The Nintendo Switch is entering its twilight years, and its replacement has to take lessons from the system’s impressive hybrid functionality.
From the Virtual Boy in 1995 to the Wii in 2006, Nintendo has created a reputation for questionable ideas and endless innovation. Sometimes it doesn’t go well, and has a significant negative impact on the company’s short-term success. Other instances have showed that Nintendo can be a trailblazer, with its new ideas pushing the gaming medium forward. Things like PlayStation Move, PSP, and even modern controller design has been inspired heavily by the improvements that Nintendo made, and the company’s unrestricted creativity is continuing to wield results with the hybrid handheld and home console Nintendo Switch.
The Nintendo Switch has been a massive success, even among Nintendo’s other past hits. When it was announced the Wii U was well on its way to being a commercial flop, the Switch seemed like everything the company promised with the successor to the Wii. Its legacy will be just that, and while the system has been a success by most measures, the most important thing is that is provides a sufficient basis to improve upon with whatever is next.
Nintendo’s Hybrid Philosophy Has Been Proven to Work Wonders
While Sony and Microsoft were sticking to convention with the PlayStation and Xbox systems, Nintendo did something different. The company is known for its innovation, and while the Wii U was a somewhat weak first attempt at a hybrid console, the Switch promptly ironed out the kinks to be something truly special. It has a plethora of fantastic titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses that will surely go down in history as some of the best experiences of the 2010s. It’s been an overwhelming success story, beating the odds after the Wii U’s dismal life.
The sales of the Nintendo Switch show that people will reward a unique idea executed well. Now that a major manufacturer has expressed a commitment to high-quality gaming on the go, it would feel like a strange deviation if the next system from the company doesn’t have some kind of portable feature. To expand on what the Switch has accomplished would be the safest option, as there is a truly revolutionary idea that has significant room for improvement on UI design, functionality, and ergonomics. There is, however, no denying that the Switch is also one of the finest examples of modern hardware design.
The Switch has Power Problems that Can Be Fixed
The big drawback of Nintendo’s device in recent years has been a lack of power in comparison to its contemporaries. When it was competing with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One it wasn’t a huge issue, but now that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are pushing the boundaries of modern technology, the underachieving performance of the Switch is far more obvious. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom‘s $70 price tag has reignited the debate about the value of Switch games today, but the hike in cost would not be as much of a problem if the Switch had more power under the hood.
This is difficult to improve on, but it can be done, and could future-proof the hybrid philosophy to make it a viable way to play games in the years to come. The Steam Deck is already in households everywhere, and is doing well to show that portability doesn’t have to come at the cost of poor performance. Even though Valve is a mammoth gaming name, it doesn’t have the same rich game library as Nintendo. The Steam Deck’s success could be a sufficient canary in the coal mine that crafting a more powerful Nintendo Switch is the best course of action with regards to its successor.
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