COG Considers: They Must Be Making One By Now, Right?
This is very much ‘story of the story of the story’ stuff, but hear me out. We just can’t stop with these rumors. It’s like a hopeless compulsion, a burning need to wildly speculate on when Nintendo is releasing an upgraded version of their hybrid console. But why? Why are the rumors so constant, so relentless? Well, there’s two reasons. The first is that Nintendo hitched their wagon to Nvidia, a PC hardware company that’s constantly pumping out upgrades to their existing tech. It’s just a steady pipeline, a parade of ever-improving gear with those guys. So it’s easy to link any one of their latest innovations with the mythical Switch Pro. The second reason is that it’s been just over four years since the Switch released. Consoles have a very specific lifecycle, you see. And we have expectations to be met, damn it!
A couple of things happened recently, you see. Samsung put in an order for a million 7-inch screens that have analysts dead certain that Switchness is being invoked. At the same time, Nvidia has been making huge strides with their DLSS tech. It’s gone portable! Now you can use AI to give your framerate a massive neural net boost! Also those screens I mentioned are 720p. So it’s a scant handful of pixels, but they’ll be butter smooth! You can try and find this report at Bloomberg, but their paywalls kick in crazy fast. Suffice to say it’s incredibly vague!
This brings us to the console pattern problem. New hardware comes out every five to seven years. You can practically set your watch to it! Now that it’s been four years since the release of the Switch, we’re just about at Nintendo’s next-gen window, right? It would be crazy of them not to be working on another console. Then a patent document floats to the surface, and suddenly everyone’s talking about 2-4 times the power of the existing model, 4K, DLSS, and so on. As much as I love watching ‘analysts’ and ‘experts’ build this console out of adrenaline spikes and fever dreams, none of us know what this thing will be.
Nintendo catches us flat-footed more or less every time. We’re so far into the Switch’s lifespan that what comes next will just be a next-gen console. And that’s fine! Everyone expecting a fat, juicy hardware upgrade for this holiday season are thinking that Nintendo uses hardware power to sell games. Which they totally did! In the 90’s, when that was a marketing hot button you could hammer on for instant sales. Now, nobody refers to ‘bits’ or ‘blast processing’ in the ad copy because nobody cares. The Wii was basically powered by potatoes and candlelight, and it sold 90 million units. The best part about all this rampant speculation is that we’ll eventually be right. Unless Nintendo literally stops making consoles, we’re getting another one! But beyond that, who the hell knows.