7 features we want to see in a Nintendo Switch Pro

If the rumors are true, a Nintendo Switch Pro is in the works. Shacknews ponders what we'd like to see in this new hardware.


Gaming is coming off a year where two new consoles ushered in a fresh generation. PlayStation and Xbox are moving on with a focus on the future. However, Nintendo has been rooted in its present generation for several years. The Nintendo Switch is still selling reasonably well to the point that the company doesn't need to concern itself with a new console. However, they are at a point where it's worth discussing an upgrade for their current hardware.

The Nintendo Switch Pro has been long-rumored and would represent a fresh step forward for the company's current generation of games. But what would Nintendo users want to see in a proposed Nintendo Switch Pro? Shacknews is here to discuss some new features that we'd like to see in Nintendo's upgraded handheld hybrid.

4K high-resolution display

This goes without saying, but if the Nintendo Switch is going "Pro," it had certainly better reflect that in its games. Not every game that comes to Switch is going to look like Panic Button's Doom ports, at least not on the current hardware. A Nintendo Switch Pro should be able to bring out the best in games and come close to what the newer consoles can achieve. There's something to be said about relying on studios like Panic Button and Iron Galaxy to make the most of very little, but hopefully a new model of Switch will mean they don't have to go to such great lengths.

Nintendo's first-party games already look amazing in 1080p, but it's now time to hit the next frontier. Bring out a new Zelda, Metroid Prime, or Mario in full 4K. The world has waited this long for this milestone and the Switch Pro can make it happen.

Bigger system hard drive space

Nintendo is making the most out of the microSD card technology. However, it can only go so far. There are hundreds of great Switch games available right now and large capacity microSD cards can get pricey. In an effort to keep this separate cost minimal, why not start off with a great storage capacity. The standard is something like 500GB and that would certainly hold a lot of Switch games.

It would also pave the way for third-party games that love to hog storage space. Think something like Call of Duty, but also consider games that are already on Switch, like Fortnite and Overwatch, which continue to add more and more assets. And of course, give players more room to add video clips, which can eat up hard drive space quickly.

Longer Battery Life

One of the biggest criticisms of the early Switch models was the battery life, which took a lot of bite out of the console as a handheld. Nintendo started to address this with the next Switch model and with the release of the Nintendo Switch Lite. With the Pro arguably being the cream of the crop version fo the Switch, why wouldn't it have the greatest battery life?

This is the time for the Switch to live up to its true potential as a console/handheld hybrid. Allow for users to carry it away from the dock for longer while still allowing them to enjoy a full high-res gaming experience.

Stronger Joy-Cons

Why should the hardware be the only thing that gets an upgrade? Why not take this opportunity to introduce a better line of Joy-Cons? The dreaded "Joy-Con drift" has been the Switch owner's greatest annoyance since the console was introduced. With the introduction of a Switch Pro comes the opportunity to finally put this issue to rest, once and for all.

If I'm investing in a Switch Pro, I want a Joy-Con that I can use for hours on end. While the hardware can live up to its potential, so too can the peripherals. Improve its durability, its sensors, and its components to make it the best Joy-Con it can be.

Revamped Home Interface

Both the PlayStation and the Xbox have arguably taken some steps backwards with their new home interfaces. There isn't as much customization available in either one as in previous console generations. But they're still more than one can say about the Nintendo Switch's home interface, which offers a bare bones interface.

The Switch Pro can make several improvements in this area. Give players the options to download wallpapers, better organize their gaming library, and keep track of additional user stats. Take the Switch Pro's release as an opportunity to revamp the whole interface from the ground up.

Switch-to-Switch connectivity

The Wii U was an underapprecited gem of a console, but the idea of a tablet-style controller doesn't have to go away forever. As CEO Asif Khan pointed out to me, what if you're someone who already owns a Switch? Is there a possibility that they can use their old Switch or a Switch Lite as an external controller?

Nintendo has been bringing a lot of the Wii U library to the Switch, but this would let them go the extra mile and create a fully backwards compatible Wii U experience. It could also let them get experimental with future releases. Maybe make a new party game that utilizes the tablet interface.

By our own admission, this is a long shot, but it's an idea that we feel is worth thinking about.

A simplified transfer process

We're ending this list on this simple, yet essential feature. Has anyone ever purchased a Switch Lite or a second Switch and tried to transfer their files to their new hardware? It's worse than pulling teeth. It's a nightmare. Not only is it a cumbersome process, but half the time it doesn't even work.

There has to be a simpler way than trying to navigate microSD cards and hoping for the best. Create a simpler transfer process to help cut the downtime when going from old Switch to the new Switch Pro. The Switch user base will be thanking Nintendo as they dig into their new and improved games.

Those are our ideas for the Nintendo Switch Pro. What would you want to see in the new hardware? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 6, 2021 12:00 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, 7 features we want to see in a Nintendo Switch Pro

    • reply
      January 6, 2021 12:27 PM

      4k display on a handheld when the new consoles can't even do it properly? Ozzie I thought this might be a more realistic wish list.

