Next year, the Switch will be five years old – a fact which makes the continued demand for the console all the more remarkable. Despite being powered by technology that, even back in 2017, could hardly be described as cutting-edge, the hybrid system has shifted over 90 million units worldwide and shows no signs of slowing down as we move into 2022.
Even so, Nintendo is savvy enough to know that continual hardware refreshes are a good way of maintaining momentum, and it has already iterated on the base Switch model twice (three times if you count the version with improved battery life). This year's OLED model is perhaps the most significant enhancement, bringing with it a larger, super-bright display, improved audio and superior build quality. However, the one thing that many people were hoping for is absent: more power under the hood. In terms of processing prowess, it's essentially the same deal as the 2017 original.
Depending on who you believe, we may well still see a 'Switch Pro' next year, but for the time being, the OLED Model is the best we're going to get. However, there are other portable gaming systems on the market that boast more impressive specs than the Switch, one of which is the Aya Neo.
Originally crowdfunded in 2020, the Aya Neo is a Windows-based handheld PC that runs on AMD's extremely well-reviewed Ryzen 4000 system-on-chip. This year, the system was rebooted in the form of the Aya Neo 2021 Pro, which replaces the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U chipset with the more powerful 4800U variant. The AMD Radeon GPU also gets a spec bump, packing 8 cores and a clock speed of up to 1.7GHz (compared to 6 cores in the original model and a clock speed of 1.5GHz). Now, PC hardware isn't strictly our area of expertise, so we called upon Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter to get the lowdown on this device. "It's basically an established laptop processor with AMD Vega integrated graphics, running at a very low power threshold to give reasonable battery life," he explains.
Aya Neo 2021 Pro: The Design
The Aya Neo 2021 Pro sports a very Switch-like design, with the various buttons and sticks being in familiar places, and is a close match to Nintendo's console in terms of its overall dimensions. However, its controllers do not detach from the main unit – a key selling point for Switch – but you can play it on a TV or monitor using a dock which is sold separately. Wired connectivity and Bluetooth support allows for a wide array of optional accessories, such as controllers, mice and keyboards.
While the Aya Neo 2021 Pro shares a great many similarities with Switch from a design perspective, it's not a complete match. The controls certainly feel familiar, with all of the usual commands in the same places you'd find them on Nintendo's console – but there are a few exceptions. The four-button cluster on the left-hand side is a solid D-pad here, and it's a good one, too, even if it does feel somewhat spongy at times. Below that are four additional buttons, the function of which varies depending on what game you're playing or where you happen to be in the system's UI – these are mirrored by another four buttons on the right-hand side of the system. In this cluster, one button is 'Escape' and is handy for getting out of certain applications, while another brings up the near-essential on-screen keyboard.
On the bottom edge of the Aya Neo 2021 Pro you'll find the stereo speakers and a USB-C port, while on the top there's a massive vent for the fan – as well as two more USB-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone socket, the volume controls and the power button. There are four shoulder triggers here, too, with LT and RT being analogue in nature, while LB and RB are smaller, digital buttons. On the back, there's another massive vent for the beefy internal fan, which does a decent job of keeping things cool – however, it doesn't totally negate heat build-up, and during some games, you'll feel the rear of the Aya Neo 2021 Pro getting quite warm.
The console's 7-inch, 1280x800-pixel H-IPS screen is decent enough when compared to the LCD panel on the original Switch – however, when set alongside the OLED screen on the newer iteration, it comes off looking second-best. While the overall design of the Aya Neo 2021 Pro calls to mind the Switch, it's actually much thicker and heavier – an understandable consequence of having to cram all that cutting-edge technology into a portable frame. On the plus side, the 'Retro Power' design we're reviewing here – which is based on the original 1989 Game Boy – looks lovely.
Aya Neo 2021 Pro: The Games
While it would be foolish to suggest that the Aya Neo 2021 Pro and Switch are in direct competition with one another, they're arguably sharing the same space when it comes to many of the games they run. Valve's popular digital storefront Steam is packed with AAA content and indie titles, and this can be used to populate the Aya Neo 2021 Pro's 1TB of internal storage (other digital stores are supported, too).
A cursory glance shows there's a lot of crossover with the Switch eShop; DOOM Eternal, Witcher 3, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Firewatch, Ace Attorney Trilogy, Hades, Stardew Valley, Subnautica, Hollow Knight, FIFA 22, Apex Legends… the list is almost endless, and we've not touched upon the many titles which aren't on Switch, such as Forza Horizon 5, Cyberpunk 2077, Resident Evil Village, Devil May Cry V, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Halo Infinite and countless others.
Steam is one of the most popular digital storefronts in the world, and a massive boon with a device like the Aya Neo 2021 Pro – it's also worth mentioning that Game Pass members can download many of the same titles available on Steam as part of their subscription, and Xbox Cloud Gaming is also supported – but the big catch is that you obviously don't get the games that most people buy a Switch for: those made by Nintendo itself. That means no Zelda: Breath of the Wild, no Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, no Metroid Dread and no Animal Crossing: New Horizons (unless, of course, you feel like being very naughty indeed, which we wouldn't condone for a second).
