The Switch was a huge success for Nintendo, putting the company back in the limelight after the disappointing performance of the Wii U. Released back in 2017, the system is now reaching the end of its lifespan. Leaks have already reported that the new device will be a sequel to the current system rather than a completely new direction, though information beyond this point is sparse.

Given Nintendo’s past direction and the state of the market, we can make predictions about what the new system will do. Which old features will return, and what new options could still be explored? We review the most likely direction of the new Switch, and what players hope to see when the probable 2025 release date arrives.

The Mostly Likely Components

Firstly, it’s practically guaranteed that the basic functionality of the Switch 2 will remain the same as the first Switch. The Switch 2 will be a dual handheld/console gaming platform, where playing in docked mode will offer superior performance thanks to not worrying about battery life.

We know this for two reasons. Firstly, the success of the Switch has been too overwhelming for Nintendo to ignore. Secondly, the Switch consolidated Nintendo’s handheld and console line of games into one platform. The genie is out of the bottle, and separating these systems again to compete on a hardware power front against Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Series X/S is too big a gamble.

The Switch 2 is also likely to offer native backward compatibility with Switch 1 games. The system might even share the same drive, letting players put Switch 1 games directly into the Switch 2 without a digital download workaround. Some less graphically demanding games on the Switch 2 are also likely to work on the Switch 1.

This kind of precedent has been seen with Nintendo before with the 3DS and New 3DS. Almost all 3DS games worked on the New 3DS and vice versa. Games made in the original could even see performance improvements on the New 3DS. This is likely to be the case with the Switch 2 and more demanding titles like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

“Nintendo Switch” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by the-unwinder

What We Hope to See

At the top of many players’ most-wanted list for the Switch 2 is better online support. Nintendo traditionally falls behind the other two console names in online systems, and this has been a constant source of frustration. Poor chat support, cloud save issues, and a lack of free modern games all hold the current Switch back. There is hope that new hardware will drive Nintendo towards more effort with game connectivity, but this isn’t guaranteed.

Also frustrating is a lack of functionality and game support, thanks to Nintendo’s platform missing a browser. This is especially problematic for people who engage with HTML5-driven online entertainment like online casino gaming. New online slots are a prime example, featuring a constant influx of playable online opportunities. These are backed by websites like Neptune Play and Pub Casino offering bonuses like free spins and deposit bonuses, which aren’t available on the system until Nintendo builds an actual web browser.

Improved online support could then bring the Switch 2 into the same realm as the Microsoft Game Pass and Sony’s PS Plus. These online systems feature much greater capabilities than Nintendo’s offerings, even allowing some HTML-based games to run directly from a console. With better game selection and the ability to connect improved through existing third-party software like Discord, Switch 2 players would see considerable benefits.

The final big ask from players of the new Switch is a better adoption of classic Nintendo games. A hardware upgrade for the Switch 2 would easily give the system enough strength to run or emulate every Nintendo title ever released. From the NES to the Wii U, Nintendo could potentially offer a vast library with thousands of titles spanning decades.

Despite this promise, the official conversion and emulation scenes of Nintendo are usually lacking. Often, very few older Nintendo titles are ported to new platforms. Those which are ported tend to be locked behind unjustifiably high costs. A dedicated effort to port more games with free access to online subscribers would generate a lot of goodwill. Given Nintendo’s past efforts in game conservation, however, this is unlikely.

What Comes Next?

Recent press conferences from Nintendo have been delivering news about Switch 2 games, but not the console itself. We can draw conclusions about the system’s hardware capabilities from these games, but some smaller details remain unclear.

With all that said, a 2025 launch for the Switch 2 is still the most likely outcome. This marks the ten-year date of the Switch’s main Tegra X1 chip, and leaks seem to support this release date. Let’s just hope Nintendo has a plan to deal with scalpers, or we might not get our hands on one for another few years.

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