10 features we need in Nintendo Switch’s successor

Nathan Ellingsworth
Mario leaps out of a Nintendo Switch OLED Model

Nintendo has finally lifted the lid on its follow-up to the Nintendo Switch, so with fresh hardware on the horizon, here are the features we need to see on the Switch 2.

After years of speculation, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa recently confirmed the existence of new Nintendo hardware, a successor to the company’s wildly successful Nintendo Switch.

It’s hard to believe, but Nintendo originally released the Switch back in 2017, over seven years ago now, and has recently tipped over 140 million units sold worldwide. So, whatever the next hardware is — Nintendo Switch 2 or otherwise — it has a huge legacy to follow.

While some reports hint towards obvious inclusions like more powerful hardware, and even some exciting tech like 4k upscaling through NVidia DLSS technology, we’re diving into even more features that we want to see in the Nintendo Switch 2 to get us really excited for whatever Nintendo does next.

10. More power

Let’s start with the obvious. The Nintendo Switch is over seven years old, and even at the time of launch, it was released with a relatively modest amount of power thanks to a custom NVidia chip. The Switch is essentially an Android tablet with controllers strapped on the side, but Nintendo took this power and ran with it. 

There is no world where the Nintendo Switch 2 doesn’t improve on that power, but we’d like to see a significant jump, especially after the Switch was essentially as powerful as the Wii U. Even a decade later, there aren’t many Switch games that look better than Mario Kart 8, so let’s shift things into a higher gear. 

Plus, when Nintendo originally released the Switch, they had the handheld market cornered, only coming up against the dying days of the Playstation Vita and its own Nintendo 3DS for competition. 

However, the success of the Nintendo Switch reignited the handheld market, and many competitors have worked hard to offer either more compact or more powerful hardware, such as the Steam Deck and the recent Steam Deck OLED. 

The trick of “imagine a Wii U but portable” was a one-time pass, and eager gamers are now getting used to the idea of much more powerful handheld systems, so Nintendo has to prove this new console is good enough to compete with devices like the Asus ROG Ally

As always, Nintendo doesn’t want to make the most powerful device on the market; instead, it wants to make the best games on the market, and a console is just a vessel for its ideas. But some improvements like a 1080p screen, much improved internal storage (at least 128GB, I beg of you, Nintendo), and some seriously improved power will do wonders for this new console as long as Nintendo can keep it in the family-friendly $300 dollar price range.

9. Different colors at launch

The Nintendo Switch marked a significant moment for Nintendo. Being haunted by the specter of the Wii U’s financial failure, the company seemingly wanted to shake off the ‘kiddy’ image and instead produce a sleek and almost cool console reminiscent of designs from companies like Apple. 

So, it’s little surprise that the Nintendo Switch launched with smooth edges, a minimalist design, and even with the option of the muted grey Joy-Con controllers for the adults too embarrassed to be seen with red and blue controllers on the train. 

That tactic worked, but for Nintendo Switch 2, we want the choice to have big, bold colors that feel like a mixture of the sleek Switch design and the more ostentatious colorways of fun consoles like the Dreamcast or even early Apple computers. 

In fact, one thing we’re dreaming of seeing returning is the clear plastic and bright colors of consoles like the atomic purple Game Boy Color or the N64. Some older gamers will want to have a monotone white console, so they look a tad less silly while playing Mario Golf, but let us choose the bolder colors if we want. 

It’s very rare to see a console launch with multiple colorways, often due to hardware manufacturing limitations. Still, Nintendo could, at the very least, get around this issue with multiple options for the Joy-Con, or whatever controllers they attach to the Nintendo Switch 2. Give us purple, orange, blue, and much more. The Switch Lite looks gorgeous in different colors, after all.

8. Entertainment apps

A Nintendo Switch is visible with Disney+ appearing on the screen

Making the Nintendo Switch a purely gaming-focused device clearly paid off, but if you were one of the seven owners of the Wii U, you might also remember the convenience of some entertainment apps like Netflix on the device. 

Now, in a world with many more streaming services and essential apps in our lives, the lack of Netflix or Disney+ on the Switch feels more like a glaring omission than ever. 

The Nintendo Switch has already proven itself as a device for gamers, so while Nintendo may have previously wanted to lose the family-orientated personality of the Wii U thanks to these lifestyle apps, they’re now an essential part of many people’s lives. 

Not to mention, as a handheld device, it would be fantastic to be able to download Netflix titles to watch later on and would cement the Nintendo Switch 2 as a portable powerhouse ready to meet your every need.

