Ditch the switch? Nintendo’s bestselling console shows its age

The Nintendo Switch sold 92.87 million units as of September 30, 2021. That number is almost certainly much higher now after a lively holiday season in which Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X were tough. to find.

This puts the Nintendo Switch at a striking distance from the Wii (101.63 million units in lifetime sales) and nearly two-thirds of lifetime sales of the Nintendo DS handheld (154.02 million units in sales). for life).

The Switch left the Wii U (13.56 million units) far behind and overtook the Nintendo 3DS (75.94 million units), making it one of Nintendo’s most successful consoles of all. the temperature. It seems certain at this stage that it will surpass the Wii and probably even the Gameboy (118.69 million units) before its momentum stops.

But success isn’t everything, and the hybrid console’s flaws are starting to become more and more apparent. Some of the Switch’s issues date back to the system’s launch almost five years ago in March 2017.

The console’s Joy-Con controllers have suffered from “Joy-Con drift” since the Switch’s release, plaguing gamers with imprecise controls ever since. Although a few fixes have been attempted, the problem is still widespread, and even affects the Nintendo Switch Lite despite its non-detachable Joy-Cons.

Most importantly, the Switch is just starting to show its age, and it’s aging fast thanks to lackluster power outside the proverbial doors. When the Switch released in 2017, several years after the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 released, it was already running low on power. Even compared to these aging systems, the Switch has underperformed. The Xbox One X and PS4 Pro made the Switch even less impressive.

Fast forward a few years. Now gamers are buying the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, two incredibly powerful home consoles that deliver true 4K resolution, 60fps gameplay, and jaw-dropping graphics. Nothing on the Switch looks as good as most games from the competition.

Graphics aren’t everything, clearly, as the Switch’s success proves. But as the novelty of a hybrid console that you can take or hook up to your TV wears off, what’s left is not just a system with poorer graphics but worse overall performance. Cross-platform games like Fortnite just don’t play as well on the Switch. Some mobile phones offer higher frame rates and smoother graphics than the Switch, and have done so for several years now. Even docked, the Switch’s performance leaves a lot to be desired.

There is some hope that a Nintendo Switch Pro is in sight and could offer significantly improved internal specs. But I am not sure that we should base our hopes on this possibility, or even that it is a good idea. I have an alternative.

Before going any further, I would like to point out that I basically got the idea for the Nintendo Switch back in 2014 in an article titled “Nintendo’s Next Console Should Be A Portable Hybrid”.

I wrote:

“When the next console launches, Nintendo could very realistically release something that serves as both a home and portable device, interfaces with controllers and TVs, but also works perfectly on the go.

“This would not only make the development of games for Nintendo cheaper and faster, but it would save consumers money and be extremely convenient. Granted, the PS4 and PS Vita already interact this way to some extent, but the cost of this setup is still quite high compared to buying a single system that does both on its own.

Now I wonder if this is such a good idea. On the one hand, the Nintendo Switch Lite is very good at being a handheld that doesn’t connect to your TV but perfectly plays all Switch games in handheld mode only.

This made me wonder if the hybrid model, while perfectly suited as an option for consumers, doesn’t limit the Switch family in a way that is no longer really necessary. The Switch Lite doesn’t “switch”, but there’s nothing on the other side of the gap for gamers who just want to play on their TV at home.

Maybe it’s time for Nintendo to step up its efforts in the home console space and bring another system into the larger Switch family / ecosystem that was all about playing on a TV and could house more powerful hardware and better cooling, allowing better framerates and resolutions and better textures. The physical limitations of a system which must be both an anchored unit and a mobile unit are restrictive, but obviously not to the point where such a system cannot become very popular.

Still, I would love to see a Nintendo console that wowed everyone graphically. Some 4K Mario kart and one The legend of Zelda game that made Unexplored sweat a bit in the graphics department. A system that could also attract more third-party publishers, attracting graphically intense franchises to the platform without sacrificing loyalty. You wouldn’t have to ditch the Switch, just the “Switch” – and Nintendo could still play all of its games on all of these different systems with different qualities, similar to the Xbox Series X and Series S systems.

I don’t really like Joy-Cons either, so I’d be happy to see this new console come with something a little more user-friendly like Switch Pro controllers or maybe even something more retro like a refresh of classic GameCube controllers.

Then again, perhaps a Hybrid Switch Pro will be impressive enough to allay those concerns. Graphics really aren’t everything, and Nintendo has proven that time and time again with their various successes, enduring game franchise, and experimenting with gadgets. But we’d be lying if we said graphics didn’t matter, especially in terms of performance, but also purely in terms of pure aesthetics.

What do you think? And how do you play the most with your Switch, connected or portable? Let me know about Twitter Where Facebook.

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About Jason Zeitler

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