 used in the Switch.  The most modern one which is currently being manufactured is the Xavier - which looks like a decent upgrade from the X1 - double the number of CPU cores and GPU units and both running at double the clock speed - which would make it about 4 times as powerful.


So if I were Nintendo, here's what I would do for the "Super Switch"

- NVidia Tegra Xavier based, with Switch compatibility

- same physical design as the Switch Lite

- same OLED screen as the new Switch (for better visibility outdoors)

- dockable (via USB-C, also used for charging), which adds HDMI, LAN & USB ports

- compatible with Switch, Wii, and other Bluetooth and USB controllers


Note: I'd stick with the same 1280x720 resolution for the built-in display with 1920x1080p60 for the HDMI output rather than 4K.  Why? Because Nintendo understands gameplay trumps graphics.  If the Super Switch had a 1920x1080 display and output 4K UHDTV that would use up much of the performance improvement of Xavier over X1.

Note 2: It will be important for Nintendo to provide a "system seller" on launch & encourage second & third party developers to create games which take advantage of the Super Switch.  Both the DSi and New 3DS had a very small number of exclusive titles.

Note 3: Yes, I know many of these ideas are the same as the "Switch Pro" rumors - however I actually wasn't aware of them before I did this, so I might actually be more right than I thought.



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