      If you're saying "4k output when docked, for Netflix" that might be reasonable.

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      January 6, 2021 12:28 PM

      Also missing "Bluetooth"

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        January 6, 2021 12:52 PM

        man I hate to agree with abrasion, but he is right. Bluetooth has to be a core feature of any upgrade for me to buy it

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          January 6, 2021 1:01 PM

          I barely use the one we have but everyone I know complains for bluetooth all the time.

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            January 6, 2021 2:49 PM

            Bluetooth is gonna be a hard sell for Nintendo, because only AptX Low Latency is going to work well for gaming and 1) AptX isn’t actually a part of the Bluetooth standard, and 2) most Bluetooth headphones don’t support it anyway.

            low/zero latency audio has to move out of boutique novelty before Nintendo will support it because the experience needs to “just work” for everyone.

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              January 6, 2021 3:19 PM

              I didn't know it wasn't part of the standard. I thought many headphones supported it and even if they didn't you could revert to normal bluetooth?

              How bad is 'normal' bluetooth latency for gaming? I use a PS5 with headphones plugged into the controller, surely that's normal BT?

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                January 6, 2021 3:39 PM

                Not only is it not part of the Bluetooth standard, it costs money to license and implement, so it only really appears on high end headphones by default like those that are specifically geared to gamers.

                “Normal” Bluetooth latency ranges from “ok I guess I can deal with it” to “un-fucking-usable”(because Bluetooth is a collection of dozens of standards and there are a lot of ways to transmit audio with it and knowing what is or isn’t supported by any specific headphone is almost impossible to find out), and Sony is more than happy to support that because as a hardware company they don’t care about the holistic experience, just having a list of features they can use to sell you more hardware.

                I was really hoping Apple would at least do low-latency with AirPods, so we could draw a line in the sand for the industry for this shit, but it only matters for gaming and that’s not a real use case they target for.

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              January 6, 2021 8:09 PM

              How does every other mobile platform work with Bluetooth headphones without issue?

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                January 6, 2021 8:23 PM

                For music, audio latency it doesn’t matter at all, on any platform.

                For video, simply delaying the video by the latency of the Bluetooth audio will give you a good experience and won’t affect anything. This type of thing is already built into modern AV signaling in HDMI to account for the million different combinations of TVs, receivers, sound bars, and whatever other display and audio equipment you use, and pretty much all modern phones probably do this already (iPhones absolutely do).

                But games require input from the user, and that means you can’t hide the latency. For simple games like candy crush or solitaire or whatever, it doesn’t matter, because the gameplay never relies on audio queues and the games are slow-paced, and this covers probably 99% of all phone use.

                For action games... well you get whatever you get. And the results are all over the place depending on the quality of the headphones and the device doing the audio playback, and the best quality is currently only achieved by going outside of the Bluetooth spec and licensing AptX, and even then it specifically has to be AptX Low Latency, which further reduces the available headphones to choose from.

                This is why I think Nintendo doesn’t use the Bluetooth on the switch right now to do audio, even though it’s technically possible already. All the hardware they need to do it is right there, there’s just no way to guarantee a minimum level of quality for it, and the Switch is more about playing real games and not solitaire.

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                  January 6, 2021 8:29 PM

                  The absolute best AptX-Low-Latency experience still has about 40ms delay.

                  The best still-Bluetooth-spec delay I think you can get w/o AptXLL is around 80ms, and that’s only on high quality equipment. It gets much worse from there.

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                    January 6, 2021 8:40 PM

                    I gues 40ms is pretty bad, that's 25fps kinda, right?

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                      January 6, 2021 8:43 PM

                      40ms is 2-3 frames at 60fps, best possible case with non-spec hardware

                      80ms is 5 frames with best-spec Bluetooth

                      Really bad Bluetooth headphones can have 200ms or more

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                  January 6, 2021 9:07 PM

                  Ok, that’s roughly what I thought.

                  I get that the latency is technically there but I guess I’m just skeptical that millions of people are happily playing Fortnite and such on iOS (a platform not known for skimping on quality and user experience), surely many of which with Bluetooth headphones, but it simply isn’t good enough for Nintendo, who caters to very much the same demographic with their games and the Switch. And like I can’t recall a single time anyone here complained about this with an iOS port of an old PC game or something.

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          January 6, 2021 8:35 PM

          hey abrasion! here's another IHTAWA to add to the pile!

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        January 6, 2021 2:19 PM

        It would have to be some special low latency implemetnaiton

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          January 6, 2021 2:19 PM

          Well off to the science labs! Other people can do it so,........... let's get it done?

