The Switch has been a Nintendo console for the ages, but its time is drawing to a close. As we prepare to hang up this generation’s Joy-Cons, here are 10 things we want to see from a Switch 2.
While it’s exciting to imagine what Nintendo has in the pipeline for their new console, their past is simply too prolific to ignore. With the era of the Virtual Console now well and truly at an end following the closure of the Wii U and 3DS stores in 2023, Nintendo has to make their latest offering of legacy titles — Nintendo Switch Online — go the distance.
Just as much as we want to be able to play all the old titles available on that service, we similarly want to play our library of Switch games on the new hardware. While Nintendo has done an admirable job of porting Wii and Wii U titles over to the Switch, we’d rather not have to go through the same process of buying all that previous generation of titles over again on the new console.
The Return of Nintendo’s B-Tier
You can always count on Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon to make plenty of appearances on any Nintendo console. But despite finding legions of new fans as characters in Super Smash Bros, some of Nintendo’s B-tier franchises have struggled to find a consistent output on recent consoles.
Even though a few of their recent titles may not have quite hit the mark, series such as Star Fox, F-Zero, and Kid Icarus are iconic Nintendo franchises that deserve better treatment. After the huge slate of Mario games arriving in 2023/2024, and assuming it’s going to be a few years before we see the next mainline Zelda game, now would be the perfect opportunity to give these series their moment in the spotlight.
And yes, even though the Switch did get the excellent Metroid Dread, we want to see way more of Samus Aran on Nintendo’s next console too.
OLED as Standard
Sure it’s great that the Switch is a hybrid console, but honestly, doesn’t everyone mostly use it as a handheld? With so many of us carrying around OLED phones these days our collective standards of what we expect for our portable screens have come a long way in the years since the Switch launched.
The Switch OLED was an interesting choice for a mid-generation console refresh, and even though it might have seemed like a minimal upgrade, those who have tried it will attest to how much of a difference that more vividly lit screen provided.
It’s nice to have the option of a cheaper console, but giving everyone that extra sharper screen would go a long way towards the console cementing itself as a more refined bit of kit. Although this of course assumes that the new console will indeed be a hybrid, which we don’t know for certain at this point.
More Robust Joysticks
Perhaps the biggest hardware whiff since Xbox 360’s infamous Red Ring of Death, the Switch’s joystick drift has haunted the console its entire lifetime. Given how widespread the problem has been it’s almost impossible to reconcile the fact that Nintendo hasn’t given their Joy-Con controllers an upgrade over the years.
Make no mistake about it though, a more robust joystick will be top of tech aficionados’ lists when it comes to sizing up the new console’s hardware credentials. We love the lightness and flexibility offered by the joy-cons, but they definitely don’t offer anything like the same feeling of quality as Sony and Microsoft’s precision engineered control pads. This is something that Nintendo really needs to nail the first time around with their new console.
Better App Support
Watching a film or TV series on your Switch might not be the optimal ‘as-the-director-intended’ viewing experience, but it’s still kind of bewildering that a modern-day console doesn’t have access to so many of the world’s most popular apps.
Netflix and Amazon Prime Video were available on the Wii U, but the library of video streaming apps on the Switch has missed out on these along with many other big hitters such as Disney Plus and Apple TV+.
With apps like Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Twitch available on the Switch we can’t imagine this is a content restriction issue, so let’s hope Nintendo can get deals sorted for more apps in time for its next console’s launch.
A Wider Live Service Game Library
Live service games are a big part of gamers’ daily diets these days, with many people checking into their online game of choice every single day. The Switch has a few options in this regard: Warframe, Fortnite, and recently Palia among others. It’s still missing many of the biggest and most popular online games though.
Assuming the new hardware will be able to crank out some respectable frame rates, it’d be great to be able to use the console to get our daily dose of Diablo 4, Destiny 2, or GTA Online. With games like these offering huge new potential audiences for both parties, it seems like an easy win.
Following Nintendo’s deal with Microsoft to bring all future Call of Duty games to the console as part of its merger with Activision, one game we can almost guarantee to see on the Switch’s successor is Call of Duty: Warzone. That’s certainly not a bad start.
More Zany Peripherals
From the Power Glove and R.O.B. to Labo and everything in between, weird peripherals have been an essential part of Nintendo’s history. Oh, sure they’re hardly essential, and there have definitely been a fair share of duds (RIP Wii Vitality Sensor), but it’s some of these have also given us some of our best memories with Nintendo’s consoles.
The Wii’s litany of plastic accessories might have taken this to a bit of an extreme (especially with all the rubbish third-party imitators), and maybe it’s because of this that things have felt a bit more dialed back in recent years.
amiibo has been a monumental success that will surely continue for years to come, but we’re less certain that Labo, Nintendo’s foray into cardboard accessories, will see a revival. If the Switch has had one bonafide success in the peripherals department, it’s the Ring Fit. An improved version and a sequel to Ring Fit Adventure would sell like hotcakes, but we’re more keen to see Nintendo bring some of that DK Bongos energy back.
Cloud Streaming Support
Is it really the future of gaming? Even if you’re not yet entirely convinced, missing the boat could be catastrophic if cloud streaming does take off in a major way in the next few years.
Of course, there’s another reason why this might be more vital for Nintendo than any of the other major players in the industry. If Nintendo’s next console remains a hybrid, it’s unlikely it will exceed the technical capabilities of even the PS4 and Xbox One generation of consoles. If streaming does become more widely adopted it will allow Nintendo to keep pace with current AAA multiplatform releases in a way it otherwise couldn’t.
The Switch already had a small library of Cloud Version games which made available titles like Resident Evil Village and the Kingdom Hearts games, but a more complete service would be preferable. Perhaps this will become a future part of the NSO service, or just maybe Nintendo will partner with Xbox or Geforce to bring their streaming services to the console.
Fighters Pass 3
A new Super Smash Bros. game has been a regular part of every new console generation since the Nintendo 64. With the sheer breadth of fighters and content available in Smash Bros Ultimate, however, an entirely new game doesn’t really feel all that necessary.
Rather than start from scratch (and assuming the console supports backward compatibility), we’d rather see Nintendo bring Ultimate back for a few more rounds. The best thing about Smash Bros. has always been its huge roster, and there’s nothing quite like a new character reveal to get Nintendo fans hyped.
With Super Mario RPG coming to Switch soon, it might be to answer fans’ pleas to add Geno into the game, and there are still plenty of third-party gaming icons we’d love to see added such as Rayman.
A Future Forward Attitude
Just lately it’s become customary to keep previous console generations relevant for a few extra years by releasing new games across both the old and new hardware. Massive titles such as Halo Infinite and God of War Ragnarok are among those that have launched on outdated hardware in recent years. While that’s good news for those who haven’t been able to upgrade, it’s probably better if Nintendo leaves the Switch in the past once its successor arrives.
This might seem a little unfair, but truthfully, the Switch is starting to feel like a bit of a relic. Developing a game that will still run respectably on Switch hardware as well as the new console would surely come with compromises. Because of this, we’d rather see Nintendo fully leaning into the cutting edge from day one.
With games like Princess Peach Showtime and Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD still to come in 2024, the Switch is going out with a bang. You’ve served us well good friend, but the future awaits.
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