The Nintendo Switch Pro is Unnecessary in 2021

To start off, I’d like to say that IF Nintendo did release a Switch Pro in 2021, I would be excited for it, I would pre-order it and pick it up on day one. The point that I’m making here though is that not only is it unnecessary for a 2021 release, I actually think it would be more damaging to Nintendo’s business/profits than if Nintendo waited another year.

Cannablism

The Nintendo Switch has been the best selling console for 31 months straight, Nintendo would be foolish to interfere in any way that could drop the appeal of a Nintendo Switch right now. When the holiday season rolls around, the Playstation 5 and XBox Series X will almost definitely still be the most in-demand consoles, but the Switch will likely be the most available, which potentially means it might still rule the holiday season.

If Nintendo were to announce a Switch Pro, or release a Switch Pro before the end of the year, of course interest will be very high, maybe even surpassing the XSX or the PS5. But it’s almost guaranteed to have supply issues similar to the competitors, while simultaneously making the regular Switch less desirable and potentially killing most interest in the Lite altogether if the regular Switch is forced to take a price cut. I don’t see how the Switch or Switch Lite could keep the same momentum with the Pro out on the market, and it seems like Nintendo would be unnecessarily cutting their lives short, to roll out the Pro, which may not even have a reason to exist yet.

2021’s Lack of Releases

E3 2021 showed the not so well kept secret, but the pandemic has affected development time for a lot of games and compared to past years, we aren’t getting many new games in 2021 for any of the consoles. Due to the lack of big titles coming to the PS5 and XSX in Q3 and Q4, I don’t think Nintendo needs to fear losing relevancy yet. Even so, a Switch Pro would likely be comparable to the power of maybe a PS4, or XB1S, so it really only needs to look at what games are coming to PS4 and XB1 in 2021 (non-exclusive) to see what we’re missing out because of a lack of a Pro.

  • Back 4 Blood – While it looks like a fun game, it is primarily focused on online multiplayer which is not a strength of the Switch and when given the choice, would likely buy on another platform than Switch. This doesn’t seem like anything that people would preference for their Switch
  • Battlefield 2042 – This falls in a similar situation as Back 4 Blood, but this game would probably be even more demanding of near flawless performance and who knows how probable that would be for the Switch Pro to deliver on.
  • Dying Light 2 – I barely played the first Dying Light, it didn’t seem bad though, and I would pick this up on a Switch Pro and I could see this being preferential for a lot of people over the PS4 or XB1, but the PS5/XSX would likely be the most preferred console because those owners are thirsty for something to play
  • Far Cry 6 – Pretty much the exact situation as Dying Light 2
  • Rainbow Six Extraction – As with the other multiplayer games, this just doesn’t seem like it would be desirable for the Pro
  • Sports (EA) – I know there is a long list of reasons Madden is garbage, but yes, I would buy it on Switch or Switch Pro on Day 1. I don’t know if EA would even bring it to a Pro, seeing as they never brought Madden to the regular Switch, although EA is more friendly with Nintendo these days and they would just have to port over the PS4 version, so maybe.

I’m not saying any of these games aren’t good games, or that some people wouldn’t prefer them on the Switch. I do recognize that it would be beneficial for Switch owners, the publishers and probably even Nintendo in some aspects. But in the big picture, these games are not worth snuffing out the momentum and sales of the regular Switch or the Lite, there’s nothing here that screams “We need a pro now for these games!” Especially since Switch owners are already used to the delay from the Playstation or XBox releases.

How to Release in 2022

I don’t think Nintendo can get out of 2022 without releasing the Pro. By then, the PS5 and XSX will be more available, and by the end of 2022 I wouldn’t be surprised if PS5 was hitting around 30million in sales. Both systems will have more games available, the gap in power will widen, the support for PS4/XB1 will start declining (unless a Switch Pro gives reason for developers to keep making these scaled down versions of PS5/XSX games). Lastly, in December 2022, the Switch will be 5 years and 9 months old, if not a Pro, it might be time for a Switch 2!

After a spike in sales from the holiday season of 2021, Nintendo should announce the Switch in Spring 2022 and maybe launch it early Summer 2022. In the meantime, they should be preparing a line-up of games that were on PS4/XB1 but too powerful to port to regular Switch, and release them on the Pro from from launch and the end of 2022 that. Use this time to build that release schedule and justify the Pro. Here are the 3rd party titles they could launch:

  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Resident Evil 3
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • Batman Arkham Knight
  • Madden
  • Mass Effect Legendary Edition
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Resident Evil 8
  • Yakuza Series
  • Vanquish HD
  • Kingdom Hearts: Story So Far

Plus the other titles previously mentioned that come out this year, and certainly more that I haven’t listed. This would allow publishers to re-release some games Nintendo owners missed out on in the past few years, and likely lead to some easy sales, I’m sure some people would double-dip just for the portability. The Switch Pro would prove itself worthy of bringing new titles to the Nintendo audience, while only having to port what’s already available on other platforms, this is a good lead to get the system going.

If Nintendo puts some noticeable performance upgrades in BotW2 and even releases a special Zelda edition Pro (the New 3DS XL launched with a Majoras Mask edition), I imagine that would be a big booster shot to the Pro’s appeal. Finally, if Nintendo showcases Metroid Prime 4 and maybe something like Xenoblade 3 or a new F-Zero, they can show how they plan to support the Pro. I don’t think Nintendo would go “all in” on a Pro though and make games like Botw2, Mario Odyssey 2, Kirby, Star Fox, etc that wouldn’t run on the regular Switch, so they could still appeal to Switch owners and create the transition to a Pro.

Whatever happens, I will be buying Nintendo’s next hardware release, but I don’t think there’s any reason for them to push it out this year.

Posted on July 3, 2021, in Thinking Outloud, Write-Ups and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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