There have been some suggestions the rumoured Switch ‘Pro’ absolutely needs to have slightly improved specs to ensure it can run certain games and improve existing ones but is it all that necessary? Perhaps not, according to one industry veteran.
In a recent interview with Nintendo Everything, Engine Software’s co-founder and vice president Ruud van de Moosdijk (who has worked on a handful of Switch games, including recent ports of No More Heroes 1 & 2) said as “nice” as it would be, a slightly improved model with some extra power could potentially go to waste.
As long as it’s part of the Switch ecosystem, this means games still have to (or at least should) run on every system already available, and for compatibility reasons, performance is benchmarked on the lowest specifications. As a result, upgraded systems with additional power never really get fully “utilized”.
“Truth be told, our opinion on this might be counter-intuitive for a lot of people, but we are not large subscribers of the “Pro” model. Sure, it would be nice to have more RAM or faster GPU/CPU compared to before, but if it is still considered the same platform you must make sure your game runs on every model. So, for compatibility reasons your performance gets benchmarked on the lowest specifications. We have seen with prior ‘upgraded systems’ that the additional power never really got utilized well for this reason.”
On the Nintendo front, one prior “upgraded” system that was arguably under-utilised was the New 3DS. One of the few games that took advantage of it was Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, but beyond that, developers didn’t show interest in fear of abandoning the rest of the market. Similar situations have played out on rival platforms as well.
At best, it seems a Switch Pro would feature a standard revision of slightly improved resolutions and frame rates (as rumoured), but “additional power” or added grunt is far less likely – especially when the current models (Switch and Switch Lite) have now sold a combined total of more than 68 million worldwide. That would be one sizable install base to exclude after all.
You can learn more about the rumoured Switch Pro in our comprehensive guide. If this device does in fact exist, what are your own expectations? Do you think it needs to offer much more than improved frame rate and resolutions? Tell us down below.