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Nintendo Switch Pro: Analysts Conflicted on a 2021 Release


It’s a new yr, and a new cycle of sport bulletins are on the horizon – and lots of assume one of many greatest would be the launch of an up to date Switch mannequin, the Switch Pro. With rumors persevering with to swirl, IGN requested a number of trade analysts for his or her predictions on this.

The Nintendo Switch is approaching its fourth yr in manufacturing, however rumors of a number of Switch upgrades have dogged Nintendo since at least 2019 when a number of stories claimed Nintendo is working on new, upgraded Switch models past the bottom unit and the Switch Lite.

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that Nintendo had plans for additional Switch updates to maintain the life cycle of the system lengthy, and provide chains have steered there are plans for “improved” fashions with higher options and screens

This doesn’t essentially imply there’s a “Switch Pro” – in any case, Nintendo has already launched an updated Switch SKU with longer battery life, however comparable parts and options as the bottom mannequin.

When analysts speculate on what options a Switch Pro will, or ought to, embrace, it’s sometimes centered on processing energy and the potential to play high-resolution, and even 4K video games. Analysts and observers have harassed that when the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launch, Nintendo will want a extra highly effective gadget to keep up parity with third-party video games and builders.

There are additionally further elements that weren’t current in 2019 that needs to be factored into Nintendo’s future {hardware} plans, particularly the influence of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Both 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 bear in mind the tremendous success Nintendo is seeing with the present Nintendo Switch. Sales for the consoles have constantly beat expectations, and the Switch has been the best-selling console for two years straight. With this type of momentum, some analysts don’t see a urgent must introduce a “Pro” mannequin.

Update 2/26: Following the Pokemon Presents in February the place a new open-world Pokemon spinoff titled Pokemon Legends: Arceus was revealed, the conversations round a potential Switch Pro began trending on social media. The trailer for Pokemon Legends showcased what appears to be like like the primary really open-world Pokemon sport from GameFreak.

But commenters famous there look like some noticeable body price drops. Keep in thoughts the footage revealed at this time 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 here are what high analysts take into consideration the opportunity of a Switch Pro in 2021.

Serkan Toto; Kantan Games – ‘I think a Switch Pro will come in the second half of 2021’

Toto, a Tokyo-based trade marketing consultant, has been an avid proponent of a Switch Pro for years and feels that 2021 is the precise time for a Switch Pro as a approach to piggyback off the monetary success of the present Switch mannequin, but in addition to maintain gross sales going ahead.

In 2020, the Nintendo president himself shot down the opportunity of a Pro launch that yr. That was in January, so Covid didn’t have an affect

I consider the momentum was so huge already that Nintendo did not want a Pro mannequin to maintain gross sales.

Fast ahead to at this time, and the momentum remains to be there, however I feel that 4 years after the launch of the unique mannequin, it’s now certainly time for a refresh.

Nintendo does not compete straight with Sony or Microsoft, however they do want third-party help and wish to ensure the technological hole between the Switch and the next-gen consoles does not make it too exhausting to create ports for the Switch.

It can also be a essential consider prolonging the life cycle of the gadget: in line with the Nintendo president himself, the Switch is in the midst of its life cycle now, so a new mannequin coming quickly would make sense from that perspective.

I feel a Switch Pro will come within the second half of 2021, and identical to the Lite was launched with a new Zelda, the Pro is prone to debut along with a blockbuster title.

One key differentiator shall 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 significantly better in increased decision.

The Top 25 Switch Games (Fall 2020 Update)

Michael Pachter; Wedbush Securities – ‘I would err on the side of “no” for this year’

Pachter, a longtime trade analyst and determine is extra cautious and says there gained’t be a new mannequin this yr. However, Pachter doesn’t rule out a new Switch mannequin fully, both.

