[Hands on] The future of the Nintendo Switch

Written by Kieran Fifield

Update – Obviously, this was in fact an April Fools day ruse. We also put together a video about some upcoming mobile Mario madness. Feel free to check that out here.

Now you’re playing with power

Before the world fell apart and everything changed, I was fortunate to be invited to a secret event at Nintendo HQ in Windsor. The email that members of the press received was cryptic, to say the least.

Dear press partner,

We cordially invite you to our HQ in Windsor on [redacted] to experience the next evolution of the Nintendo Switch.

Attached is a NDA that must be signed and returned by the attendee, and please note discussing even this email is forbidden until the embargo lifts.

We look forward to welcoming you and appreciate your discretion, given the sensitivity of the content being shown.

Kind regards,

Nintendo UK

Only fools rush in

Fast forward a few weeks and I was standing outside the iconic red door of Nintendo HQ ready for whatever they had to throw at me. Or so I thought. What awaited me within those hallowed halls quite literally blew my mind. Nintendo, while still being behind Microsoft and Sony in raw technical power, is finally bringing out the big guns with the Nintendo Switch Pro. The Nintendo reps present even regularly used the phrase Now you’re playing with power!

Introducing: Nintendo Switch Pro

Nintendo would only let us show two pictures of the Nintendo Switch Pro (code named the NXtra), as to not give that much away. Let me assure you, though, this thing is a marvel. Start by picturing the GameCube re-imagined for the modern day and you’re on the right track. The Nintendo Switch Pro once again revolutionises the Nintendo Switch Family, in much the same way as the Lite did. In fact, its synergy with the Nintendo Switch Lite breathes new life into the handheld-only iteration. When the Nintendo Switch Lite launched, in September of 2019, it seemed bizarre that Nintendo had completely abandoned their USP. Now it makes perfect sense.

In case you hadn’t guessed by now, the Nintendo Switch Pro is solely a home console. That being said, it’s an ingenious piece of engineering. The Nintendo Switch Pro fits in the palm of your hand, and while it can’t be played on the go in the same manner as the two previous members of the Nintendo Switch family, the power provided is phenomenal. Plus, its small footprint makes the system travel with, even if it cannot be played on the go. In layman terms, the Nintendo Switch Pro is on par with the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro in terms of power. To put that into perspective, it is roughly 1/12 the size and runs completely silently. The form factor of the Nintendo Switch cartridges aids this and it feels as though this isn’t an afterthought from Nintendo. The Nintendo Switch family of consoles is here to stay.

In no small part, Nintendo have only been able to pull of this feat of engineering due to the work of the fine folk over at Human Things, creators of the Genki Covert Dock. Nintendo saw what a small team had achieved and the way in which they made the cumbersome Nintendo Switch dock obsolete. The company went about implementing similar techniques (all of which are now patented by Nintendo, obviously) to bring the Nintendo Switch Pro to life.

Quick:Switch

Another feature shown off further illustrates the connection between the Nintendo Switch Pro and the Lite. This is the ability to Quick:Switch. Quick:Switch is a unique way of immediately sending data from a Nintendo Switch Pro to a Nintendo Switch Lite, or vise versa, via infared. This isn’t akin to setting a different console as your primary and sharing data via the cloud, instead this entirely new process completely clones the contents of your device whilst temporarily bricking the other device.

What this provides is a two-part workaround to the original Nintendo Switch process. Not only is this an ingenious solution to the problem from a gamer’s point of view, it is also brilliant marketing on Nintendo’s part. The Quick:Switch can only take place between a Pro and a Lite, ergo meaning everyone who upgrades and buys a Pro will likely double dip and splash out on a Lite, if they haven’t already done so.

While analysts and experts alike have suggested that we’re likely halfway through the console’s life cycle, the introduction of the Nintendo Switch Pro shatters that perception and offers Nintendo a feasible rival to the PS5 and Xbox Series X, when they release in the near future.

As we made to leave, Nintendo remarked that perhaps we might be curious as to why we hadn’t seen more about Bayonetta 3 and Metroid Prime IV. Teasingly, that’s all they said.

As of yet, no release date has been announced for the Nintendo Switch Pro, but it seems only a fool would allow this to be delayed any further. Expect more news in April.

Thanks to NintendoUK for the invite and for showing us the future of the Nintendo Switch. It was certainly real.

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