Should you buy a Nintendo Switch now or later?
With the holidays around the corner, you might be tempted to pick up a new Nintendo Switch. After all, between the Link’s Awakening remake, Dragon Quest XI, and new Pokémon games, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of some sweet end-of-year discounts?
But wait! Could a more powerful Nintendo Switch be on the horizon? The Wall Street Journal originally revealed back in 2018 that a revision of the Switch hardware was in the works. Dubbed the “Switch Pro” by the internet, it is assumed this console will be a similar to the PS4 Pro or the Xbox One X. In other words, it’ll play the same games as the original Switch, but they’ll run smoother and look prettier. Nintendo has not confirmed that such a device is in development, but it seems likely that the Switch Pro will come eventually.
So is now a good time to get a Switch, or should you hold out for a better system around the corner? Let’s look at Nintendo’s history and see what course of action is best.
Nintendo loves rereleasing its handhelds.
Any collector of Nintendo consoles can tell you that being a completionist is sometimes exhausting. Look at how many times new 3DS consoles were released in just six years:
- Nintendo 3DS
- Nintendo 3DS XL
- Nintendo 2DS
- New Nintendo 3DS
- New Nintendo 3DS XL
- New Nintendo 2DS XL
That’s right, the 3DS was practically averaging a new console per year, and that’s not counting the myriad of cosmetic limited editions the system sported. Nintendo has loved its console rereleases since the original Gameboy, and we can count on the trend continuing with the Switch.
As it is, we saw the Switch Lite launch this year in time for the holidays. But slightly less advertised is the fact that new vanilla Nintendo Switch systems have received some upgrades compared to their original models, which notably improves the system’s battery life. We’re still early in the Switch’s life cycle, but it’s clear that Nintendo’s trend of console rereleases is going to continue with the Switch.
So should you buy or wait on a Nintendo Switch?
Given Nintendo’s track record, we can safely assume that a Switch Pro console would be coming near the end of 2020 at the earliest. There’s no way they’d release a new console without showing it off at E3 first, which is typically held around June. But even when that console arrives, there could be an even better version of the Switch planned for the following year.
This isn’t taking price into account either. The new system could launch for a much higher price point without a discount in sight for months, whereas older systems might be getting deeper discounts as they age. It’s not to say that a Switch Pro wouldn’t be worth the money, but it’s another factor to take into consideration.
So overall, if you want the “best” version of the Switch possible, you might be waiting until the console’s life cycle is nearly over. Most first party Nintendo games are already very well optimized for the current hardware, so if you’re dying to play Pokémon or The Legend of Zelda, there’s no pressing need for a hypothetical new system. On the other hand, if you specifically want to play super demanding games like Warframe, there’s merit in waiting if you have the patience.
Make the choice that best suits how badly you want to get a Switch, but definitely don’t hold off just because of the internet rumor mill. Besides, my uncle at Nintendo says the New Nintendo Switch Pro is going to come out in 2022 anyway, and since I’ve said this on the internet you can rest assured it’s 100% true.