Nintendo has released a significant revision to every single handheld they have ever made within 2-3 years of the original's release. Every Nintendo console except the N64 and Wii U has seen at least one revision. So a New Nintendo Switch XL/Plus/SP/Micro/Mini/Air/Pro/Lite/Advance/Pocket/i/S/X is not a question of if but a question of when.
Nintendo could charge more for the XL, even if the size of the handheld itself isn't any bigger, because the screen size, battery life, performance and internal storage would all be significantly larger. Given Nintendos history as well as the impending release of the iPhone X and Xbox One X, would anyone be surprised by a improved Nintendo Switch X in a few years?
Below is my wishlist:
1. A Bezel Free 7.5 inch screen that continues to support all existing Joy-Cons
Many of this year's high end smartphones offer bezel free displays even though smartphones have much much smaller bezels than the Nintendo Switch.
Large bezels do not offer any advantages for a device like the Nintendo Switch. By eliminating the Switch's bezel, you would increase the screen size from 6.2 inches to 7.5 inches and thereby provide improved immersion. Even the 1 cm bezels found on the Dell XPS laptop would be a substantial improvement over the current bezel size.
A Switch X that does away with the bezel so that it retains the same external dimensions and still supports all existing Joy-Cons, utilizing a low power 7.5 inch bezel free Samsung OLED or Sharp IGZO 1080p display, would be a glorious thing.
2. Eight hours of battery life by shrinking the manufacturing process from 20nm down to 7nm
TSMC recently started accepting volume orders for their upcoming 7nm node for mass production in 2018. https://www.google.com/amp/wccftech.com/tsmc-starts-prototype-7nm-chips-2018/amp/ Assuming that Nintendo places a volume order now in order to release a Switch Revision built on 7nm thereby greatly improving power efficiency, the shrink from 20nm down to 7nm should provide for an additional 4-5 hours of battery life.
The current Switch gets about 3hrs of battery life and uses 20 watts at peak load. A Switch built on the 7nm process should be able to bring that power consumption down to less than 10 watts under peak load even if running at "docked mode" performance levels. Additional power savings could be achieved by switching to either Sharp's bezel free low power IGZO displays or Samsungs bezel free low power OLED displays.
In addition to offering a longer battery life, a die shrink offers Nintendo the chance to dramatically improve the Switchs performance in portable mode. The 20nm Tegra X1 in the current Switch has 4 A53 core that are disabled and just take up space. A redesigned 7nm Tegra X1 could forego these cores altogether and be programmed to run at 768MHz at all times. https://www.polygon.com/2016/12/19/14005792/nintendo-switch-docked-power-details
With a 7nm Tegra X1, you would achieve docked performance for all games even when the system is undocked, and at least 6-7 hours of battery life. Portable games would more consistently run at 720p 60fps. The smaller more power efficient 7nm Tegra X1 would also enable them to forego the fan altogether and include a larger battery inside the system. Ideally, with this larger battery, eight hours of battery life is achievable.
How much would you pay for a Switch X that features a larger, more immersive, bezel free 1080p display, docked level performance at all times, and eight hours of battery life? I would happily pay $400-500. Of course, these improvements only matter to players that wish to use the Switch as a handheld. Docked only players should continue to purchase the normal Switch for substantially less.
3. Some modest improvements to the Switch's design
- Improved WiFi performance;
- Placing the usb, type c charging port on the top rather than the bottom so that people can continue to charge the Switch while they are playing in handheld and table top modes;
- The built in kickstand is almost nonfunctional, the Nintendo Switch XL should incorporate a revised, wider, more stable, kickstand. Perhaps something closer to the kickstand found in the Microsoft Surface tablets;
- The current dock that comes with the Switch is notorious for scratching up the Switch's screen when it's docked. The Switch XL desperately needs to incorporate a more scratch resistant coating. In addition, the dock should be wider and should have felt on the inside so that it won't scratch up the screen even if rubs up against it;
- The Switch should be compatible with Bluetooth Headphones such as the AirPods and with the Wii U Pro Controller. Both are bluetooth devices and there is no reason they shouldn't be compatible with the Switch. In addition, the Switch Pro Controller badly needs a built in headphone jack;
- The Switch XL revision should have 128GB-256GB of on board storage, out of the box. 32GB is far too small for a device that wont be released until at least 2019, especially when they're pushing digital so much. By then, digital Gamecube, Wii and Wii U Virtual Console releases eating up storage space is an inevitability. Today, the average consumer can go out and purchase a 128GB-256GB memory card to be shipped to their home for less than $20-30. There is no reason why it would cost Nintendo in 2019 any more than $10-15 to bulk order 128GB-256GB of storage;
- The design and placement of the Home button is ugly, distracting and should be revised in the Switch XL. There is no reason for the Home button to have a white circle encircling it. Ideally, the Home button should be a single black circle (no white border) with a corresponding circular Capture button on the left Joy-Con identical in size and shape to the Home button;
- The overall design of the Switch and the Joy-Cons would also improve significantly if the Capture and Home buttons were both round and perfectly centered (or at least aligned with the other buttons) on their respective Joy-Cons so that they line up directly under the Joystick and Down/B Button and act as the center button when the Joy-Con is held sideways;
- To summarize, the Switch's design would look much cleaner and more symmetric if both the Home and the Capture Buttons are identical in shape (2 identical black circles without the gray/white circle around them) and centered in position, or at least aligned with the other buttons, on each respective Joy-Con.