Speaking of naughtiness, it goes without saying that the Aya Neo 2021 Pro is an emulation powerhouse. It's powerful enough to emulate consoles up to and including the PlayStation 2, and, via the versatile RetroArch application, offers a vibrant and deeply customisable platform for experiencing old games.
What's The Aya Neo Like To Actually Use?
While there's a degree of crossover when comparing the Aya Neo 2021 Pro and the Switch, things are very, very different when it comes to the user experience and interface. Switch has a streamlined and easy-to-parse UI which makes everything smooth and hassle-free (even if it lacks folders at the time of writing), but the Aya Neo 2021 Pro is a more unwieldy, complex beast; Windows 10 (which the unit ships with) is tricky to interact with and navigate using just the touch screen, and while there's a 'tablet' mode baked into the OS, it's still more complicated and fiddly than the Switch's UI. The company behind the system has at least attempted to make it more friendly by including the 'Aya Space' application, which presents a gaming-focused UI that pulls together all of your installed games and allows you to easily tinker with settings such as throttling (or unleashing) the full power of the Ryzen hardware, or altering the speed of the internal fan.
Link the Aya Neo 2021 Pro to an external monitor via USB-C and you have a reasonably powerful desktop computer
Of course, with the increased complexity that a Windows-based handheld offers comes massively expanded opportunity for customisation, and because it's a PC, you can connect a mouse and keyboard and use it like one. That makes the Aya Neo 2021 Pro an incredibly enticing prospect to people who want a device that covers gaming, media and PC-related functions. Link the Aya Neo 2021 Pro to an external monitor via USB-C and you have a reasonably powerful desktop computer, which means you can use it for all kinds of things – word processing, photo editing, media consumption and (as we've already mentioned) emulation.
The Aya Neo 2021 Pro is surprisingly quick to boot, with only a few seconds separating you from a complete switch-off system to the full desktop. The internal fan isn't as loud as you might expect, although the default 'wild' setting is incredibly annoying, as it makes the fan fluctuate to the point where we were genuinely concerned that there might be a fault with it. Toggled to the 'Saving' mode in the Aya Space application, it's less erratic and only really gets noisy when the system is doing some real heavy-lifting in terms of processing.
So, what's it like to play on a handheld that's capable of running the critically-maligned Cyberpunk 2077? Performance is actually surprisingly good, although it's worth noting that when running in-game benchmark tests, many titles suggest the 'medium' or 'low' graphical settings to keep things ticking along smoothly. This isn't much of an issue when you're playing on a 1280x800 pixel screen, but you do miss out on some of the more eye-catching effects, such as shadows, advanced light and (of course) ray-tracing. Even so, we were impressed with how well a title with a reputation like Cyberpunk 2077's runs on a device the size of a Switch, and even Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite were smooth and playable (again, largely due to the visuals being toned down). None of these titles hit a smooth 60fps, though – 30fps is the best you can reasonably hope for.
While the Switch itself can hardly boast the most impressive staying power, it effortlessly outperforms the Aya Neo 2021 Pro in terms of stamina
The massive catch here is that despite packing three 4100mAh batteries, the Aya Neo 2021 Pro's stamina is disappointing. While the manufacturer advertises between 5 and 6 hours of play under certain settings, we found that a wildly optimistic figure, especially when playing anything even remotely demanding. The more realistic estimate, also given by the manufacturer, is "up to 140 minutes for demanding AAA gaming", which matches up with our own real-world experience of using the system; two hours is about the best you can hope for when playing relatively recent games. Granted, you can tone down the power when playing less-demanding games, but it's clear that while the Switch itself can hardly boast the most impressive staying power, it effortlessly outperforms the Aya Neo 2021 Pro in terms of stamina.
"It's not really surprising that battery life is poor," Leadbetter says when presented with this data, but adds that any machine promising this kind of power is going to be hamstrung when it comes to battery life. "I'm not expecting that much more from Valve's upcoming Steam Deck. It has a 40Whr battery and the main chip gobbles up to 15Whr so once screen and storage are added to that, that'll be around 20Whr from a 40Whr battery – which equals two hours. That's why they're talking about 30fps caps and what-not in the marketing materials to lower power consumption and extend battery life."
What Can The Aya Neo Tell Us About A 'Switch Pro'?
As we've already discussed, the Aya Neo isn't likely to challenge the Switch in terms of pure sales figures, and is clearly aimed at a much more niche sector of the market – but that doesn't mean it can't tell us some important things about what a future Switch revision could entail.
For example, it's clear that, despite being a bit long in the tooth now, the Nvidia Tegra X1 chipset that powers the Switch was the right tech for the job back in 2017. Its mobile-focused nature has enabled Nintendo to create a platform that is lightweight, not too power-hungry and – when treated correctly – can deliver impressive visual results. In fact, one of the things that struck us most of all during our time with the Aya Neo 2021 Pro is that, for the most part, many of the games are visually comparable to their Switch counterparts. Sure, titles like Witcher 3 and DOOM Eternal look better, but there's perhaps not the gulf one would expect when you consider the relative power of the silicon inside each system – especially when the Aya Neo 2021 Pro costs around $1200 compared to the Switch's more modest $300 price tag ($200 for the Switch Lite). That fact alone will put it way out of reach for most casual players, let alone hardcore console gamers.