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            January 6, 2021 2:23 PM

            Yes, aptx low latency, but the receiving device has to support it too

            There are some headsets that don't need a proprietary low latency codec for actual low latency (razer hammerhead for example), but most bluetooth buds and headsets are 140+ms latency, including airpods pro

            Anything over like 80ms is no good for me

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      January 6, 2021 2:30 PM

      I think the panel type (oled) is much more important than the resolution

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        January 6, 2021 2:38 PM

        It's a 6.2" screen, going from 720p to 1080p is basically double the pixels in the same space and over 50% more DPI.
        It'll require twice the horsepower from the processor and the DPI will be 126243 dots per inch......
        Bear in mind many smart phones max out at 1080p around that screen size.

        Wanting 4k in the handheld mode is kind of pointless, 1080p with 720p nvidia DLSS stuff (it's an nvidia GPU) would honestly look pretty amazing anyhow.

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          January 6, 2021 2:40 PM

          4k output is really all that's needed, and I think that's doable between more GPU compute combined with DLSS (just like on PCs!).

          A tiny 6" 4k screen? Nah. Even 1080p is questionable if we're focused on battery life, given that resolution is much more important for text than it is for games. 1080p is certainly possible but its not nearly as important as actual 4k TV output

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            January 6, 2021 3:00 PM

            The detachable joycons just fuck this up royally though, they wildly add to the complexity of the device and radically reduce the amount of internal space that can be dedicated to battery. That’s why you can have an iPad with a massively larger screen and less than half the depth last twice as long, because almost the entire inner volume is usable space.

            So many really dumb technical decisions with the original switch, but damn Nintendo is still the best game dev studio on the planet. :(

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              January 6, 2021 3:27 PM

              Battery size isn't changing, just like it doesn't change on iPhones or other small devices. Smaller chip process and increased efficiency is how you maintain or even slightly increase battery life alongside higher performance.

              Increasing physical battery size is rarely ever a consideration with any of these devices. If anything they're always trying to get them smaller since it reduces BOM. iPhone and iPad do this all the time.

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                January 6, 2021 4:39 PM

                Battery size has repeatedly changed over the course of the iPhone’s existence, even between models the same physical external size, as they got better about motherboard segmentation and layout, and began segmenting multiple batteries to take up more available space inside the machine.

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                  January 6, 2021 5:19 PM

                  The iPhone 12 line has much smaller capacity as measured in mAH than the iPhone 11 across the board. If they can reduce battery size they will do so while making it up in reduced power consumption and increased efficiency on the SoC side.

                  The Switch drastically improved battery life by simply going from a 20nm process to 16nm. A future Switch at 7nm or (doubtful) 5nm would either yield further improvements or fall in line with current battery life if they really push power consumption hard with increased clock speeds.

                  Either way the physical constraints of a device size puts a ceiling on battery size, and this is before we get to manufacturers already trying to cut back on size in order to save money.

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            January 6, 2021 11:35 PM

            It might actually be cheaper to source 1080p screens today given common modern resolutions. I agree there's no need to go higher in handheld mode.

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        January 7, 2021 4:12 AM

        Yes, 720p is fine for that size screen. A fancy panel + nice HDR at 720p would be fantastic though!

        Better res when connected to a TV would be very welcome.

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      January 6, 2021 4:41 PM

      I'd like to see a reduced-price set-top only version, sort of like the reverse of the switch lite. Basically just a dock with a switch permanently built in. Because it won't need a screen or battery I'm sure they could reduce the costs and size quite a bit too, and make it more affordable as an entry level device for people

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      January 6, 2021 9:10 PM

      Virtual console

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      January 7, 2021 4:07 AM

      more than one SKU
      1080p handheld version
      4k non portable version , super powered version , make the ps5/XSX seem slow , i want to see nintendo on top of the performance charts
      bluetooth on both
      Much faster storage.
      ability to let people with the handheld version use their console as a controller for a friends non portable.
      Portable version can still be docked like current version but dock is sold separately to keep cost down.
      Wireless docking as long as portable is plugged into power, should be easy now with game streaming stuff as basically it would just stream it.
      ability to stream from portable to any Chromecast/airplay capable display
      fix the DAMN e store, dont drop me back to the top of the games list when i buy something, let me go back to where i was so i dont have to scroll back down 50 pages.
      they need to work out a better data format for games, carts are too limited on storage size, and there should NEVER be a case where a cart game also requires additional storage on the system before the game can be played (yes game updates can go on system storage but if i put the cart in my console i should be able to play the game on the cart)
      Analogue triggers please and steal sonys ps5 ones they rock.

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      January 7, 2021 4:13 AM

      How about wifi screencasting too? Awful for battery life, I suppose.

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      January 7, 2021 4:26 AM

      Probably a repost, but oled better be true

      "Rumour: Datamine Apparently Reveals All About The New Nintendo Switch Revision - Nintendo Life" https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2021/01/rumour_datamine_apparently_reveals_all_about_the_new_nintendo_switch_revision

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        January 7, 2021 4:26 AM

        Also Wccftech so huge grain of salt

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      January 7, 2021 5:26 AM

      I agree with everything but 4k screen

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