The Nintendo Switch is approaching its fourth 12 months in manufacturing, however rumors of a number of Change upgrades have dogged Nintendo since at least 2019 when a number of experiences claimed Nintendo is working on new, upgraded Switch models past the bottom unit and the Switch Lite.
The Wall Avenue Journal reported in 2019 that Nintendo had plans for additional Change updates to maintain the life cycle of the system lengthy, and provide chains have prompt there are plans for “improved” fashions with higher options and screens
This doesn’t essentially imply there’s a “Change Professional” – in spite of everything, Nintendo has already launched an updated Switch SKU with longer battery life, however related elements and options as the bottom mannequin.
When analysts speculate on what incorporates a Change Professional will, or ought to, embody, it’s usually centered on processing energy and the potential to play high-resolution, and even 4K video games. Analysts and observers have burdened that when the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Sequence X launch, Nintendo will want a extra highly effective system to keep up parity with third-party video games and builders.
There are additionally further components that weren’t current in 2019 that ought to be factored into Nintendo’s future plans, specifically the influence of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Each analysts and console producers at Sony and Microsoft have mentioned the pandemic could result in hardware delays for the foreseeable future, and new software program slated for 2021 is already being pushed again or delayed.
One also needs to have in mind the tremendous success Nintendo is seeing with the present Nintendo Change. Gross sales for the consoles have persistently beat expectations, and the Switch has been the best-selling console for two years straight. With this sort of momentum, some analysts don’t see a urgent have to introduce a “Professional” mannequin.
Replace 2/26: Following the Pokemon Presents in February the place a brand new open-world Pokemon spinoff titled Pokemon Legends: Arceus was revealed, the conversations round a doable Change Professional began trending on social media. The trailer for Pokemon Legends showcased what appears like the primary actually open-world Pokemon recreation from GameFreak.
However commenters famous there look like some noticeable body price drops. Take note the footage revealed as we speak was labeled as in-development and is topic to alter and enchancment by the point Pokemon Legends is launched in 2022.With that mentioned, listed below are what high analysts take into consideration the potential of a Change Professional in 2021.
Serkan Toto; Kantan Video games – ‘I believe a Change Professional will come within the second half of 2021’
Toto, a Tokyo-based business advisor, has been an avid proponent of a Change Professional for years and feels that 2021 is the precise time for a Change Professional as a strategy to piggyback off the monetary success of the present Change mannequin, but in addition to maintain gross sales going ahead.
In 2020, the Nintendo president himself shot down the potential of a Professional launch that 12 months. That was in January, so Covid didn’t have an affect
I imagine the momentum was so large already that Nintendo did not want a Professional mannequin to maintain gross sales.
Quick ahead to as we speak, and the momentum continues to be there, however I believe that 4 years after the launch of the unique mannequin, it’s now certainly time for a refresh.
Nintendo would not compete straight with Sony or Microsoft, however they do want third-party help and want to ensure the technological hole between the Change and the next-gen consoles would not make it too onerous to create ports for the Change.
Additionally it is an important consider prolonging the life cycle of the system: in accordance with the Nintendo president himself, the Change is in the course of its life cycle now, so a brand new mannequin coming quickly would make sense from that perspective.
I believe a Change Professional will come within the second half of 2021, and identical to the Lite was launched with a brand new Zelda, the Professional is more likely to debut along with a blockbuster title.
One key differentiator will likely be 4K help: I do know, no person must see Pikachu in 4K, however Zelda and a bunch of different video games would look so a lot better in larger decision.
The Prime 25 Change Video games (Fall 2020 Replace)
Michael Pachter; Wedbush Securities – ‘I’d err on the aspect of “no” for this 12 months’
Pachter, a longtime business analyst and determine is extra cautious and says there gained’t be a brand new mannequin this 12 months. Nonetheless, Pachter doesn’t rule out a brand new Change mannequin solely, both.
It’s an in depth name. Nintendo doesn’t “want” a brand new mannequin, for the reason that present Change is promoting so effectively. Extra probably, it can introduce a brand new mannequin concurrently it cuts worth on the outdated one, or extra probably, will maintain the Change Lite and lower it to $149 or so with the Change Professional changing the conventional Change at $299.
