Nintendo Switch 2 should be less powerful on purpose to succeed
A reader advises Nintendo to only make the Switch 2 a little more powerful than the current model, to avoid the problems of the PS5 and Xbox.
As someone that has never owned an Xbox console, I’ve not really known what to think of this week’s madness. Microsoft are a difficult company to like for me, with their lack of respect for other publishers and rich boy attitude to solving problems, but I certainly feel sympathy for all the thousands of people that have lost their jobs recently. Although in terms of rumours the one that caught my eye the most was the idea that there’d be a next gen Xbox out in 2026, which to me seems ludicrous.
Apart from the fact that getting a head start on PlayStation 6 reeks of desperation, nobody needs to be spending money on a new console so soon after the last ones and I can only imagine the improvement in graphics will be even more trivial than last time. The graphics arms race has never mattered at all in gaming – the most powerful console never wins – but now I’d say having more powerful graphics is even more of a negative.
We all know that games need more time and money than ever to make nowadays and every generation that problem gets worse, so why on earth would want to speed up the move to the next one? I’ve not seen any attempt by any company to address this issue, only make it worse, and I’m worried that Nintendo will fall into the same trap.
Nintendo is a lot better at keeping secrets than most other companies, so we known next to nothing about the Switch 2 at the moment, with estimates of its power ranging from below a PlayStation 4 to almost up to a PlayStation 5.
Most people hope it will be at the higher end of the scale, but I don’t. I hope that it will be no more powerful than the PlayStation 4 or Nintendo is just going to run into the same problems that Sony and Microsoft are right now.
For several generations now, Nintendo consoles have been underpowered and yet the Wii and Switch are two of the most successful consoles ever, both coming out top in their generations. State-of-the-art graphics weren’t needed to make any of Nintendo’s games great. And at the same time the lower tech graphics meant the games could be made relatively quickly (and, I assume, cheaply) and with virtually no bugs.
The Switch’s low power also means that Japanese developers, who are often working to much smaller budgets, are still able to make more experimental games for it, something that would be lost if everything needed a $200 million budget to make.
If it’s a choice between having ray-tracing in the next Zelda or it hogging all of Nintendo’s developers’ time for the next six years I know what I’d take. The games industry needs to learn some restraint, because things are already out of control and they’re only getting worse. Frankly, everyone needs to act more like Nintendo and show some restraint.
I also hope that Nintendo understands the situation and doesn’t get carried away given the success of the Switch and its Super Mario Bros. movie. They don’t have the greatest track record with follow-up consoles and the few things we have heard about the Switch 2 are things like hiring people for 4K graphics and increasing the price of games to $70/£70 – which implies a big jump in graphics.
Don’t get me wrong, I want good graphics as much as anyone but it’s clear they come at a great cost: literally in terms of the console but also the amount of time and money needed to make games, the fact that those games cannot afford to be as experimental, and that there just isn’t as many of them as previous generations.
The main reason anyone buys a Nintendo console is for Nintendo games so it’s going to be disastrous if suddenly they’re making half as many as usual. For me, the best news to hear about the Switch 2 is that it’s only a bit more powerful than the current model. I’m just not sure that’s going to be the case.
By reader Lemmy
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