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Switch Pro, how could it help Nintendo?

Jubenhimer

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Being a Nintendo mobile device, it was inevitable that rumors of revisions and upgrades to the Nintendo Switch would be floating around. This time, Nintendo seems to be trying something a little different. Launching, not one, but 2 new updates to the Switch within close proximity to each-other. One is a rumored Switch mini that strips the system of its dock and Joy-Con controllers, for a strictly handheld only experience. The other, is an upgraded "Pro" model similar to the original system, but with some beefed up specs, better battery life, and a few QoL changes, not too dissimilar to that of the PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X. Since there's not really much of anything interesting regarding a supposed Switch mini, let's focus on the rumored Switch Pro for now.

Now, let's get one thing clear now, this isn't going to bring the system up to next gen levels of power. The Switch as it is now, is pretty powerful for a mobile device. It's PC-based Tegra X1 still holds up remarkably well, and can run a good majority of PC/PS4/Xbox One games at low settings. That, being said, it's still a mobile device, and there are limits to what mobile processors can do at the moment. That means that all of the big, demanding AAA titles are still out of the question, even with a Pro model. Especially with next gen arriving soon. That said, Assuming Switch Pro will be using Tegra X2, that wouldn't actually be a bad thing. As mentioned, Tegra is PC-based, so the Switch is still able to get most of the lower end and less demanding games from both current and next gen consoles, especially with indies and mid-teirs thriving, and game engines being so scalable these days. Plus just like 7th generation consoles, cross-gen games are going to be the norm for at least a good 3 years, so the Switch will have a lot to profit from in that sense.

Back to the main topic, how would a "Pro" model help the Switch regarding developers. I think one thing that would improve is better performance. Nothing crazy huge, but a good enough bump to make a Switch version play more like the console counterparts. As capable as the Switch is, it can't do everything, and even the best Switch ports still have to make some cuts to at least either the resolution or frame-rate. A Switch Pro could help that, by giving developers access to more room for higher resolutions or frame-rates. Even in handheld mode, not everybody can stomach sub-720p resolutions sometimes, and some Switch ports are downright crap in general, so this could help greatly in that regard.

Another thing that could change, is a higher-res display for handheld mode, giving you 1080p on the go if the game supports it. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Nvidia said that Tegra was capable of 4K and HDR too, so maybe Nintendo could add support for those down the line. I don't think these things will go mainstream when next-gen launches, but being better prepared for when they do reach widespread adoption is something Nintendo should consider. The last time they waited on adopting a resolution upgrade, it led to their worst received console since the Virtual Boy, and I doubt they want to relive that nightmare again.

So there's that. I don't think the Switch really needs a beefed up "Pro" model, at least, not yet. But getting one out ASAP, would definately help Nintendo in the long run, especially if they want to stick with the Switch for a long time, which they apparently plan to do.
 
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I'd be happy enough if a switch-'pro' model was released but my main gripe with that is that I don't think nintendo would bother utilising it properly, what with Nintendo and it widely different quality between games. Take BotW, a massive world that looks great and might just even age well like the other former graphically standout Zelda, Wind Waker. Then have a look at Xenoblade Chronicles 2, a game that whilst clearly has a higher quality of animations and models in comparison to other 'anime' styled games has a really crappy looking world with low-res textures.
If they do release a switch-'pro' I'd want some developers to either work on some pro specific patches for games to work and/or look better
 

ethomaz

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I’m curious to see how Nintendo will do a Switch Pro without any Tegra upgrade to use.

More memory? High clocks?
 