I’d err on the aspect of “no” for this 12 months, principally as a result of they had been out of inventory on Change for thus lengthy and selected to ramp up manufacturing. Nonetheless, I anticipate we’ll see a brand new one subsequent 12 months.
David Cole; DFC Intelligence – ‘Nintendo can accomplish so much simply by making minor tweaks’
Cole of DFC Intelligence, a US-based strategic advertising agency, believes not solely Change Professional is unlikely in 2021, however that analysts and observers ought to re-consider what a “Change Professional” will appear like. Somewhat than a large technological leap with 4K graphics, Cole suggests the Change Professional will likely be iterative much like the improved battery mannequin Nintendo launched in 2019 alongside the Change Lite.
Usually we do not like to invest on unannounced merchandise like a Change Professional however on this case, I’m prepared to go on document saying I believe it’s unlikely there will likely be a serious new console from Nintendo in 2021. Nonetheless, there could also be some tweaks to the prevailing Change. Whether or not that is sufficient to name it a “new system” or perhaps a Change Professional, I believe is unlikely.
There are many causes there is no such thing as a rush to launch a radical new Nintendo system, however I believe the primary motive is it would not make a lot enterprise sense.
With firms like Nintendo new techniques are all the time in improvement so rumors run rampant. Nonetheless, the underside line is Nintendo has no have to rush a brand new product to market. The COVID scenario modified the market considerably. Nintendo struggled to met unprecedented demand by way of manufacturing its present Change system. They’ve presently caught up however manufacturing continues to be dangerous on this surroundings as it’s onerous to foretell if a flare-up might sluggish issues down once more. Provided that scenario, it doesn’t make sense to threat attempting to start out manufacturing a very new system.
In the event you log on you may see all types of bundles for Change , some ranging as much as $500. Not simply bundled video games, however completely different colours and completely different themes like Animal Crossing or Fortnite the place they’ll cost a premium.
The fantastic thing about the Change is that additionally it is a cellular system. That signifies that a Change proudly owning household really is more likely to want two or extra Change consoles so every member of the family can play. So there’s nonetheless a whole lot of gross sales potential among the many present put in base.
A brand new Change Professional kind system would mainly be a strategy to get current Change house owners to improve. Nonetheless, there are extra worthwhile methods for Nintendo to perform this. Software program and companies are much more worthwhile to Nintendo than new which has a excessive upfront value because it goes into preliminary manufacturing. The purpose of Nintendo is to generate extra income per consumer. Clearly, a Change Professional would try this on a uncooked foundation however it might take cash away from their current customers who in any other case may be shopping for extra worthwhile software program and companies.
A variety of the hype comes right down to individuals anticipating a wholly new Change system versus upgrades to the prevailing system.
That may be a lengthy strategy to say that there could also be an upgraded Change in 2021 however shoppers anticipating a radical change are more likely to be disillusioned. Nintendo has already made a number of updates to Change to reap the benefits of enhancements in know-how. I anticipate they are going to proceed to take action. For advertising functions, they could name it a Change Professional however I believe in the event that they do shoppers will likely be disillusioned so Nintendo could not select to go that route.
What many appear to invest as Change Professional/Change 2 is a robust system that helps 4K and extra. That’s what I believe is unlikely. From a enterprise perspective, Nintendo can accomplish so much simply by making minor tweaks. At what level that system is named a Change Professional or a brand new system is the difficulty.
Our guess on Nintendo is that we’ll see a giant new software program lineup that appears to reap the benefits of the stay-at-home orders which might be inflicting online game gross sales to soar.
Nintendo has typically stored its plans near the chest, making it troublesome to foretell what the corporate will do subsequent. Contemplate the leap from the GameCube to the Wii after which to the Change.
Whereas our analysts on the entire agree that the Nintendo Change can’t stay static, opinions differ on each the timeline for when new Change fashions will likely be launched, to what options the brand new Change “Professional” may embody.
With so many questions nonetheless left, and a complete 12 months forward of us, do you imagine a Change Professional will likely be probably in 2021? And in that case will or not it’s a full-throated 4K improve or one thing extra modest?
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.