The balancing act struck by Nintendo is all about fine-tuning that ratio between power and stamina – something the creators of the Aya Neo 2021 Pro have arguably ignored in order to provide as much processing grunt as possible. While it offers incredible power on tap and effectively delivers a PC-style experience in the palm of your hand, that comes at a massive cost in terms of battery life; two hours simply isn't going to be enough for a lot of players.
The biggest draw of a system like the Aya Neo 2021 Pro isn't necessarily the raw power it provides, but the fact that it offers portable access to Steam, which is packed to bursting point with games. This does, of course, place the system in direct competition with the upcoming Steam Deck, which is also powered by AMD silicon and has the same resolution display. The catch? It's around half the price of the Aya Neo 2021 Pro, which will most likely mean that it will cannibalise sales when it eventually arrives in early 2022 – and that's before we even take into account the fact that the portable gaming PC landscape is already quite crowded, what with the GPD Win 3, Win MAX 2021 and ONEXPLAYER all available. "I would expect Steam Deck to be a fair bit better, as it is using a more modern AMD CPU core (albeit with four cores), more efficient RDNA 2 architecture and a remarkably wide memory interface – key to getting the most out of integrated graphics," says Leadbetter.
Nintendo is very much focused on offering a mass-market product that appeals to the widest possible audience at the most agreeable price
Of course, it's unlikely that the company behind the Aya Neo 2021 Pro expects its machine to have anything more than a niche following, and a successful crowdfunding campaign shows there's an audience for this kind of device – even when alternatives like the Switch and Steam Deck exist. Nintendo – despite offering a machine that covers much of the same ground in terms of software – is almost certain to chart its own course with the Switch Pro, or Switch 2 – whichever comes first.
Its relationship with Nvidia has been incredibly profitable for both parties, and it's unlikely that Nintendo would consider switching allegiances to another chipmaker unless the benefits were overwhelmingly obvious (Qualcomm may well try its hardest to tempt Nintendo and others with its recently-announced Snapdragon G3x developer kit, however). It's also worth noting that Nintendo is very much focused on offering a mass-market product that appeals to the widest possible audience at the most agreeable price, which rules out any bold move into a technological arms race; the Kyoto firm hasn't played that particular game since it opted to base the Wii on previous-gen technology.
While it's tempting to hold up the Aya Neo 2021 Pro – and, indeed, the Steam Deck – as possible blueprints for a future Switch hardware refresh, Nintendo has always done things its own way. "Comparisons to the new Switch are going to be tricky," says Leadbetter. "They're very different. I think – as always – people hoping for a cutting-edge, super high-end Nintendo handheld will be disappointed, but if we are getting a generational leap in performance and some form of DLSS AI upscaling as rumours suggest, it should still be very impressive."
The Aya Neo 2021 Pro unit used in this feature was supplied by the manufacturer.
What can it tell us about a Switch Pro?
1. The Switch Pro doesn't exist. Nor will it ever.
2. This device is not meant to compete with the Switch.
In any way.
3. It's a PC.
4. It's not a console.
5. It doesn't "switch".
6. It's about 4x the price of a Switch.
7. It's about 6x the price of a Switch Lite.
8. Even then a decent highend gaming PC will still destroy it.
9. Even the Steam Deck will destroy this in sales alone.
10. Oh, and I forgot to mention that a PC is not a console.
Stuff like this is generic. Souless. Maybe even cynical. I mean, if a company's head hasn't been turned by the Switch's success, they are tone deaf. Nintendo don't make PCs. They have a philosophy for their hardware. I'm sure their next console will have more specs but I'm also sure they will expand on the philosophy of the Switch also. And the philosophy will dictate their games, not the specs. Contrary to what SONY and Micosoft developers tell you, it's not specs that limit games, it's imagination and creativity.
Like, the N64 didn't have many 2D games. But it was designed for 3D worlds. The pad was designed around that. Nintendo and Rare's games reflected that philosophy. They try to be creative, instead of others trying their damndest to formularise and milk.
So what does this tell us? Nothing. Sorry spec heads.
4K Switch not happening any time soon cuz GameFreak is still learning how HD works.
@ReWane I laughed way too hard at this comment.
That it needs a d-pad for starters.
They can imitate the Switch but don't have the library to backup and that can be a issue when your trying to sell more games. And it's not just for male but younger generations and older adults and some for disable people. It's not just about making console it's but the games that support it.
@ReWane 4K Switch not happening any time soon cuz GameFreak is still learning how HD works.
What does that have to do with Nintendo making a 4K Switch to begin with anyway-nothing.