Jubenhimer

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I'd be happy enough if a switch-'pro' model was released but my main gripe with that is that I don't think nintendo would bother utilising it properly, what with Nintendo and it widely different quality between games. Take BotW, a massive world that looks great and might just even age well like the other former graphically standout Zelda, Wind Waker. Then have a look at Xenoblade Chronicles 2, a game that whilst clearly has a higher quality of animations and models in comparison to other 'anime' styled games has a really crappy looking world with low-res textures.
If they do release a switch-'pro' I'd want some developers to either work on some pro specific patches for games to work and/or look better

Most Nintendo games don't make full use of their platform's hardware power to begin with, so don't expect too much. For Nintendo, art style and attention to detail are prioritized over high-end image quality, for better or worse.
 

Ol'Scratch

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The reality is (and I genuinely do not mean this in a bad way) Nintendo fans will respond with Pavlovian bliss the moment a new system is released whether it does anything or not. It is what it is and Nintendo knows their fanbase. It could definitely help performance of some recent releases but I do not think Nintendo could honestly pull off any kind of real upscaling without more effort than they would choose to put into a refresh. Battery life could get a boost, larger bezel and whatnot and it may inspire more devs to do ports without them taking a year or two for them to work. The problem is as I discussed in another thread that Nintendo in the past has tried to do things like release games that were only usable on the new refresh of the hardware (New Nintendo DSXL type situation) and I do not think it worked out well because they shafts the user base that does not upgrade systems. There is also the risk that they would choose to make patches to improve performance of older games but that would then slow the output of new main releases.
 
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Dr.D00p

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Isn't the pro going to be little more than Nintendo making the 'unofficial' GPU & CPU overclocks that developers are using quietly in the background into 'official' specs with a bigger battery to keep play times similar?
 

Kumomeme

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pro version would allowing better and more 3rd party games ported and take advantages of high resolution tv

mini version i believe had same power as regular, just smaller
 

SonGoku

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So there's that. I don't think the Switch really needs a beefed up "Pro" model,
Na uh, not even their first party games hit native resolution in handheld mode and 3rd parties are hitting 360p/480p ffs!
That's a pretty big system flaw that needs to be addressed
 
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TLZ

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I know it's never going to happen, but I'd do anything to see a traditional Nintendo home console again. The Famicom made me fall in love with this hobby. I don't want to see their traditional home console go :(
 
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Tekkie

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I’m curious to see how Nintendo will do a Switch Pro without any Tegra upgrade to use.

More memory? High clocks?

I remember there being speculation before the Switch launched that there would be some sort of external GPU in the docking unit. Could they not do that with a pro version? That would circumvent the need for the Switch unit itself to be drastically beefed up (in case that's not possible) and since we are talking about a "pro" unit here, pricing could be around the 500 dollar level and they'd still be fine.
 

mcz117chief

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Na uh, not even their first party games hit native resolution in handheld mode and 3rd parties are hitting 360p/480p ffs!
That's a pretty big system flaw that needs to be addressed
Does it really? I only got 3 games on Switch so far: DOOM, Octopath Traveler and Xenoblade 2. All three look and play fantastic in handheld mode. I guess if you hook it up to a huge tv it will look bad but for me Switch is a handheld console, my PSP replacement, I don't plan to ever dock it.
 
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DESTROYA

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If your going to make a pro version it needs a bigger 1080p screen to set it apart from the base unit.
Not sure what the power difference is between the X1 or X2 but the X2 is 16nm so it should theoretically use less power if both are rated at 15W .
Another thing a PRO model would need is a proper control setup with a Dpad and normal size buttons like on the Switch Pro controller, somehow cut the Pro controller in half and stick it on both sides and then you have something, the joycons used now or OK but can be improved greatly.
Anyone know the power difference between the X1 and X2?
There’s not much info on the X2 and not sure if any product actually used it.
 

ookami

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Another thing that could change, is a higher-res display for handheld mode, giving you 1080p on the go if the game supports it. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Nvidia said that Tegra was capable of 4K and HDR too, so maybe Nintendo could add support for those down the line. I don't think these things will go mainstream when next-gen launches, but being better prepared for when they do reach widespread adoption is something Nintendo should consider. The last time they waited on adopting a resolution upgrade, it led to their worst received console since the Virtual Boy, and I doubt they want to relive that nightmare again.
From what I understand from the Tegra X1 specs, it does not handle HDR (Xavier does). It does 4k video encoding but would not manage this resolution for gaming.
As for having 1080p on a handheld, the screen being 720p there is no reason to go above unless the X1 could handle supersampling (which would put the processors to their knees by using all memory bandwidth). Achieving 720p on all titles is all they need for handled mode. I think that by just having a better memory bus/bandwidth would however help for texture streaming and quality.

