Rumors have been swirling for a while that Nintendo was getting ready to launch a smaller, cheaper version of the Nintendo Switch game console. Recently those rumors have picked up steam thanks to a number of listings for “Nintendo Switch Mini” accessories including screen protectors, cases, and docking stations.
While it’s unclear if the name is finalized, it’s increasingly looking like some sort of mini Switch is on the way. The latest leak comes courtesy of German website WinFuture which has posted pictures showing an upcoming WinFuture silicone case and a drawing of what the Switch Mini would look like in that case.
All of the leaks to date point to a device with the same basic controls as a Nintendo Switch, but instead of a set of detachable Joy-con controllers, the Switch Mini seems to have the D-pad, analog sticks, and buttons built into the case itself. The screen may also be smaller.
If the Switch Mini is expected to play games designed for Nintendo’s existing console, it’s likely it’ll feature the same NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor.
It remains to be seen if the new model will be as hackable when it arrives as the original Switch, which can now be jailbroken and made to run Android as well as Linux… and maybe even Windows.
The + and – buttons look difficult to press under that case
This thing will be a disaster if they haven’t addressed the drifting joystick issue that *still* affects every single joycon. Imagine joysticks that quickly develop a drift, but cannot be replaced.
And if they have addressed that issue, why can’t we buy better joycons yet?
Excellent. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Only reason I don’t have a Switch already is that I prefer a smaller, pocket friendly device. If they drop the price to around $199, that will seal the deal for me.
If they’re aiming to make it pocketable, and if they’re dumping sticks for slide pads anyway, I wish they’d have gone with a clamshell design like their DS series or the GPD handhelds.
I guess the fewer moving parts you have, the cheaper it is to manufacture, which is the real goal, even if it means scratched screens and torn-off joysticks for anyone who actually tries to carry this in a pocket or purse.
I think I’d prefer a clamshell, too, though that would also probably require sliding nubs rather than sticks, but honestly, as long as it’s smaller, I’m happy. Coming from the Vita, the one knock I had against the Switch was how hefty it was in handheld mode, so if this does nothing else but make it more “Vita-like”, it’s a win as far as I’m concerned.
I wonder if it will lack support for any games that require the joycons to be removed. Or did that ensure they establish a development standard early on to prevent any games from absolutely requiring the joycons being removed?
I doubt they’d drop support for those games. Most likely you just pair a set of those with the device while the device is docked. And it’s going to be docked while using those things, it’s not like you’ve got three hands.
The only fix for the separate accelerometer games would be to pair a different external set of JoyCons to the Nintendo Switch Mini.
As for the hidden internal buttons, they can be mapped on the touchscreen (uncomfortable but doable).
However, one thing that annoys the majority of players, and Nintendo will not fix it, is the offset Right-Joystick. It comes in contact with your palm and is an ergonomic nightmare. I hoped they would fix it, but they absolutely will not because the offset joystick is part of the logo.
Still, it looks like they’ll keep the inefficient and slow underclocked Nvidia Tegra X1 inside. It’s gonna save them $5 each unit, but not worth it in 2020 let alone in 2016. Which is a shame, because they have access to SoC’s that’s x3 less power hungry and x4 faster, and it’s leaving AAA developers to overlook the Switch entirely because of the limitations and difficulties of making/porting their games. Less competition, and that’s not a good thing.
Hindsight is 20/20, but a part of me wishes Xbox opted out of BluRays and adopted microSD cartridges instead. And that they opted out of the weak-x86 Jaguar cores and adopted 28nm ARM Cortex A72 CPUs instead for 2015. Then maybe later in 2017 we could’ve had a Surface Phone (14nm Cortex A73), that’s portable and mounts on the controller, and which can run all Xbox One games at lower graphic fidelity (720p/30/Low) as opposed to a standard Xbox One (1080p/60/Low). Or a 2019 later beefed up Xbox One X (1440p/60/Medium Settings) with upgraded hardware (Overclocked 10nm Cortex A75). As long as the CPU performance is consistent and software is cross platform, this would’ve been the best way to go. Each game from the microSD card would scale to the GPU of various hardware, just like if you were changing graphics cards in your PC (GTX 750, GTX 960, GTX 1070).
End of Rant.
Brilliant move by Nintendo.
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