For those looking forward to a big performance boost for their Nintendo Switch, you may be forced into waiting for the next big console release from Nintendo, whenever that may be. According to John Linneman of Digital Foundry, the Nintendo Switch Pro was in development at one point for the console maker but was canceled at some point along the way.
At the 52:45 mark in Digital Foundry’s end-of-the-year lookback Direct Weekly, Linneman said he had talked to Nintendo developers and found out that a mid-generation upgrade for the Nintendo Switch was axed in favor of focusing on developing their next-generation console. Whether that is some kind of Switch 2 or a diversion to a traditional stay-at-home console again is unknown at this point, but we would guess a portable hybrid successor would have to be in the cards for Nintendo to continue to bank off the success they have seen over the last six years.
Linneman also said that he believes Nintendo to be very conscious about its next step, given its spotty history with console releases. Since the year 2000, the GameCube severely undersold compared to the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox, even though there are many people who still love that console. They followed that up with the Wii, a bonafide success, only to turn around and lose all of that momentum with the Wii U. Linneman questions how Nintendo could possibly maintain their success while ensuring they have a console that is still exciting enough for consumers to purchase.
He also brings up a good point: whatever console comes next from Nintendo needs to be seen as more than just an upgrade to the Nintendo Switch. One of the biggest failures of the Wii U was that too many casual people thought it was just a tablet that improved their Wii, so they didn’t want to invest the money into what looked to be just a controller. Whatever route they choose with their next console, they will need to hit on pretty much every aspect of the console’s release, or they could set themselves back to the Wii U days.