In my opinion with Tegra X2 we'd get probably better performance per watt for a subtle increase in image quality.
720p handled and 1080p on the dock. if they go for 5GB memory for games +1GB for OS instead of 3GB +1GB actually.
Tegra Xavier would be a great improvement but... It does not seem to be really the best choice. It seems too expensive with too many features which would provide nothing to the gaming experience. And good luck to find a new balance for your TDP/watt consumption.
 

Senhua

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No need for now. Maybe in 2-3 years.
They should focused more at :
1. Lower the price for high capacity cartridge 32GB and 64GB ( 16GB is the same price as Sony/MS BD production cost).
2. Full BC for all GB/DS/3DS games (I'm okay if needed to buy some module component to be attached to Switch).
3. More Games & Games need to be product faster.
 
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It would mostly just help Nintendo sell more systems. People are going bonkers over the Switch, and hardcore fans would probably throw their money at an improved device.

For developers I think it's just going to be more of a hassle. They'd have to put in extra resources to take advantage of more powerful hardware. Nintendo's games often have scaling that turns down resolution dynamically as required, so those games may benefit from powerful hardware more easily, but I'm not sure that's true for third party games. The other option for them is to develop "Pro only" games but most devs will want to avoid that, or risk alienating everyone with a normal Switch. We've all seen how many "New 3DS only" games exist.

Depending on the sales of a Pro model, I don't think it would change a whole lot about the Switch. Some people will buy the Pro to get the best possible performance. I don't expect that many games take much advantage of it, and even if they do, it's mostly just a nice thing to have, not an absolute requirement.
 
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Mithos

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The absolute bare minimum for a "Switch Pro" would/should be enough power to run all currently released games at locked 720p portable, and locked 1080p docked.
 
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Mentaur

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What I find interesting about all these Switch redesign discussions is that no-one mentions that Labo has been intimately designed around the controllers and screen being the layout and size they are currently. Also Mario Party relies on removable controllers.

Would they make Labo redundant like that? It may be a bit niche but it is an extraordinary example of Nintendo's secret creativite sauce.
 
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Eteric Rice

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pro version would allowing better and more 3rd party games ported and take advantages of high resolution tv

mini version i believe had same power as regular, just smaller

Honestly, if it can run the Witcher 3 okay, then it can probably run more games than people think. The reason for no ports of those games are probably resource related, or political.

I bet port studios are eating well right now though.
 

Boss Mog

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Switch is already way too expensive for what it is. A more expensive Switch Pro wouldn't tempt people to get on board unless components and build quality were on par with phones, like alloy frame, OLED screen, etc... The Switch mini will do much more for Nintendo in terms of getting new users. I may consider one myself if it's not too expensive and can bee hooked up to a TV.
 
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Clarissa

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Will a switch pro drain the battery even further? Is there anything to prevent that?

Also devs would have to make 4 configurations for the games I guess.

Switch pro docked and undocked
Switch vanilla docked and undocked
 

chetana

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I think "Pro" model will defenitely help in boosting performance but I am not sure about more third party games.
 

FStubbs

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Switch Mini would be a better deal financially. Nintendo needs something to fill the under $200 market with the 3DS just about dead.
 

RockAndRollRaking

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Nintendo said from the start they’re going for a Apple style hardware model with incremental refreshes. I’d find it hard to believe they haven’t considered software transition and making it easy to make games that target all hardware.