It’s a shut name. Nintendo doesn’t “need” a new mannequin, for the reason that present Switch is promoting so nicely. More probably, it’s going to introduce a new mannequin similtaneously it cuts value on the previous one, or extra probably, will hold the Switch Lite and reduce it to $149 or so with the Switch Pro changing the conventional Switch at $299.

I might err on the aspect of “no” for this yr, principally as a result of they had been out of inventory on Switch for thus lengthy and selected to ramp up manufacturing. However, I anticipate we’ll see a new one subsequent yr.

David Cole; DFC Intelligence – ‘Nintendo can accomplish a lot just by making minor tweaks’

Cole of DFC Intelligence, a US-based strategic advertising and marketing agency, believes not solely that a Switch Pro is unlikely in 2021, however that analysts and observers ought to re-consider what a “Switch Pro” will look like. Rather than a massive technological leap with 4K graphics, Cole suggests the Switch Pro will be iterative similar to the improved battery model Nintendo released in 2019 alongside the Switch Lite.

Normally we don’t like to speculate on unannounced products like a Switch Pro but in this case, I am willing to go on record saying I think it is unlikely there will be a major new console from Nintendo in 2021. However, there may be some tweaks to the existing Switch. Whether that is enough to call it a “new system” or even a Switch Pro, I think is unlikely.

There are lots of reasons there is no rush to launch a radical new Nintendo system, but I think the main reason is it doesn’t make much business sense.

With companies like Nintendo new hardware systems are always in development so rumors run rampant. However, the bottom line is Nintendo has no need to rush a new hardware product to market. The COVID situation changed the market substantially. Nintendo struggled to met unprecedented demand in terms of manufacturing its current Switch system. They have currently caught up but manufacturing is still risky in this environment as it is hard to predict if a flare-up could slow things down again. Given that situation, it does not make sense to risk trying to start manufacturing a totally new system.

If you go online you can see all kinds of bundles for Switch hardware, some ranging up to $500. Not just bundled games, but different colors and different themes like Animal Crossing or Fortnite where they can charge a premium.

The beauty of the Switch is that it is also a mobile device. That means that a Switch owning family actually is likely to need two or more Switch consoles so each family member can play. So there is still a lot of sales potential among the current installed base.

A new Switch Pro type system would basically be a way to get existing Switch owners to upgrade. However, there are more profitable ways for Nintendo to accomplish this. Software and services are far more profitable to Nintendo than new hardware which has a high upfront cost as it goes into initial manufacturing. The goal of Nintendo is to generate more revenue per user. Obviously, a Switch Pro would do that on a raw basis but it would take money away from their existing users who otherwise might be buying more profitable software and services.

A lot of the hype comes down to people expecting an entirely new Switch system versus upgrades to the existing system.

That is a long way to say that there may be an upgraded Switch in 2021 but consumers expecting a radical change are likely to be disappointed. Nintendo has already made several updates to Switch hardware to take advantage of improvements in technology. I expect they will continue to do so. For marketing purposes, they may call it a Switch Pro but I think if they do consumers will be disappointed so Nintendo may not choose to go that route.

What many seem to speculate as Switch Pro/Switch 2 is a powerful system that supports 4K and more. That is what I think is unlikely. From a business perspective, Nintendo can accomplish a lot just by making minor tweaks. At what point that system is called a Switch Pro or a new system is the issue.

Our bet on Nintendo is that we will see a big new software lineup that looks to take advantage of the stay-at-home orders that are causing video game sales to soar.

Nintendo has often kept its hardware plans close to the chest, making it difficult to predict what the company will do next. Consider the leap from the GameCube to the Wii and then to the Switch.

While our analysts on the whole agree that the Nintendo Switch cannot remain static, opinions differ on both the timeline for when new Switch models will be released, to what features the new Switch “Pro” may embrace.

With so many questions nonetheless left, and a entire yr forward of us, do you consider a Switch Pro shall be probably in 2021? And if that’s the 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.

Source Link – www.ign.com

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