In our last blog we were discussing what we would like to see in a new Nintendo console. Here are some other features we would like to see in the future.
Better Online Features
Nintendo has come a long way with their online features, but they are still severely lacking when compared against their competitors. Playing online games on Nintendo servers is notoriously unreliable and often laggy. Even worse, they have the audacity to lock their subpar services behind a subscription paywall. Access to a library of older games helps sweeten the deal a bit, but the value proposition is going to be different depending on who you ask. Nintendo really needs to upgrade their online infrastructure and include more benefits ahead of their next console launch if they expect to keep charging their customers for their services.
Full Backwards Compatibility
When a console has a direct successor, Nintendo has been pretty good about retaining backward compatibility. The DS could play GBA games, the 3DS could play DS games, the Wii could play GameCube games, and the Wii U had a full-on Wii mode that fully recreated the Wii menu with most of its software. The Switch broke this tradition, partly due to its regression to a more traditional control setup and complete lack of disc drive. But the Super Switch needs to
allow access to all Switch software. All physical game cards and digital purchases should be ready to go as soon as you power up your Super Switch. Many fans were a bit perturbed by the prospect of being sold new Switch versions of older Wii U games that were slowly ported over (sometimes at a higher price than ever before), even if they owned the Wii U version. Plus,
there is still a large number of excellent games still trapped on the Wii U or earlier consoles. If the Super Switch could automatically play all Switch software, that would spare it the need to bring any of the current Switch’s back catalog forward via ports and remasters. New customers would instantly have access to an entire library of excellent games, and returning players would
be able to fully embrace the upgrade while leaving nothing behind. If Nintendo and other publishers can release some performance patches for older titles to improve their performance on the Super Switch, they might even end up looking and playing better than ever. All of this would be great for both consumers and the concept of game preservation as a whole. Being able to use your old controllers on the Super Switch would be a huge boon as well. Switch Pro
Controllers and Joy-Cons are pricey, so getting further use out of the investment and not being forced to buy a new set would be great for consumers.
New Killer Apps
One of the main moves that made the launch of the original Switch so successful was including a brand-new Legend of Zelda game (and a revolutionary one at that) as a launch title. To get off to another strong start, the Super Switch would need to launch with landmark titles of its own. If recent rumors have any merit to them at all, Nintendo may be holding back the next Mario Kart for their next console, since Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is still selling so well. It would disappoint a lot of fans expecting to play it on their current Switch but making Metroid Prime 4 exclusive to the Super Switch might help move both software and hardware, especially if it ends up being a technically demanding game that clearly could have never run on the original Switch. Recurring
rumors from industry insiders also includes talk of a new Donkey Kong game, possibly a 3D platformer. Regardless of whether any of these pan out, the point still stands that Nintendo needs to ready at least one or two major flagship titles for the rollout of their next console. Pulling some of their neglected franchises out of storage and giving them some love, like F-Zero, Kid Icarus, and Star Fox, would be a smart move too. But coming up with some brand-new franchises that could become positively associated with the Super Switch would be a major
win as well. Customers have little reason to buy a new console if there’s nothing new to play, after all. Whatever they do, though, these games will need to immediately convey that these new experiences would not have been possible on the original Switch. They can do this by leveraging the new technology in the Super Switch and making them look as impressive as possible.
More VR Options
The Meta Quest headsets prove that there is a market for affordable, entry-level Virtual Reality technology. Nintendo ever so gently dipped their toes into the VR space with the cardboard Labo enclosure that let you stick the portable screen right against your face, but it was never more than a brief novelty or experiment. In theory, it wouldn’t require all that much of an investment on Nintendo’s part for the Super Switch to have just a bit more focus on budget VR. Some kind of VR headset attachment you could slide the Super Switch into could go a long way
in bringing Virtual Reality to more of the gaming market. The majority of the processing hardware would already be built into the Super Switch itself. The headset could mostly just be a way to strap it in front of your eyes and provide some sensors for inside-out tracking and 6-degrees of movement. If the new versions of Joy-Cons had some sort of built-in tracking compatibility with the headset, you wouldn’t even need to get VR-specific controllers for
accurate controls; you would have a set of VR-ready controllers right out of the box. Nintendo’s take would almost certainly not be groundbreaking, high-end VR by any means. It would likely be closer to older VR products that used standard smartphones in head-mounted enclosures. But Nintendo’s first-party development teams have proven they can craft fun and creative experiences despite hardware limitations. It would be extremely exciting to see what they could do in the VR space if they were to give it their proper attention and allow a larger audience to get in on it. Though some long-time Nintendo fans may still have too much red-tinted PTSD from the Virtual Boy to take the plunge. It should remain an optional, reasonably-priced add-on for those who really want it, but it should nonetheless be given a proper effort on Nintendo's part.
Fix the Drift
Joy-Con drift is a real problem for many people, and Nintendo really needs to address this in some way. It would require a licensing fee, but using the long-lasting technology of Hall Effect sensor joysticks in the next version of the Joy-Cons would make a lot of gamers very, very happy.