It’s right that it’s not needed until sales slow though.
 

Hosam6xavi

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Switch mini better battery with small bezel

All i want from switch pro is too let me play Witcher 3 at handheld mood with native resolution. If it's powerful enough for that ? I will be very happy
 

Eteric Rice

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You can bet on it. Sticking to lower resolutions than 1080p can help.
Something you may not want to.

If they shrink the chipset it would help mitigate that. Honestly though, I don't think 1080p is necessary for portable mode. I think they need to boost docked mode more.
 

MagnesG

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My modest expectation - probably:

X2
720p screen to further improve battery life (3 hrs is short)
Increased clock speed
More ram
More sleeker design?

Do this and it will help Nintendo by me buying one.

Still gonna buy even if the upgrades are crap.
 

Barnabot

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My modest expectation - probably:

X2
720p screen to further improve battery life (3 hrs is short)
Increased clock speed
More ram
More sleeker design?

Do this and it will help Nintendo by me buying one.

Still gonna buy even if the upgrades are crap.
At least you are with reasonable expectations. Thank you.

If they shrink the chipset it would help mitigate that. Honestly though, I don't think 1080p is necessary for portable mode. I think they need to boost docked mode more.
Even though they do that with some thunderbolt port solution Nintendo still need to address the price problem it could present as a consequence.
 

ultrazilla

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I'd be totally happy with a Switch Pro(Day 1). As long as it can get existing games like Doom, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Zelda:BOTW to 1080p/60fps, etc.
it'd be great imo.


Just a nice resolution bump, bit beefier SOC, some higher clock speeds, bit more memory and I think they can pull it off. I'd be all over
it between $350-$399.

Heck, even a 4k/30fps output would be pretty cool.
wishful thinking :messenger_beaming:
Really wouldn't mind if it'd be backwards
compatible with 3DS/2DS games either
(something I have a funny feeling the Switch Mini will be doing as one of it's main sell points btw).
 

Pimpbaa

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Too soon for a Switch Pro IMO. I think shortly after the ps5 and next xbox launch (maybe in spring?) would be a good launch window.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I think a SKU in the $150 range to replace the 3DS is far more important to the platform's success.

A Pro would be cool in a few years when I start replaying my current library.
 
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1080p screen, finer, gaming running on portable mode like classic Switch console mode and a beast mode à la PS4 pro, better screen, a dpad.

Switch pro is gonna be great. Now i want Atlus, level 5 games and more SEGA oldies. And when is no more heroes 3 is coming? Can we hope for a hd ports of the 2 (they were sooooooooooooooo good). Any news for Red Steel 3?

As a wiiU/3ds owner i still don't care about Nintendo games on the Switch minus Luidgi 3 and Zelda remake.
 
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GenericUser

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From what I heard, I think that the switch is in pretty good shape. So Nintendo doesn't exactly need help at this point. But of course a switch pro would help to sell the device to some more "hardcore" enthusiasts like me.
 
D

Deleted member 752119

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To me the timing isn't right it would make more sense to launch a switch pro next year to combat new consoles from the competition. Sales aren't showing any signs of slowing down why do it now.

Yep. Getting the mini out at a lower price is more important with Pokémon this fall and Animal Crossing in the spring. Lower price point gets more of those handheld only and kid/parent sales as those markets are used to buying cheap handhelds for those type of games (yes, AC started on consoles, but New Leaf was a huge hit and it’s a great portable game as it’s great in short bursts).

A pro model as you note makes more sense next year. Gives their console fans something to spend money on upgrading instead of getting a different console and may help them keep getting some down ports like they have been with Doom and what not once third parties are targeting next gen hardware.
 

Hudo

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I hope they'll call the Pro version the "Power Switch" and the Mini/Lite version the "Lite Switch".
 