That the Switch should've had its right stick closer to the screen so it doesn't get in the way of your thumb trying to reach B! (even more to the left than this other console)
And d-pad, of course.
The "$1200" part tells us everything there is to know about Switch Pro. In case various GPD Wins (and even Switch OLED whose relatively inconsequential upgrades already put a $50 on top of the original price) fell on deaf ears, that is. SteamDeck seems like the exception proving the rule in this regard - and Valve's comments all but admit that even a rich company like them priced the base model with their teeth and fists clenched. How many people seriously picture Nintendo going through the same pains even for a new gen console, let alone a hypothetical FOURTH iteration of the current one?
But no, Switch Pro is just delayed till 2022 where it will cost the same $400 as OLED (with OLED halving its price in shame while Mariko is slashed to $100 and Lites get bundled with Happy Meals), run RDR2 in 60 fps and make you cocktails.
The switch is a powerful portable console that convert in a underpowered home console , and with the release of the switch oled and switch lite you can see that nintendo is focusing more on the portable nature of the thing than the home console part , so I've lost faith that we will ever see a 4k model.
@Meteoroid Nintendo is basically still a toy company. Sure they make video games and consoles, but they see them as digital toys.
And that what the Switch is. It's just powerful enough to run the newest Nintendo games and (with some effort) third party titles. It's a device that is meant to be enjoyed and accessible.
Nintendo will never make a console that is $1000+, and no not even Sony or Microsoft will go there. Where, if you are buying a PC - which is not a toy in any way - you really quickly arrive at $1000, even without inflated GPU prices.
Comparing a PC to a console, in any way, is just pointless. They are two completely different eco systems with pros and cons.
In 3-4 years maybe its possible to shrink something as strong as Xbox Series S to a handheld device. This way Switch 2 will be compatible or powerful enought to play all next gen titles. But i seriously doubt it
This device is interesting, but what the Switch and the Aya are both teaching me is that these are not long-term systems. I owned an SNES, an NES, a Gameboy, and an N64 for decades. Meanwhile, I haven’t touched my Switch because it feels fragile. I also learned that in a few years, replacing the battery for it will be (for me) a difficult process.
So it’s teaching me that devices like this, while cute and have novelty, are not for a person like me who desires a low-maintenance and long lasting device.
To draw another parallel, in 10-15 years when I need to switch out a PC component, that process will be simple and painless because I won’t have to worry about an insanely small form factor relying on proprietary parts.
Just my two cents. I learned the hard way, with the Switch, sadly.
@BloodNinja PC is always the best option. I honestly dont play on consoles often.
I like seeing competition in the portable gaming market besides just mobile. These competitors may fail, sure, but competition is what makes companies great.
If one company had a monopoly on portable gaming, they don't have as much need to make their consumers happy because they're the most affordable or most popular option. Competition lights a fire under the butts of companies who have been comfortable for too long. I think this is great.
@illmatic20xx Indeed. There's literally no compromise.
> I'm of the opinion that Switch Pro doesn't exist and that we will get a full-on next-gen Switch 2 in 2023 when/if the chip shortage subsides.
> The Switch 2 won't be priced at $1000+. In fact, its max price will likely be $400.
> The Switch 2 won't be anywhere near as large or bulky as the Aya Neo or SteamDeck. It will likely be around the same size as the current Switch hybrid - maybe a little bit thicker for better heating.
> Because of the size and price constraints, the Switch 2 is also unlikely to be as powerful as the Aya Neo, though DLSS should help greatly.
> The Switch 2 will come with a dock and detachable controllers, none of which are included with the Aya Neo or SteamDeck.
> Most importantly, the Aya Neo is a PC - the Switch 2 will not be.
It pretty much tells me that Im sticking to the 299USD Switch. It gives me all the games I need and good enough graphics and performance. I see no reason what so ever to pay 1299 for any console in the world...
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Now that tablets and mobiles are able to emulate up to psone and Dreamcast easily, some even managing Wii, 3ds and PS2 titles, I think it but a matter of time until switch, PS3 and 4 are emulatable on a mobile device, leaving the point and usability of devices such as those presented here highly in doubt to ever spread beyond a well off niche, able and willing to pay the prices asked...
@sanderev NintendoLife has gotten pretty weird (to put it nicely) with their coverage of these non-Nintendo systems.
Switch Pro does NOT exist!
Switch Pro will NEVER exist!
Stop forcing this crap!
Digital Foundry did a vid a while back about what it would take to try and cram the equivalent of a PS4 into something like a Switch. It's just not practical unless you want to carry around a paving slab that could heat a room up for 45 mins before the battery dies. It won't stop people being disappointed with what the Switch can do in here though.
If I had a portable device which cost $1200 I'd be afraid to actually use it the way I use Switch where it could get damaged or stolen.
I will never buy this. Never. Even if it's a buck. This will never be in my hands. The controllers hurt my hands if i just look at them. It's like the 3DS XL all over again
Alternate but equally significant titles for this article:
What Can This $1200 Portable PC Tell Us About 'Sasquatch'?
What Can This $1200 Portable PC Tell Us About the 'Lochness Monster'?