7. Themes and backgrounds

The Nintendo Switch’s paltry selection of themes (black or white) has been the source of many jokes over the years, but it does speak to Nintendo’s design philosophy with the Nintendo Switch, a device purely for gaming quickly. 

While there’s no confirmation, Nintendo’s commitment to a lean and clean Switch menu seems to be to keep down the demands of the internal processors, instead making sure any and all RAM is going towards the snappy OS. 

Anyone who has a 3DS may know how painfully slow it is to jump out of games or even navigate the menus, a problem only exacerbated when you load it up with fancy icons, backgrounds, and music. With this in mind, the Switch’s sleek aesthetic makes more sense. 

So, what better show of your new console’s processing power than to show off how it can run a menu and a different theme at the same time? In fact, the whole Switch OS could do with an overhaul, much like the changes from PS4 to PS5 that showcase a generational leap. 

We don’t need to get buried in fancy backgrounds or music, but it would be lovely to see a bit more set-dressing around the menu we’re sure to spend the best part of the next decade staring at while choosing which game to play.

6. Improved dock

A product shot shows a Nintendo Switch OLED model and a white dock

Back before the launch of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo consolidated two separate development houses – one focused on handheld and one focused on home console – into one giant happy family that just makes Nintendo games. 

Then, as the world soon saw, this distinction between handheld and home console games is no more, helping Nintendo to make even more games for a single device while giving consumers the option to play wherever they want. 

The success of the Switch shows this is the right move in the future, but that doesn’t mean we can’t ask for a little more from our humble Nintendo Switch dock, especially as it’ll be taking up space in our gaming cabinets or television stands for the foreseeable future. 

While there is very little chance of a handheld console running games in 4K, a new dock could actually harbor some processing power of its own, helping to give games a boost through technology like DLSS upscaling. 

We already know that Nintendo developed a custom chipset alongside NVidia for the Nintendo Switch, so it’s very likely they’ve done the same for its successor. So, hopefully, they’re also making use of the company’s proprietary upscaling technology as well. 

It would also be nice to get a couple more USB slots, perhaps the option to expand storage with an external hard drive, and perhaps even some customization features akin to the removable faceplates of the New Nintendo 3DS. Oh, and please make it smaller.

5. A pack-in game

One thing about the Switch that felt decidedly un-Nintendo was the lack of a game packed into the console. Anyone old enough to remember the launch of the Nintendo Wii may remember that Wii Sports is the game that sold millions of consoles, and smartly it was free with every Wii. 

While the Nintendo 3DS’s pack-in games didn’t have quite the same cultural impact, titles like Face Raiders and the console’s AR cards did a great job of showing off the 3DS’s capabilities, as well as giving fans something to do on launch day. 

In fact, there’s a strong argument that the Nintendo Switch should have had a pack-in game, as the launch title Snipper-Clips was an entertaining puzzle game that perfectly showcased the potential of the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers. 

While it’ll be some time before we find out what the ‘gimmick’ or main selling point of the Nintendo Switch 2 is, Nintendo is going to have to convince millions of happy Switch owners that their new console is worth spending hundreds of dollars on. 

So, launch the console with a mission statement, pack in a game that shows off the power and new features of the Nintendo Switch 2, and don’t charge consumers to experience this. PS5 did this recently with Astro’s Playroom, and it remains one of the best showcases for the PS5 controller ever made.

4. Better online functionality

So often, Nintendo does things in a peculiar or unexpected way, and this is usually what endears people to the company. However, one area where the company’s reluctance to follow modern trends may have hurt them is with online features. 

When compared to consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X, the Nintendo approach to online feels archaic. In fact, sometimes the company is even outflanked by its previous achievements. 

While some see the Wii U’s Miiverse as a failed experiment, in fact, the ability to interact with other players and share artwork or tips in games like Splatoon or the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD were some of the most memorable moments for those games. 

Meanwhile, Nintendo originally introduced voice chat to the Wii and Nintendo DS, only for them to omit it from most of their current games in the guise of safeguarding. 

Frankly, with Nintendo Switch titles like Fortnite easily capable of voice chat through headphones with microphones, Nintendo’s resistance to voice chat feels like stubbornness at this point. 

Kids will play online and chat either way, whether that’s through Discord and similar voice chatting apps or just by using different consoles. If you can’t beat ‘em, join them, so we sincerely hope Nintendo saves us the convoluted pain of the Nintendo Switch Online app and makes voice chat both simple and available in most of their online games.