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ThatGamingDude

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Problem is, for those "hardcore," gamer type people, they're typically going to want to dump a bunch of time into their games

Switch doesn't really have a ton of online games to dump into, and the single player games aren't your triple A 60+ hour type games either
 
D

Deleted member 752119

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Problem is, for those "hardcore," gamer type people, they're typically going to want to dump a bunch of time into their games

Switch doesn't really have a ton of online games to dump into, and the single player games aren't your triple A 60+ hour type games either

I think that’s not really an issue. These hardcore types have multiple consoles typically. They’d be buying a Switch for exclusives to play here and there while still spending most of their time on other platforms. I play my PS4 way more than my Switch, but I’m glad I have it for the exclusives. If you’re talking the online only/mostly gamer then it’s a fair point. But I don’t think there’s a reason to do much to try to attract those people. Someone dumping hundreds or thousands of hours into one or two online games a year isn’t a very lucrative customer compared to someone that buys say 10 games a year. Nintendo has crazy high attach rates as there fanbase buys a ton of games and their games are a good mix of single player and casual online MP games.

That said, I’m not convinced a pro model would move the need much in terms of expanding the base more into hardcore gamers (even the single player ones). The graphics whore types are just never going to be there likely to get a Switch. Any pro upgrade would be a minor upgrade with few if any exclusive games that really take advantage of any extra power. Any bump in revenue would most be through existing owners upgrading vs graphics whores getting off the fence and buying as the upgrade just isn’t going to move the needle enough for them.

It’s keeping building a great library of exclusives and a price drop that will get more fence sitters to buy in and the library and price have to be good enough to tempt people already gaming a ton on other platforms to pick it up as a complementary platform for exclusives. Make it so there’s enough great games that more and more people feel like they’re missing out and make the barrier of entry lower with a price drop once sales slow down as peop,e are more price conscious when buying a second or third platform.
 

Fbh

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It would definitely help improve resolutions and iron out performance in some of the more demanding games. And if devs make good use of it it might also make it a more attractive model for those that want to play big third party games on Switch (like The Witcher, Doom, etc). And I think Nintendo has enough loyal fans that any sort of new model or system upgrade they release would get plenty of people to upgrade

But I still think that right now a Switch mini would do more to boost sales. I think right now there would be more demand for a model that's cheaper and designed for portable use (small size and better battery life) than a more expensive and powerful one.

I'm also not sure a Switch pro would bring more third party support. Generally third parties will try to go for the largest audience possible so I'm not sure we'd see them rushing to port a ton of games for what is probably only going to be a fraction of the Switch audience. Look at the new 3DS, in terms of third party stuff it got Minecraft which was a big deal but outside of that and maybe the binding of isaac: rebirth it's not like it saw a flood of third party games coming to it



What I find interesting about all these Switch redesign discussions is that no-one mentions that Labo has been intimately designed around the controllers and screen being the layout and size they are currently. Also Mario Party relies on removable controllers.

Would they make Labo redundant like that? It may be a bit niche but it is an extraordinary example of Nintendo's secret creativite sauce.

Well my Pro controller which they normally have priced at $70 doesn't work with some big releases like Mario Party and Pokemon Let's go.
So maybe they wouldn't think too much about Labo not being compatible with future devices
 
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ChuyMasta

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Several already mentioned it. Switch games are scalable by nature. So a beefier hardware that simply makes all games render at 1080p on docked mode or locks a 30fps or 60fps is all they need to do. $349, boom. Imagine all your current games take advantage of it.

Drawbacks: No joycons, just a tablet with its untachable stand. No Wifi. Wired connection only. The assumption is you have a Pro controller. And of course, is not portable anymore. There's no battery on the system. Can only be purshased through Nintendo's website. Marketing on this thing only on "hardcore" online communities.

This is no longer a Switch. Is it worth it for the hardcore fans?

For me, yes, for now.
 
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Owari

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Switch Pro as a tablet makes zero sense.

Switch Pro as a home console would be fantastic, and serious blow to Sony.
 
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