What Can This $1200 Portable PC Tell Us About 'Chupacabras'?
What Can This $1200 Portable PC Tell Us About 'Deep Down'?
What Can This $1200 Portable PC Tell Us About the Mother 3 English localization'?
a new nintendo console will happen, just not in near future may not even be a 'switch' as new ideas come out, nintendo is known to, ignoring the wii U, make very different consoles every generation, and even then the wii U sharing the same name, still having major differences.
so what makes this, a non nintendo, non console PC make it so the 'switch pro' will exist. At all.
Not that this makes it so a switch pro will never exist tho just means that there is a lower possibility of a true pro model than people are saying
Hopefully Nintendo have learned not to make hardware that looks as ugly as sin, and the biggest lesson not to listen to core obsessives on how to market the Switch going forward, as they rarely have a clue as to what motivates the wider buying public.
What is even more ironic is the article pretty much answers it's own questions, as the Switch is a very popular console that is still in big demand, despite not being one of these powerful portable P.C's, which in a way winds up the core obsessives no end, as how dare a low powered hybrid console be a successful as it has and continues to be,
It's continued click bate in the guise of rumor and speculation articles, but you can't blame them with some of the people on here.
Without detachable (and more importantly, replaceable) controllers, this will never have the functionality, versatility and consumer friendliness of the Switch.
The switch is great as it is for the indies, 2d games and exclusive games. The problem is almost all AAA ports have significant decrease in performance, especially in handheld. If they still want to have those games in catalogue they really need to come with a good hardware.
Which console is long term?, whatever that means in the first place, I always thought a good five to six years from a device was more than enough, just my opinion though, as these devices are hardly poor value for money.
You guys just can’t let this “Switch Pro” nonsense be, can you?
Repeat after me - It. Is. Never. Going. To. Happen.
I found this really interesting - bravo NintendoLife, more of this please. I'm not going to run out and get one but its tempting to buy a portable that can run xbox games; I'm still undecided about buying an xbox even though I have a switch and a PS5.. something about Forza and gamepass. Lots of negative comments on here which I disagree with.
@sanderev Nintendo is definitely gonna stick with the switch model. Maybe it will be a Switch2 instead of Pro, but it’s definitely going to happen.
how long you gonna insist with this Switch Pro, this is getting ridiculous and anoying, Switch Pro is not real, next gen Switch is his sucessor coming in 2023.
@SwitchForce "They can imitate the Switch but don't have the library to backup and that can be a issue when your trying to sell more games."
So, the entire pc library and emulation of old games, including Nintendo's, is not enough for ya? 😂
Year after year, the Internet believes it can make a better console than Nintendo. A drone of a narrative about processing power. But just a lot of sqwaking that if actually implemented, would render an unbalanced experience and ruin the design of usability.
Yeesh, I'm glad a nintendo fanatic. Defending a billion dollar corporation so vigorously would be depressing.
Anyways interesting article! Good read!
Nintendo sells on brand power, not computing power. This has never been more true than with the Switch. Unless someone just sidles up with a brand on par with Mario or Pokemon, they aren't a Switch killer. Seems likely a bunch of imitators who think power is everything are going to compete with themselves and lose ultimately to the Steam deck while Nintendo continues on their merry way.
So the Switch Pro is going to cost over $1000. Got it.
you could yuzu those games, but that would be within a legal grey area and beside the point you re making
@SwissCheese Ah yes! The endless beauty of PC!
grab your portable on the go and then... run windows updates on the whole train ride..
@johnvboy I named consoles that I thought are long-term in my OP...
What has it taught me? The analog sticks look identical. In fact, the form-factor is identical too... They also tried to copy the Gameboy color scheme. These guys are closet Nintendo fans. I'd be flattered if I were them.
Anyway, I'll take my Switch, thank you. Call me a fan-boy but watching Nintendo take all pieces of yesteryear and make one single piece of hardware that does it all is just awesome. All we needed perhaps are those analog shoulder buttons back.
Have fun with your Specs, folks.
By the way, who thinks Omicron would make a great name for a video game console?
No defense needed, the Switch has delivered exactly what it promised from day one, it's only the core minorities that refused to believe it's power when initially leaked/revealed, then have deluded themselves ever since.
Not sure what Nintendo being a billion dollar company has to do with anything, as they have always wanted to create a console with the widest possible appeal.
> Despite being powered by technology that, even back in 2017, could hardly be described as cutting-edge
The Tegra X1 was only two years old when the Switch dropped. It wasn’t really new tech but it wasn’t old either as this statement implies.
Lol what i hate about these handhelds is the controls i played one at my brothers house, the DPad scks and the thumstick felt like a cheap controller from AliExpress (Alibaba)
Thats why only the steam deck is on my pre order list for a hybrid pc/handheld.
Next to my OG switch.
@johnvboy Cool, but every time an article comes up talking about these portable handhelds you got people rushing to defend "well it can't compete with the switch" "nintnedo has first exclusives". So yeah cool but the thing is no one is after Nintendo or out to outdo the switch. People are being negative for the silliest of reasons.
