With a crazy packed 2019 ahead of Nintendo, a very popular rumour has surfaced detailing a smaller, more affordable Switch. With series that excelled on the DS platform such as Animal Crossing and Pokemon set to make their debut on the Switch, making a new console edition that appeals more to the handheld and younger audiences is a smart business move. But what exactly would this model entail? Rather than regurgitating the suspected specs of the console, like resolution, or battery that every site has discussed, I have a handful of way out there guesses for features that the Switch Mini might include.
Most mock-ups of the Switch Mini show the console with joy-cons that aren’t detachable. This baffles me. There is no way that Nintendo would create a console that’s incompatible with some of their games, such as Super Mario Party. The console will feature detachable joy-cons, that won’t work with the standard Switch in handheld. The joy-cons can work wireless, and third parties might release adapters that will make them fit.
The joy-cons themselves won’t be much smaller than the normal ones, but the rail it uses will be shorter. This will allow for comfortable handheld gaming and wireless controller options. The Pro Controller and other controller varieties will also be compatible with it. If the console doesn’t utilize the “switch” mechanics it wouldn’t be fair to brand it as one. Which leads me to my next point.
The Switch Mini will launch alongside an optional dock. While the focus of the console is handheld, the main point is driving the price down for people who are unsure about the normal versions $300 price tag. This will cost around $40, making the console and dock a total of $240. Which is a $60 price drop from the standard price. A Switch console that doesn’t utilize the features that make the console what it is, then it isn’t truly a Switch.
Adding onto this, there might be bundles that launch sometime after the original Switch Mini that includes the console, dock, and a select first party game. This bundle would cost $300. The same price as the standard console, but with a game included in it. It would appeal to a lot of people. One of the Switch’s biggest complaints is that it is too big for some who want to play handheld, that doesn’t mean they don’t wish to play on the TV either. Funny enough, another of its complaints is that its a tad too small. So, maybe with larger title releases like Metroid Prime 4, we may see a Switch Pro version.
Game Pad Options
One feature I think would be cool, is being able to use the Switch Mini as a gamepad for the standard model. Much like the Wii U and its gamepad in functionality. This would be useful for a number of reasons. The first would be simply being able to use it as an extra controller. While the detachable joy-cons would also allow this, the Wii U gamepad allowed for the screen to show what the main TV did, which is great for some people.
The second one is implementing touch screen controls for docked play. While not very many games feature this, for those that do, it would add another way to play. In my experience with the touch screen on the Switch, some games are actually enhanced by this gameplay. So, seeing this implemented would be a really cool way to convince more people to double dip. There’s still a larger feature that would sell a lot more people, however.
DS Game Support
That feature is DS game support. We saw this exist with the Wii U, so I don’t have any doubts that this could be added to the Switch. If used in the gamepad form, the Switch Mini could function as the bottom screen, and the standard console as the top on the TV. This would add another form of “switching” to the console’s line up, while also adding a plethora of games from the expansive DS library to the Switch’s.
It is unlikely that we would see 3DS games added in support. If we did, it would be in the 2DS form. Which means no 3D support. This would instantly sell the 3DS crowd that they’re trying to appeal to though. By allowing support for their older games, and an entire new library of games, it would justify the price even more.
This is the most unlikely feature to be supported. It might drive up the cost too much for what they intend to sell it for. Who knows though? Nintendo is always full of surprises.