4. Microphone and Camera in the center for Voice Chat and AR Games
- It's needlessly clunky that you need to use your phone for Voice Chat during Switch multiplayer games. There is no reason they couldn't add a microphone to enable proper Voice Chat. Even the DS had a microphone.
- A high resolution centered rear camera would enable lots of fun AR games (The Machines, Pokemon Go, Pokemon Snap, Face Raiders, and Minecraft AR Edition) that are simply not possible without a centered rear camera. Playing Face Raiders on 3DS thanks to the built in camera was a blast. Pokemon Go is the most played Nintendo game at the moment and The Machines and the AR edition of Minecraft look to blow AR Games wide open.
5. Improved Joy-Con Controllers
- The Joy-Con controllers are overall decent and any future revision should retain backwards compatibility with all existing Joy-Con Controllers. However, there are some revisions and minor adjustments that would significantly improve their design and functionality;
- The Joy-Cons should have bigger buttons, the current buttons are uncomfortably small;
- Many gamers would prefer analog buttons and triggers for the revised Joy-Cons, as well as an optional sensor bar, stylus and IR functionality so that the Switch XL gains perfect compatibility with future Virtual Console Wii, Wii U and Gamecube releases;
- The Pro Joy-Cons would benefit from improved triggers so that they can be used sideways even without a Joy-Con strap attached. The strap is somewhat inconvenient to always have to carry around and affix to the Joy-Con each time, so the ability to comfortably use the Joy-Con sideways even without a strap, would be welcome. I dislike the feel of the thin "L" & "R" triggers. Larger, more comfortable analog sticks would be nice as well.
- Some custom JoyCons tailored for individual games could add an extra layer of immersion to games;
- Any and all future Joy-Cons should have slightly improved range and more resiliency to wireless interference in order to fix the desyncing issues the current Joy-Cons suffer from;
- The buttons and joysticks should be slightly further spaced apart and vertically centered so that the Right Joy-Con can be used comfortably when sideways. With the current design, the Left Joy-Con is far more comfortable to hold and use than the Right Joy-Con. Perhaps move the Home and Capture buttons to the center and space the buttons and joysticks farther apart to achieve this;
- To this end, the Joy-Con's would be far more comfortable to use sideways and the Switch's design would look much cleaner and more symmetric if both the Home and the Capture Buttons are centered in position on each respective Joy-Con and identical in shape (2 identical black circles without the gray/white circle around them).
6. Optional Pro Joy-Cons intended primarily for when the Switch is being used as a portable
It would be ideal if the Pro Joy-Cons utilized something closer to a D-Pad for at least the left Joy-Con (the PS Vita's D-Pad is a perfect compromise between split buttons and D-Pad functionality).
These Pro Joy-Cons should feature substantially improved ergonomics and maybe even a new finish. Some players report disliking the finish used on the Switch and it's Joy-Cons, because it soaks up sweat and grease.
It goes without saying that any Pro Joy-Cons should feature large, curved, fully Analog Triggers, large buttons and improved Analog Sticks.
7. An Optional Standalone Dock with Improved Graphical Fidelity facilitating Wii U Virtual Console releases
Either a standalone console, or an updated dock, sold separately, with an integrated fan and improved performance should allow more games to attain 1080p 60 fps consistently when docked. If this dock was also compatible with all existing Switches, it would be a dream come true for many console only gamers.
They could potentially do away with the dock aspect altogether and market it as a Switch TV similar to the Shield TV, just a box you can put your game carts in that plugs into the TV and supports Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Video and Plex.
The Switch TV could feature a GTX 1060 along with GDDR5 ram for dramatically improved performance. No screen, no battery and no Joy-Cons, ideal both as a supplemental device so that people dont have to keep their Switch inside their entertainment center, and as an alternative for gamers that want a more traditional console experience.
With a standalone box, you should be able to mirror your Switch XL to the Switch TV (similar to the Wii U or akin to AirPlay mirroring the iPhone to an Apple TV) and thereby enable compatibility for Virtual Console Wii U games like Nintendo Land and Game & Wario.
What improvements would you like to see in the eventual Switch revision?
If anyone here has the means to communicate these gaming requests to Nintendo directly, many Switch fans would greatly appreciate you taking the time to pass our wishes to Nintendo directly. These improvements would make the Nintendo Switch XL the single greatest handheld ever made in every respect. The only thing holding the Switch back from that title currently is the oversized bezel and the poor battery life.