@OldPierre77 It's pretty easy to set up. Took me under three minutes. You literally install yuzu and then drag and drop a game onto it. The only setup required is a controller and MAYBE graphics settings, if you need to lower things to adjust for performance. Couldn't be easier.
I feel you on that, though! Been working 50-60 hours/week for a while! Can't complain though, I love my job
Totally know what you mean. Lemuroid is as far as I could ever manage, not even thinking about finikin with retroarch, dolphin, citra and the like. Would like to, but hardly have the time...
@Vexx234 this happens because even to this day there is a loud vocal community of gamers outside of the Nintendo fanbase that has continously shat on Nintendo and anything they ever do, with a large majority of them (albeit a small community to begin with) actively demanding that Nintendo goes 3rd party everytime Nintendo get a good game that won't be on other platforms.
Examples of instances such as this have happened even as recently as March this year when Nintendo got MH Rise and a vocal minority of PS users were all up in arms over it being exclusive on the Switch.
This all has the side effect of making a small minority of Nintendo fans very insecure about anything that might threaten their precious company that probably has no idea of their existence.
It's all a bit silly really but unfortunately Nintendo have kind of created that situation themselves by being so hit and miss with their hardware.
Feel you and your long working hours...
Nowadays I spend more time on reading about gaming in between meetings, than I would possibly have to actually play, with two kids and all...
Already threw down for a steamdeck. Switch is nice and I don't care if Nintendo updates it so long as I can get their latest games when I want them. That being said they don't make their money that way and if my actions are any indication others could be taking the same route for better versions of their favorite games on the go on Steamdeck instead. Which means money going to valve and not nintendo through licensing.
I'm sure Nintendo can survive on that model, but even their titles fatigue after awhile and their relevance will be reduced if I spend more time toting a steamdeck around with me to play Halo, Overwatch, CP2077, RE8, Horizon, and a variety of other games instead of buying them on their system because they aren't there and can't be or just simply have inferior versions (Witcher, Overwatch, etc).
They are just stating the obvious as these devices will always be niche, as they appeal to a more core crowd, and the way the article are always worded always seems to downplay the Switch in some way or other, so it works both ways.
@Jonnyl You're very welcome. It was a fun piece to write, because systems like this offer a potential view on where Nintendo could go with its next console - but they also show exactly what Nintendo got right with the current Switch. The balance between power and stamina, for me, is what makes the Switch so appealing.
@SwissCheese Wow, I can only imagine. Raising kids is very time and energy extensive. Keep raising them well, make sure they understand the classics...Mario, Zelda, Metroid! LOL
@johnvboy Stating the obvious doesn't change the fact it's petty and ridiculous. Again there is no point in stating it because none of these devices are trying to compete. People who bringing that up are just being petty.
Also, if you get the idea these articles which are just taking an interest in a device outside of the switch as some sort dig then that's a personal problem. Why would a website dedicated to everything nintendo related spend it's time throwing shade? Again, if that's what people getting out these articles (half of which probably didn't read anything past the headline) then that's a personal issue.
The only lesson from the Neo is that the Switch got everything right. The Neo is like anything from the PC world: over priced and over complicated and over indulgent. Fine if you get the commensurate enjoyment and value from it. Most people won't. For this price, you're better off with an actual PC and get a Switch as your portable system.
PS: There won't be a Switch Pro. 😛
The price, battery life and even aesthetics aren't that bad. It's the thought of dealing with Windows 10 on a mobile device - not to mention the cheap and soon-to-be-unsupported launcher and config app - that make me cringe.
The sooner you people realize what it takes to power a "powerful console" the faster you'll realize that it's simply not feasible to have 8 hours of battery life and the graphics of a ps5 in your pocket...
but alas keep going with dumb pipe dreams of a Switch Pro...
This article does not give the switch’s game library enough credit
Nintendo isn't likely to release a console at this price point, so no potential Switch Pro could compete with this level of power.
Much in the same way that some folks own a Nintendo system in conjunction with a Sony of Microsoft one to play the more taxing titles, a possible portable future would likely include a powerful unit like the one presented in this article and whatever fun but woefully underpowered offering Nintendo has unleashed
Currently they are more interested in Minecraft though...
For Metroid they are still too small
@SwissCheese Minecraft is excellent for developing minds, honestly. It’s a pretty genius concept! Good on you
The way the articles tend to be worded does not help matters, as they usually suggest while the Switch has been a success, it's somehow a mystery as the console has been underpowered from the start, guess I am just far more cynical about these articles than yourself.
@GrailUK yes because 1-2 switch, Pokémon let’s go, and labo have been the best games on the switch. For the Wii u it’s best game must have been star fox zero. And the Wii. Skyward sword.
Perhaps Nintendo should just make traditional button controlled games like botw, splatoon and odyssey for a change.
@Rika_Yoshitake I think many people who dream of a switch pro dream of 1080p 60fps perhaps with DLSS upscaling.
