Today Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch again. That is, what is officially and very creatively dubbed the Nintendo Switch (OLED model), parentheses and all.
It’s pretty cool! It has a bigger and better screen, ethernet compatibility, and improved speakers. It features a wider, adjustable kickstand, and it doubles internal storage to 64 GB. It even comes in a panda color. These are all welcome improvements, and my colleague Callum, at least, is rather excited about it.
And I would be too… if it weren’t for the fact I still want an honest-to-goodness Switch Pro. Luckily, there’s still hope.
Rumors of a 4K Switch have been floating around for ages, and not just from the “my uncle works at Nintendo” type. Reliable sources have pointed to a 4K Switch in enough detail that the only reasonable explanation — other than “Nintendo is trolling the leakers” — is that Nintendo is waiting for the right time to release it.
It just hasn’t been the right time yet. But you know what is the right time? Zelda time. It seems increasingly likely Nintendo is simply going to release the new Switch roughly alongside the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, better known as Breath of the Wild 2.
It’s possible, if not likely, that Nintendo had a different timeline for a more powerful Switch before this whole global pandemic thing happened. But as it stands, it would simply make no sense at all to release a Switch Pro without a flagship title to accompany it.
The Nintendo Switch is still selling like hotcakes in its good ol’ 1080p form, after all. In fact, as noted by Bloomberg, the Switch is on track to become the fastest console to ever sell 100 million units.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@6d6f636869) July 6, 2021
The Switch and Switch Lite had enough momentum on their own to get to their current numbers. And despite the fact that Nintendo arguably hasn’t released a main title from one of its flagship IPs since 2018’s Smash Bros. Ultimate, Switch sales are showing no signs of slowing down.
The Switch OLED’s launch, coinciding with October’s Metroid Dread, will likely be just enough of a kick to maintain that momentum into 2022. This is what Nintendo always does after all; it releases iterative tweaks on its consoles to revamp sales. Need I remind you of how many versions of the 3DS there were?
But as excited as I am for a new Metroid, it’s still a bit more of a niche series than Mario and Zelda. That Nintendo would want to save its big guns for Breath of the Wild 2 seems like a no-brainer to me.
I’m not the type of gamer that cares tremendously about graphics horsepower. I’m a Nintendo fan, after all, and the company abandoned the polygon race after the GameCube. But I wouldn’t mind playing Breath of the Wild 2 with some added visual fidelity, and I’d be willing to bet a few silver rupees that Nintendo is banking on other Zelda fans that feel the same.
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