A revision to the, which debuted nearly three years ago, feels overdue. Some sort of pro-enabled revamp was expected last year, and never came. Instead, there was a very minor hardware revision ( ) and the , which is more of a refined, budget-minded handheld version than a true sequel.
Despite some rumors of a true new Switch upgrade, Nintendo says there will be . Meanwhile, Sony and Microsoft have the and , respectively, arriving by the end of the year, so it would be a crowded market anyway.
Nintendo’s hardware history has often seen strange periods of quiet, and others where everything happens at once. The Nintendo Wii aged out for a while before the. The Wii U trickled along for years until the Switch arrived, already well into the life cycles of the PS4 and Xbox One. Nintendo hardware is never bleeding-edge, graphically, anyway.
Nintendo’s handhelds have gone through many series of subtle revisions, instead of true sequels. The Game Boy evolved slowly into many forms before the Game Boy Advance. The Nintendo DS did, too. The, then , then became a , then . Maybe the Switch Lite is the way the Switch will change: small tweaks, refinements. A smaller one, a bigger one. One that feels better.
The Switch Lite just arrived last fall, and newer models of the original Switch got a welcome battery boost, so maybe nothing in 2020 makes sense. I’ve gravitated to bouncing between the Lite on the go, and playing a fuller-sized Switch at home over Wi-Fi using Nintendo’s awkward digital game-sharing system across the two devices.
If there’s anything I really want from the Switch, it’s for Nintendo to fix its cloud save and share awkwardness, and allow multiple Switches to share games as easily as my iPhones and iPads, or my Kindles, or most other modern devices. It’s about software, not hardware.
Nintendo’s 2020 path for now just seems like, and continuing to be a portable way to play indie works of genius, like . I’d be more than happy with that.
Better luck next year
Of course, I want a better Switch. One with better graphics, improved Joy-Cons, less screen bezel, something with a better docking system, that feels even more refined.
But with Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles likely to cost a lot, and most other new gadgets becoming more expensive or possibly even being harder to make, I’m also OK with the Switch just being relatively affordable and good like it is now.
I’ve already recommended which Switch to get, but also, really, both the. You could play one, or the other, or both.
There’s an easy way to avoid holiday-season new-console envy from the Sony and Microsoft camps: Be happy with the Switch you’ve got.
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