Others are making it sound like those who want better hardware are unrealistically asking for the moon.
@sixrings A bit petulent there, mate? Whether or not I like something, I still love how creative they are. Mario Home Circuit is wonderful.
But the thing is, the Switch's philosophy is to be able to play away from a TV. Now the console itself caught the public's imagination with being able to play traditional games with this freedom, but to suggest Nintendo should stop developing ideas around this is quite frankly depressing. Sure it's not main stream, maybe a bit niche but it's inspiring (and maybe that's Nintendo's main strength.)
@sixrings There's ways of asking for these things without coming across as an obnoxious teenager. Try talking to Nintendo directly instead of sniping at a bunch of commenters on a games site who can't change a single thing they do. Unfortunately you have never grasped this concept even though you're a grown man in his 40s. The Switch has been out since 2017. It's not going to change any time now because you want it to. You need to learn to live with what it is or walk away, or you can wait and see what they deliver next, which they won't tell anyone about until they're ready. Who knows, they might even deliver those precious precious pixels and frames to you on a silver platter.
@GrailUK well since rob the robot, the power glove and the power pad I think there’s significantly more misses then hits when they go out of the traditional control scheme. And what exactly is wrong with the traditional control scheme. Even when people complain about Xbox and PlayStation here it isn’t exactly like they are saying things like I miss waggling my hand. Mario party is better going back to its traditional controls. And as much as I think Mario kart Circuit is neat, at the same time I think was the time wasted on this instead of Mario kart 9. Finally that wii u convoluted control scheme which Nintendo wanted you to think was creative and innovative ruined a perfectly good franchise.
I have two nieces. One nephew. And my own son. No one asked for labo. But it sure looks the joy cons we’re made for these types of things.
When was the last time a game really used HD rumble?
Besides ring fit when we’re they last successful doing something wacky? Wii fit? If it take a decade between hits then perhaps they should just stick to making really good Nintendo games with traditional controls.
“ Sure it's not main stream, maybe a bit niche but it's inspiring (and maybe that's Nintendo's main strength.)”
Nintendos main strength is Mario, Metroid, zelda, star fox and animal crossing.
Animal crossing amiibo festival was terrible. Star fox zero was largely given up on because its controls. Metroid other M also had wacky controls which lead to people not liking it. Skyward sword remake and galaxy decided to include traditional buttons.
@sixrings Don't worry, I get what you are saying
There is nothing wrong with a traditional control scheme at all, heck, even the Switch uses one. But from my perspective who adores games (of all types) it would be boring if everyone just nestled into creating the same stuff. Games will be sold on celeb power, atmosphere, narrative etc etc. Creativity gets hamstrung by being constrained by convention. Sure, I get Nintendo have some misses. But just as you learn from mistakes, the Switch came off the back of the Wii U. That's just part of the creative process. And I applaud Nintendo for taking risks on peoples fun. The big global companies release the same tired stuff year on year. As for HD rumble, Sony were quick to cash in on a similar feature for their console. Again, Nintendo inspiring others.
My eye gets drawn to attack patterns, fluid jumps, and intuitive gameplay that lets you 'get in the zone.' I hear modern gamers talking about games and it sounds like they are talking about soap operas.
So, I'm happy with the misses. 1-2 Switch makes me smile it exists. Commercially panned...but I don't take commercial success as the overriding metric for judging if I like something or not
(Hey, no hate here btw, Mr Rings. I enjoy having these discussions!)
And I would be ok with all the misses if franchises such as pilot wings, star fox,fzero, 1080, wave race, punch out, got updates once a generation.
I’ll trade 1-2 switch, labo, Mario kart circuit for a few classic game franchises.
@sixrings If only it worked like that haha I miss Pilotwings. But I'm sure it will turn up eventually if they get some inspiration for what to do with it I mean, so many would make it for the sake of making it (because ker-ching, if they don't know fans want it.) But come on...like it would have any spark of originality to it. So careful what you ask for, and appreciate what Nintendo create. I find on a hollistic level is glorious.
Given Moore’s Law and component prices, how long will it take for something like this to get down to $350? Three years? Granted, knowing Nintendo, they will wait three years and only give a marginal boost in power.
@rockodoodle Yep, that's another reason why I thought it was worth covering this. Look at the amazing leap between the 3DS and Switch. Eventually mobile chips will be able to produce these kind of visuals at a fraction of the cost and without the power overhead.
@johnvboy Did you actually read the article? I make it very clear that despite the underpowered nature of the Switch chipset (when compared to other tech on the market) it is capable of producing amazing results - and that Nintendo has struck the perfect balance between power and stamina by picking the X1. I'm not sure where you're picking up the negativity from?
Yes I did read the article, and my comment was not aimed at this particular piece, I was responding to another person on here who was suggesting people defending the Switch were wrong to so so.
Sorry if you feel I was being negative in anyway about the advantages of powerful handheld P.C type devices, and their potential impact on any future version of the Switch Nintendo may have planned, this was not my intention.
