The Nintendo Switch has been a smash hit for Nintendo, and in 2023 has entered its seventh year of existence, sparking hype about a successor. Every Switch fan has a wishlist of features for the “Switch 2”, and these are ours.
An OLED Screen at Launch
The original Switch launched with an adequate but very middle-of-the-road LCD display. The latest OLED Switch update had a transformative effect on handheld gaming with the Switch, and it would be quite jarring to go back to LCD technology for its successor.
Even if Nintendo just used exactly the same OLED panel as the current OLED Switch, we’d be overjoyed to keep those inky blacks and eye-popping colors in a new Nintendo console.
Full Backward Compatibility
In general, Nintendo has been pretty consistent with backward compatibility for its handhelds, and a little more hit-and-miss for its home consoles. Since the Switch is a hybrid design, there’s no guarantee that the Switch successor will be compatible with current Switch games. We expect that digital games will work, but it would also be just aces if current Switch cartridges worked on the new console.
There are also plenty of current Switch games that are dearly in need of resolution and frame rate boosts, and we’d like to think Nintendo wouldn’t leave us hanging in that regard!
AI Image Upscaling
Between the Switch’s initial launch and today, there has been a revolution in AI-based image upscaling. NVIDIA’s DLSS technology has proven to be a massive success, offering higher frame rates while also providing better image quality than native-resolution rendering in many cases.
Assuming that Nintendo will stick with NVIDIA as its GPU provider for the Switch 2, we’d love to see DLSS technology (or comparable AI upscaling) implemented for the new Nintendo console. It’s particularly needed in docked mode, where the gap between the current Switch’s output and 4K UHD TVs can be painfully obvious at times.
The Switch controllers, whether Joy-Cons or the Pro Controller, are broadly equivalent to other console brands’ controllers, with the glaring lack of analog triggers. We suspect this was thanks to the limitations of those tiny Joy-Cons, but these days even tiny handheld PCs have analog triggers.
The lack of analog triggers has been a problem on Switch for games that need them, such as racing games. Analog triggers should be a standard part of controller design in our opinion, and the new Switch offers the perfect opportunity to rectify this.
RELATED: This Joy-Con Replacement Makes the Switch More Comfortable in Handheld Mode
Sticking with the topic of controllers, Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons have become notorious for quickly developing stick drift, where false inputs are registered when you aren’t actively using the stick. It seems that later models of Joy-Con are less prone to this, and Nintendo may or may not (there’s no official word) have worked to improve the situation behind the scenes.
Either way, Hall-sensor analog sticks have become small enough and cheap enough to be practical for a mainstream console like the Switch. These devices are virtually immune to stick drift, and while this will certainly reduce the number of controllers that Nintendo sells, the amount of goodwill from their fans would be priceless in comparison.
Up-to-Date Mobile Technology
Even when the Switch launched, its NVIDIA system-on-a-chip was already a few years old. To make things worse, it was significantly detuned to fit within a certain power and heat envelope. So the Switch has always performed far below the potential of its silicon.
Since then, mobile processor technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. Smartphones and tablets today can match last-generation home consoles and at the higher end even keep up with the Xbox Series S.
While we don’t expect a handheld gaming console to have the same performance as a $1,000 phone or tablet computer, we’d like to see something that can meet or exceed the raw performance of the outgoing PlayStation 4, further boosted with modern rendering methods and technologies.
Rumor has it that the Switch successor might be based on the NVIDIA Tegra 234 or 239 SoCs, which if true, might put it in the performance ballpark on our wishlist.
The Switch’s battery life isn’t bad, and if you carry a general-purpose power bank around with you, running out of juice is never a serious concern. But charging technology has come a long way in the last six years, and we’d love to see modern fast-charging technology in a Switch 2.
Going from empty to 80% in 30 minutes would be a wonderful quality-of-life improvement and a massive upgrade over the (best case) three-hour charging time of the current Switch.
Better Bluetooth Support
Nintendo added Bluetooth audio support quite late in the Switch’s life cycle, and even then it hasn’t been the best experience. Not only do you have to give up all but two wireless controllers (each Joy-Con counts by itself), actual performance is plagued by lag and choppy connections. At least on the various headsets we’ve tried. This means it’s still better to use a third-party Bluetooth adapter with your Switch.
At least an alternative solution for Bluetooth audio exists, when it comes to the signal strength and performance of the Joy-Cons, you don’t have much choice other than sitting as close to your Switch as possible. Joy-Con dropouts are so frequent and annoying, that they’re Nintendo’s best marketing tool for selling Pro Controllers, which are largely bulletproof in this regard.
While you couldn’t use any wallpaper you liked with the previous Nintendo handheld, the 3DS, you could buy or redeem one of many custom themes to personalize your console. Inexplicably, the Nintendo Switch gives you a choice of a light or dark theme, and that’s it.
So it may not be the most important feature request, but we’d like the option to have custom themes for the new Switch, so it can really feel like your personal console.
External Storage Support (or More Internal Storage)
We get it, on the surface of it having USB drive support for a hybrid console doesn’t make too much sense. However, even with a 512GB SD card in our Switch, we’re constantly re-downloading games. Having the option to back up or play games from a USB hard drive would be a fantastic option.
Of course, it would also help if a Switch 2 shipped with significantly more internal storage than current Switch consoles’ 32GB and 64GB options. And until official Nintendo’s newest console specs are announced, that’s all we can do: hope for the best.
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