Would You Buy a Nintendo Switch Plus in 2020?

Would You Buy a Nintendo Switch Plus in 2020?

It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but there has been a lot of rumbling about a new Nintendo Switch coming out this year. No, not a successor to the Switch, but a nicer version of the Switch we know and love. So before Nintendo announces something (or nothing) I wanted to get my thoughts out there on what they could do to make a higher end Switch fit into their lineup.

The Changes

  1. Implement a newer Tegra chip (the X1 it uses today came out in 2015, the same year as the iPhone 6S, for context).
  2. Up the screen resolution on the built-in display to 1080p (currently 720p).
  3. Ship with a new left Joy Con that has a d-pad instead of four separate directional buttons.

The Impact

First and foremost, this would not make any changes to the games that work on any Switch platform; every game would have to work on every Switch. The impact of these changes, mainly in the new Tegra chip, is that games would run with either:

  • higher resolutions
  • higher framerates
  • more graphical fidelity

This is basically what happens on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X today, so the market is prepared for this sort if difference. This “Plus” model of the Switch would not get us up to PS4 or PS5 territory, but it would give Switch games a little extra juice to look and play their best.

For example, Breath of the Wild typically runs at 900p and 30fps (with dips below each of those stats at certain times). On the Plus maybe it would run at 1080p and 60fps. Maybe the devs would be able to ship an update to give users an option to play at 1440p and 30fps, too.

This would also show on the new 1080p screen built into the Switch, which would look far sharper than the 720p screen we have today. Games look fine on the current screen, but there is no doubt that seeing Nintendo games in your palm and at 1080p would be a treat.

Finally, I’d make the left Joy Con have a traditional d-pad like the Pro Controller. This would be more comfortable to play with and would actually make plenty of games easier to play. This would make this Joy Con incompatible with games that let you play with a single Joy Con, but I think the hit would be worth it for the sort of players who would be buying this beefier system. Joy Cons would of course remain compatible with both Switch models so you could mix and match however you please.

Would You Buy This?

I love my Switch, but assuming the price was $100 more than the regular Switch ($399 vs $299) I’d buy this new model in a heartbeat. Power isn’t everything with games, but after spending a couple years with a 4k TV and PS4 Pro, it’s hard for me to look at games 1080p and lower without a hint of “this is kinda blury” in my head. Maybe that’s not everyone, but as we approach the PS5 and Xbox Series X this fall, the expectation for what games look like is going to increase a ton, and the Switch is going to feel even more dated. Nintendo has no reason to replace the Switch for another couple years, but I would like to see them give us a model that narrows the gap between them and the other guys by just a bit.

What do you think, would you buy this Switch Plus? Would you make different upgrades? As always, let me know!

My Favorite Video Games of the Past Decade

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’ve said a lot on this game already, so seriously, watch the video series below, but I will say here that no game in my adult life has filled me with as much wonder and pure joy than this game. There were times playing this game where I thought “I could play this for 12 more hours straight and not get bored.” It’s a triumph of video game design and if you’ll allow the pun, breathed new life into the franchise.

https://youtu.be/WYEcRWpXFdc

https://youtu.be/hZ0cRUt2W6Y

https://youtu.be/DLlRSIEDYyE

2. Journey

Again, I’ll direct you to the video below, but suffice it to say Journey was a one-on-a-kind game and is an experience you can complete in just over an hour but will stick with you forever.

https://youtu.be/QeprVO8fGQw

3. God of War

Ahem, video again on this one, but I’ll say here that this game was far better that it had any right to be. It completely transformed the series from something I was embarrassed to play in front of my wife to one that I look at as the pinnacle of the medium.

https://youtu.be/jtd6m6801GM

4. The Last of Us

Amazingly I don’t have a video on this one yet, but The Last of Us is a dark and horrifying tale of two people struggling to survive extraordinary circumstances in a world with very little hope or humanity left. It was a gorgeous story told through a gameplay loop that was truly addicting.

5. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Back on my video run here, but MGS5 is a beautiful mess of a game and while the story is rough, the gameplay on tap here is absolutely perfect. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed controlling a character as I did Big Boss in this game.

https://youtu.be/QdQq78dO3Ys

6. Portal 2

Portal 2 is one of those games I would love to play again, but I don’t have a way to do it. This game has more clever puzzles than the first game, it has a lot more of them, but almost more importantly, it has a wildly compelling story with spectacular characters who drag you through. The final moments of this game, which I won’t spoil here, stick with me to this day.

7. FTL: Faster Than Light

I sunk so many hours into this game it’s frankly ridiculous. I only ever “beat” the game a couple times, but the strategy + luck combo this game provided kept me coming back for “just one more try” over…and over…and over again.

8. Mass Effect 2

This game has everything: space, aliens, great combat, a compelling story, choices that matter. This is an all time classic and deserves all the accolades it has received over the years.

9. Firewatch

Another very short game on this list, Firewatch can also be played in one or two extended sittings if you’d like, and it compels you to do so right off the bat. This game tackles guilt in a way no other game has and it’s a story that I constantly think about. Oh, and how about that art style?

10. Horizon Zero Dawn

Closing out the list is a game that came out just a few days before Breath of the Wild. When this released I was amazed by it. It’s open world gameplay was fresh and exciting, and it told a story that wasn’t amazing but definitely got its hooks in me. Breath of the Wild of course took the crown for best game of that year…and the decade, but I will not soon forget my time in this wonderful game.

Other Amazing Games

A decade is a long time and there are far more that 10 games I’d like to call out, so here are a few other games that knocked my socks off.

  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Titanfall 2
  • Doom
  • Everybody’s Golf
  • LA Noir
  • Spider-Man
  • Gris
  • Bloodborne

And if you were looking for mobile games, my favorites on iOS were:

  • Holedown
  • Desert Golf
  • Grindstone
  • Simple Rockets
  • Monument Valley
  • Alto’s Odyssey
  • Super Mario Run
  • Mikey Hooks
  • Plants Vs Zombies