It’s impossible to deny Nintendo’s success with the Switch. Coming out of the Wii U, the games industry giant needed hardware to bring fans back, and the Switch was just what it needed. Its extensive software library has helped define its lifecycle so far, being one of the most powerful Nintendo has had in years. Additionally, the Switch being a hybrid home and portable console, it is ideal for all lifestyles. However, there is one big feature missing that a future iteration is expected to include: 5G capabilities.
So far, the Switch has received two major iterations in the form of the Switch Lite and Switch OLED model. While the improvements to both are good quality-of-life revisions, some have been disappointed with their failure to make meaningful upgrades to the console’s raw power. This is an issue that is also becoming evident as time is running out, as newer games make more sacrifices to run on Switch, with longer load times slowing down the experience.
How 5G could improve the Switch
The idea of ââa cellular handheld is a little strange in 2021, but it shouldn’t be. Handheld consoles have used cellular data connections in the past, most notably with the 3G version of the PS Vita, although functionality has largely declined. This is probably due to the fact that the Nintendo 3DS has dominated the market for almost a decade now, until the Switch launched, not to mention the functionality. Either way, a cellular switch, especially with 5G capabilities, could solve a lot of console issues.
For the past few years, game developers have used cloud versions of popular triple-a games as a way to deliver new experiences on Switch without making a lot of sacrifices. Although there are now many examples, two of the most recent are guardians of the galaxy and Dying light, games that probably wouldn’t have made the jump to the new platform otherwise. However, the former is one of the surprise hits of 2021, while the latter is a beefy RPG with lots of DLC. That’s all to say that both games make worthy additions to the platform.
There is, however, a fatal flaw here. Playing cloud games not only requires internet access, but also a consistent and healthy connection. For a console that many gamers use on the go, it doesn’t make much sense to invest in cloud gaming. This might not be a problem when playing at home, but at this point it’s worth investing in games on different platforms, at least for those that have them available.
The introduction of a 5G model would, however, work around the problem. There is the obvious downside that 5G devices have to be activated on some sort of cellular plan, so those who choose to use it would end up with some sort of additional bill from month to month, but depending on the price, that would always be worth it. . This would in effect allow Switch owners to play games with the same quality as other platforms while traveling, which is the ideal use case for the Switch in the first place.
Sadly, Nintendo has refuted claims that a new Nintendo Switch model is on the way after the OLED release. Fans probably shouldn’t expect a 5G version of the Switch anytime soon, and even if there’s another iteration, such a connection could be missing. However, it could dramatically improve the current Switch offerings, and it’s ultimately as good for Nintendo as it is for fans. In addition, 5G devices are becoming more and more common, even for household appliances.
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