Theory: Could a ‘Super’ Nintendo Switch Work as a Console x Laptop?

That title may have come off as pretty weird, and it is. Actually, the whole idea behind this article is very weird: Nintendo making an upgraded version of the Switch is one thing, but what if it just so happened to be in the form of a laptop? Let me explain…

The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid system: it functions as both a home console and handheld. It’s the system for basically any kind of gamer, whether they’re someone who mainly plays at home or who happens to be a big fan of portables. The Switch is able to fill this role by having the body of a tablet. While it’s not as slim or as sleek as something like an iPad, the Switch is by far more compact than any other home console. As a result, it’s able to function just fine as a portable system for those who want to play it that way.

If Nintendo were to take the Switch and make an upgraded version, then how would it turn out? Would it be a slightly bigger tablet-like device, or would it be something different? My idea is that perhaps this theoretical upgraded Switch could actually be something along the lines of a laptop.

Keeping the hybrid functionality in mind, a laptop-like design would actually be a good fit for this ‘Super Switch’. It would still be able to function as both a home system and portable device, albeit not one you could really play in your hands. My thought behind this design would be that instead of focusing so much on striking a balance between home and handheld, this Super Switch would be targeted at more core gamers who want more power but don’t want to sacrifice the portable functionality. With today’s technology, a laptop design would fit that bill quite nicely.

Just imagine: The Super Nintendo Switch!

Computers have gotten a lot smaller since they first came onto the scene so many decades ago. Before, they were literally the size of rooms. When you take that into consideration, it’s amazing that we’ve managed to shrink them down into little handheld devices that are leaps-and-bounds more powerful, in addition to being so much more compact. The main issue we’ve been facing for the past few years is trying to balance power with size. Laptops, especially those designed to be gaming systems, have ran into this issue a lot. A few years ago, laptops chunky and ugly machines. In a lot of cases they were quite heavy, so carrying them around was a chore. In recent years, this problem has been withering away. Laptops have gotten more powerful, but also a lot sleeker. Gaming laptops have remained to be on the heftier side, but that’s no longer the case. Nvidia managed to crack the code with its ‘Max-Q’ design technology: This has allowed manufacturers to make gaming laptops much sleeker without having to sacrifice power. This is where the theoretical Super Switch could benefit.

Nintendo and Nvidia have already done a pretty amazing thing by designing the current Switch. While it’s not a powerhouse, it’s still more powerful than Nintendo’s last home system, the Wii U. Since the the Switch is so much smaller than the Wii U, I find it fascinating that Nvidia was able to design a superior chip that happens to be a mobile variant. The big issue with trying to create powerful machines that are also portable is the balancing act that involves power, heat, size, and battery life. More power means more heat and a higher electricity demand. Making the device too small creates potential heating issues and also forces the battery to be smaller. This is why laptops have taken so long to become truly efficient.

The rise of smartphones and tablets have really helped to advance mobile technology. It may be weird to say this, but I think we wouldn’t have the Switch if it wasn’t for devices like the iPhone and iPad becoming such a worldwide phenomenon. Because millions of people all over the world now consider mobile devices to be normal and necessary parts of life, companies have been scrambling to constantly advance the technology to make it better. Compared to regular computers and even game consoles, these mobile devices are fairly young. Even so, they’ve come a long way very quickly. So, what would be so great about the Super Switch as a laptop?

Nvidia has been doing an amazing job at advancing mobile technology.
Following the Switch, the ‘Super Switch’  could be an interesting design.

Having a laptop-design for the Super Switch would allow Nvidia to put a more powerful chipset inside. On top of that, the system could even benefit from having a full-size SSD for rapid and large storage space. The larger chassis would also allow for a bigger battery to be put inside, thus extending gameplay sessions. The current Switch does a decent job at balancing performance and battery life, but the Super Switch could do even better with a bigger battery.

After the New 3DS, PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, I think it’s safe to say that the gaming world is fairly adjusted to having upgraded versions of existing hardware. Following this trend, the Super Switch could act as the ‘premium edition’ of the Switch family. The current Switch would still be on sale, albeit at a lower price point. Nintendo could potentially even market it as a ‘true portable’ by removing the TV dock from the bundle, thus further bringing down the price. But the question still remains: Could something like this really work?

Laptop technology is definitely good enough for something like the Super Switch to be a thing. As to exactly how Nintendo and Nvidia would go about designing it, I’m not sure. I imagine it being something like the hybrid laptops we currently have like the Microsoft Surface or Lenovo Yoga; being able to change its shape to fit specific situations. Would it have a keyboard? Well, since it would be game console a keyboard wouldn’t be necessary, although having one would be nice for when typing is required. Maybe would-be keyboard area could even be used for other things, like having a slim storage slot for the Joy-Cons.

Now that we’ve been introduced to mid-gen upgrades, the ‘Super Switch’ wouldn’t be too much of a shocker. 

But if they were really were to go ahead with a laptop design, I guess the topic of features would need to be brought up. The current Switch has already received some flack for only being a game machine; it currently does not offer any form of multimedia functionality or even a full Internet Browser. Nintendo emphasized that it wanted to focus first on making sure the Switch fulfilled its number one priority—playing video games. It’s not out of the question for software like Netflix, Spotify and YouTube to come to the system eventually. If the Super Switch ended up as a laptop, it too would definitely benefit from having multimedia functionality. Perhaps Nintendo could take the Switch OS and advance it even more to suit a laptop design. At the very least, having an Internet browser and support for video and audio playback would be nice.

I’m not sure how this idea flew into my head, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. People are obviously very much acquainted with laptops, so the Super Switch wouldn’t really be a foreign design. Since Nintendo and Nvidia have managed to turn a tablet into a console, I don’t see it being much of an issue for these companies to design something like the Super Switch Laptop. In fact, I think the research and development would actually be less complex and less expensive since it’s arguably easier to build a console laptop than a console tablet.

If something like this were to ever happen, I would just die to see what the reaction of the gaming community would be. This industry has a tendency to always find itself in very unexpected situations, so I think we can all agree that nothing is really out of the question anymore—especially when Nintendo is involved.

Who would have expected a tablet x console like the Switch?
With Nintendo at the helm, executing a creative idea should be simple.

A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.