As someone who keeps things low-end and hasn’t developed so much as a “hello world” for the Nintendo Switch, this doesn’t particularly concern me, but I’d like to acknowledge that announcement of the new Switch model — the one with the OLED display.
For those unaware, this new model doesn’t have any performance improvements that were heavily speculated and is $50/£30 more expensive. So that’s… four years we’re without a more powerful Switch now. Which is a little concerning to me for its longevity, and here’s why.
When the Switch released in 2017, it was by no means the most powerful thing in the world. Obviously it could never compete with home consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but from a handheld perspective it was certainly alright.
These days, however, things are changing. The Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 have been on the market for a while now, and presumably games in the works will now be aimed at these systems. Aaand the performance gap between those systems and the Nintendo Switch is huge!
As far as cross-platform titles go, taking your game and reducing it to 720p 30fps with lower graphical settings might not be good enough anymore. While, yes, anything can be made to run on the Switch, the investment must be balanced with income.
As for the first-party titles, Nintendo always seems to know what they’re doing with the hardware, but even they could do with something that has a bit more oomph for these new titles in order to improve on their predecessors (e.g. Splatoon 3 vs Splatoon 2).
Enough people are using 4K TVs that it’s about time a Nintendo system outputs at 4K, even if the vast majority of content is upscaled. Of course, Nintendo has always proven that you don’t need the most horsepower and third-party support to be successful.
The Nintendo Wii is a pretty good example of this, lacking high definition graphics or even digital video output like its competitors and having unusual controls that added to the challenge of porting games over, yet selling over 100 million units.
How the Switch compares to the average smartphone or tablet these days (not your $1000 iPad Pro!) I’m not too sure. I expect they’ll be starting to overtake it, though regardless of performance the mobile gaming market is very different from the console one.
Perhaps we’ll see the Switch turn into more of a casual games system. I don’t think it’ll just completely die out, and the Switch Lite remains competitively priced, working out cheaper than an Xbox Series S. But who knows? We shall have to wait and see.This post was originally on Twitter.