3. Achievements (in a Nintendo way)

This may seem controversial to some, as many people think that Nintendo’s lack of an achievement system is a good thing, allowing players to simply explore games in their own time instead of jumping through hoops and completing mundane tasks just to see the little trophy icon pop up in the corner. 

If Nintendo ever does implement an achievement system, it will be in a very Nintendo way, and in fact, they already have. Several Nintendo games have their own achievement system baked into the software, and many of them reward players with things they can enjoy in those games. 

Folks who play mobile Nintendo games like Fire Emblem Heroes or Animal Crossing Pocket Camp will also know that these games work alongside Nintendo’s Platinum Points, allowing users to earn real physical rewards from the My Nintendo store. 

A carbon copy of the Playstation trophy system would be disappointing, but instead, it would be nice to see Nintendo expand the current integration between the Nintendo Switch Online app with missions and rewards that let players earn Platinum Points. 

Call them something cute like badges, let them transfer over to the physical My Nintendo rewards, and maybe even allow users to earn themes or badges as well as profile icons, much like the Badge Arcade on Nintendo 3DS. The building blocks are already there. We just need a little more cohesion, and an achievement system could add even more fun and value to the games we all know and love.

2. Overhauled Joy-Con

Speaking of Snipper-Clips, that adorable multiplayer puzzler may have been one of the very few times the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers felt either comfortable or essential. The Joy-Con are fiddly devices, hamstrung by the size needed to fit comfortably on a handheld system. 

It wouldn’t make sense for the Nintendo Switch 2 to become a lumbering log of a handheld console like the Lenovo Legion Go or the Asus Rog Ally, as these systems, while powerful, are far too heavy and cumbersome for younger gamers to enjoy. 

Much as many Nintendo fans may think otherwise, the company is focused on younger gamers first, and so it always should be. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t improve the Joy-Con and give everyone a better way to play some fresh new games at launch. 

Plenty of third-party controllers have improved on Nintendo’s design, with releases like the Hori Split Pad Compact or even the CRKD Nitro Deck offering some much-needed variety and comfort for handheld gaming sessions. 

Not to mention, Nintendo has had myriad issues with Joy-Con drift, as the fiddly controllers seemingly have the self-preservation instincts of a lemming, and the analog sticks have become a much-documented technical flaw that has even resulted in legal action against Nintendo. 

Whatever the Joy-Con or similar attachments for the Nintendo Switch 2 end up being, they need to include technology like hall-effects sticks and offer as much comfort as they do portability. Sure, the Joy-Cons help to keep the Switch portable, but what’s the point when players can’t play for long sessions without cramps thanks to their uncomfortable shape and size?

1. Backward compatibility

A Nintendo Switch is visible with Tears of the Kingdom on the screen

This could be a dealbreaker. Nintendo made the right decision distancing itself from the Wii U. Still, by every possible metric, the Nintendo Switch has been a resounding success, with 140m consoles out in the wild and an astonishing amount of software sold both physical and digital. 

So, if we have to buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Pro or some other iteration of existing games again, it would be a really sour start to a new generation. Similarly, the Nintendo Switch Online library has taken years to get to a point where it justifies its existence and price, so starting again would be a huge disappointment. 

Nintendo fans have been patiently waiting for new additions to the Nintendo Switch Online service for years, so a generational leap is a great time to add some heavy-hitters to the service. Let’s finally add Pokemon games, Mother 3, and maybe even GameCube titles. 

The best thing Nintendo could do is make sure that the jump from Nintendo Switch to Nintendo Switch 2 is as seamless as the move from DSi to Nintendo 3DS. People already have Nintendo Switch accounts, so let us bring over our digital purchases with ease (ideally, with a little more internal storage to play with). 

But the biggest challenge will be physical games. The DS managed this by making DS cartridges fit into a 3DS, but not the other way around. 3DS cartridges have a small protrusion that mean you couldn’t jam one into a regular DS if you tried. 

With (presumably) more powerful hardware to play with and the possibility of exciting enhancements for older games through technology like NVidia’s DLSS upscaling, if players can pop in their Breath of the Wild cartridge and enjoy an improved version of that masterpiece, it’ll help the Nintendo Switch 2 to convince millions of gamers to make the generational jump.

Nintendo fans will have plenty of time to ponder what could be next for the Nintendo Switch hardware, but alongside the obvious enhancements to processing power, we hope the Nintendo Switch 2 offers some much-needed refinements to show why we should give up our beloved Switch for whatever comes next.