The Switch has been a massive hit for Nintendo; it’s hybrid functionality and portability have given it a unique selling point that many gamers dig. But one industry insider questions its status as a home console and believes the Switch should rebrand completely as a handheld only.
Michael Pachter, of Wedbush Securities, is a high-profile analyst in the gaming industry. In his view, the Nintendo Switch is hardly used as a home console, and Nintendo’s focus should be sowing up the handheld market.
Here’s what he said in an interview with GamingBolt:
"I don’t really understand the whole hybrid concept. I don’t think most people play it in both modes, I would say that maybe 20% of Switch owners play both modes; and I think most Switch owners play it handheld only. So I honestly don’t understand the whole point of the hybrid. Who cares? Play it as a handheld."
"And Nintendo isn’t that smart so you never know what they will do next, but I think the smart thing would be to get rid of the Switch console and only have the Switch Lite, get rid of the docking station, get rid of playing on the TV; maybe offer a Fire Stick style dongle for those who do want to play it on the TV."
Does The Switch Need To Focus On Portability?
Pachter does have a point. Portability is perhaps the most highly valued aspect of the Nintendo Switch. But is he underestimating the number of people who do use it as a home console?
The freedom to plug a portable games machine into the TV is also a beloved aspect of the Switch, and we expect many gamers would miss it if it were to vanish.
Of course, players who don’t care about TV connectivity can simply buy the Lite model, which doesn’t have this functionality.
But if the TV mode is redundant, why are both consoles still selling well and not just the Nintendo Switch Lite? We think Pachter may be misunderstanding the appeal of the Switch.
That is player choice; the Switch can be anything a player wants it to be. If a player likes it for portability, they can use it this way. But some may use it as a home console for family Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sessions.
Nintendo’s first-party software lends itself well to this family group dynamic, something Nintendo has always tried to include in their designs. Let’s not forget that the Switch replaced two previous Nintendo consoles, the ill-fated Wii U and the portable 3DS.
It arguably improved on both in every way, combining what worked about each console and discarding what did not. Nintendo has also reached out to third-party developers to encourage them to prepare for a 4K version of the Switch.
This would seem to suggest that Nintendo isn’t dropping TV connectivity from the Switch anytime soon. But they could also be planning to release a new version of the console that offers 4K gaming on the go.
Here’s everything we know about the fabled Nintendo Switch Pro here.