@johnvboy That's fine - apologies for jumping to that conclusion.
nintendo themselves can often feel like they are limited by conventions with certain franchises, compare something like mario odyssey to the new super mario bros franchise, the former got pretty experimental with its setting while the latter had the same 8 world themes across 4 games. with zelda i feel like some of my favorite games are when they break away from the usual hyrule setting such as Links awakening or my personal favourite 3d zelda, Majoras mask, one of the reasons why i enjoyed thousand year door so much was how it both expanded on already well trod ideas when it came to the gameplay but wasn't afraid to get weird with it when it came to the settings and characters.
i feel like controller wise the best controller is letting the player have choice which is why the switch is my favorite concept for a nintendo system in a long while, it even supports an adaptive controller so more people get to play.
in terms of specs i feel like its less about specs and creativity and more down to third party releases, since they have to target multiple systems and can be harder to get working than something designed specifically for the switch specs.
No issues at all, the article is very interesting and there are already a few portable P.C devices on the market for around $1000 or so, not sure where Nintendo will go with their next system, although the Switch branding is pretty strong, one things for certain is mobile tech is getting better and more efficient all the time, so who knows.
Their partnership with Nvidia was a great move in my opinion, and this may bear fruit from a power standpoint going forward.
@Damo Nintendo will want to ride this cash cow as long as they can. They have said as much by saying the Switch will redefine what a system lifecycle is. So my guess is that they will stick with this system for at least two more years, but probably three.
So should Nintendo want to stick with their current formula, I think this might be a decent indication of what we might expect. But who knows, they might have other plans. I thought a more powerful dedicated home console that interacts with the Switch as a second screen or even for streaming games like the Vita did would be intriguing, but probably too confusing.
@Mgalens Fair dos, mate . I personally think Mario Odyssey had tons of new ideas and is probably my fave 3D Mario. (Loved Majora's Mask too, so I see where you are coming from!)
yeah part of what i liked about odysseys settings was that it ventured away from the typical "mario" style settings to where each world felt more like its own place than a typical "grass world" "sand world" "snow world" etc, while it did have worlds which covered those themes they added their own unique spin on them and they had a lot of personality.
I remember the Mario land games on the Gameboy also had fun with putting Mario on settings not typical of Mario, the bosses of that game were also very unique. (again at odds with the NSMB series in which 3 out of the 4 games had the koopalings)
I'm sure this thing could emulate the Switch if it wanted to. Nice to see Nintendo setting the trend again.
@sanderev The Switch pro already exists.
RE: "So it’s teaching me that devices like this, while cute and have novelty, are not for a person like me who desires a low-maintenance and long lasting device."
Yes. And that the games get updated via the Internet, so the game that comes on the cartridge isn't the game you end up playing. So, down the road, you won't be able to get the updates anymore.
So, yes, a temporary situation.
But, my take-away has been, it is about the experience. The now.
I got a Switch to play games with my family. The fun we have, and the memories we build are more important than how long the Switch will be around.
So, I have been getting more into getting the games I think we want now, and playing them now. Not saving them for the perfect time, or a rainy day.
Don't get me wrong. This is why I won't get rid of our GameCube or Wii. These systems and games will (for the most part) be playable in the future. My youngest dragged out all our Skylanders last week and fired up the game. And both my daughters decided to dust off Just Dance 2014 for a few rounds.
@NintendoDad Makes sense for your lifestyle!
The Switch Pro wont exist.
The next Switch wont be doing 4K, Nintendo even barely does 1080p right now.
Handheld "gaming" PC have been in demand for a long time. I myself am waiting for the next round with RDNA2 systems.
Why would i buy a handheld PC if i could buy a better desktop PC? Because i want to. The switch doesn't give me the feel i had with the PSP nearly 2 decades ago.
I want a system that can play my collection, be my PC in my pocket and be where i am at any time. The switch is nice and all, but the lack of performance is what kills it for me.
Also, remote play is crap.
@SwitchForce pls, tell me that comment was a joke. "They can imitate the Switch but don't have the library to backup and that can be a issue when your trying to sell more games." PC has the biggest library, bigger than all consoles combined.
What a load of crap!
@johnvboy Defo. I think it once again shows Nintendo's talent for spotting things ahead of the competition... as I said before, look at the massive gap in visuals between the 3DS and PS4 (two generational companions) then compare the difference Switch and PS5 - it's nowhere near as large. And Switch is 5 years old - incredible!
Without a doubt Nintendo have been correct to pursue mobile tech, as there is so much money being poured into it, as the mobile phone market is massive.
As you say the differences in visual quality will become less and less over time, and this assumes that most people notice in the first place.
Only ARM chip should be inside a portable game console. The M1 chip that Apple put inside their iPad Pro and MacBook Air is the only contender. The M1 doesn't even need a fan, that's why it can be put in a thin design and it only uses 5W power.
Handheld PCs were a thing before Switch, they're a thing during Switch, and they will likely be a thing after Switch.
They're very unlikely to have any bearing on Nintendo's decision making processes.
I have a similar handheld PC (GPD Win 3) and use it much more often than my Switch!
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