Nintendo Switch Pro could make things worse — here’s why

Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A Nintendo Switch Pro with more horsepower might be a pain for developers. This comes from Engine Software, the team that did the ports of No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle on Switch.

In an interview with Nintendo Everything, co-founder and vice president Ruud van de Moosdijk explained that there would be more to a Switch Pro than extra power for 4K gaming. 

"We are not large subscribers of the 'Pro' model," said van de Moosdijk. "Sure, it would be nice to have more RAM or faster GPU/CPU compared to before, but if it is still considered the same platform you must make sure your game runs on every model."

Because there are currently more than 65 million Switch users, it's incumbent upon developers to ensure that games work well on both the standard Switch and a possible Pro model. While Nintendo did allow for exclusive games on the more powerful New Nintendo 3DS, such as Xenoblade Chronicles or Fire Emblem Warriors, it's unlikely any developer would want to split the currently massive Switch install base. 

"We have seen with prior ‘upgraded systems’ that the additional power never really got utilized well for this reason," said van de Moosdijk. 

Here, van de Moosdijk is referring to last generation's PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Both were mid-gen refreshes that allowed games to run at higher resolutions with more detail. Even then, much of the hardware optimization still happened on the consoles' base models, with more linear upscaling coming from the added horsepower of the pro models. If games like God of War or The Last of Us: Part II were made from the ground up for the PS4 Pro, for example, then it's likely they would have looked even better. 

Regardless, a Switch Pro would probably not be a game-changing experience. Instead, it would bring a higher-fidelity gaming experience for those willing to pay the price. 

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.