According to the Nikkei Nintendo might be preparing a smaller Switch model, which has surprised me. I don’t see it being the only Switch hardware update this year, but if there is indeed a smaller model focusing on playing outside and better portability here’s what I suspect we’ll get:
- It will have same size screen but with smaller bezels, resulting in a smaller chassis. So many Switch games have already-small text from their TV interfaces being scaled verbatim to the small screen, so making the screen smaller isn’t a wise option.
- The detachable Joy-Con controllers will probably go, but you can still dock it to a revised dock and pair any compatible controllers (most households will have some I’m sure)
- The screen will see an upgrade to be brighter for better outdoor viewing, and the anti-reflective coating used on the N3DS and 3DS XL models will return
- The analogue sticks might be redesigned to make it more pocketable.
- With no detachable controllers a classic + D-Pad will be on the unit
- It will be powered by a new, more powerful and more efficient Tegra SoC. But so will the regular Switch’s successor. In the smaller Switch the SoC will be downclocked for more power efficiency, enabling:
** Smaller capacity battery inside the smaller unit.
** No more active cooling. The current Switch is designed more like a laptop than a tablet or smartphone, with a copper heat pipe and a fan.
I’m not sure what to make of this really, I think I’ll be happier if the existing Switch gets an upgrade as well. I wouldn’t mind having a smaller device as a companion machine, but Nintendo really needs to sync our home screen layouts and settings to the cloud to make it feasible to Switch between devices seamlessly.