Although the Nintendo Switch Lite is the gaming console I’ve always wanted, I’ve been debating whether to buy a full-fledged Switch — one that lives up to the device’s name. I recently moved into a new apartment, where I believe my living room’s entertainment setup would benefit from a party-friendly gaming console.
Sure, I could just get a karaoke machine. But there’s something about playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on a big screen with a couple of pals that appeals to me. I already have a 55-inch Samsung Q80T QLED TV, light strips and a bunch of bean bag chairs in lieu of a couch. All that’s missing an activity to gather around.
However, I’m prone to buyer’s remorse, especially when investing in devices that get replaced by next-gen versions shortly after I swipe my credit card. Seriously: I splurged on the MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020) four months before the MacBook Pro with M1 came out. Of course, you can always say the subsequent version of a gadget will be better. But I’m curious whether this logic actually applies to the Nintendo Switch.
I’m no gaming expert, but I work with a couple at Tom’s Guide, who have been trailing Nintendo Switch 2 and Nintendo Switch Pro leaks. They caught me up on the rumor mill, and offered their two cents on whether I should wait for the next Nintendo Switch, or get the current one right now.
Why you should wait for the Nintendo Switch Pro
“If you own a 4K TV, and you already have a Switch Lite, then this is the time to wait,” Henry T. Casey, a Tom’s Guide senior editor, advised. “The next Switch is reportedly going to render games (when docked) at 4K, and you don’t want to lock yourself into a lesser experience. Waiting now will give you the 4K gaming you deserve, and a Switch that’s more future-proof.”
Casey knows that I do, in fact, have a 4K TV. So why do we need a 4K Switch? The current Switch’s default visuals could look outdated, compared to the Blu-ray content I watch on my QLED TV. As more people upgrade from 1080p TVs and more manufacturers release games in 4K, it would make sense for Nintendo to get with the times on its next console release.
“It seems like Nintendo has something in the works for next year, even though we don’t know exactly what it is,” said Marshall Honorof, a Tom’s Guide senior editor. “If it’s something that’s strictly better than the Switch, then you’d be better off buying that.”
Granted, since I’ve never owned a flagship Nintendo Switch, I might not know how much better the new version could be.
“The bigger reason I’d recommend holding off is because you already have a Switch Lite,” Honorof said. “You already have access to every single game in the Switch library, even though it’s on a small screen. Hopefully, the pandemic is winding down, which also means you’ll be able to travel around a lot more. A docked Switch won’t do you much good if you’re out of the house.”
Honorof makes a convincing point. I also live fairly close to a park, and imagine I’ll want to play games on its grassy lawns as the weather gets warmer. Do I really need the standard Switch to do that when my Nintendo Switch Lite is already more portable?
Why you should buy a Nintendo Switch now
That said, if I’m craving a bigger display for gaming on the go, there may be a case for buying the standard Nintendo Switch right now. As our Nintendo Switch Lite vs. Nintendo Switch face-off explains, the Lite has a 5.5-inch screen, while the regular switch has a 6.2-inch one.
“If you’re planning on using [the Switch] in handheld mode there’s no reason to buy the new one, if and when it comes out,” said a Tom’s Guide channel editor, Tom Pritchard. “Currently, Nintendo Switch 2 leaks point to the new console having the same 720p display, just with an OLED panel.”
My Switch Lite also doesn’t have multiplayer abilities, which squashes any dreams of destroying my dearest friends on Dragon Driftway when I am at home. And while I suppose I could be a little patient for the next Switch, I might have a longer wait time than expected.
“I think you should buy a Nintendo Switch now because stock will be absolutely miserable for the new one,” T3 editor Ian Morris said. “It was pretty hard to buy a Switch when it came out, and I can only imagine what it will be like in the year of the chip drought.”
Morris reminded me how I happily skipped out on the PS5 stock and Xbox Series X stock hunts. I’m not sure that I’m willing to commit to the ruthless, time-consuming experience needed to secure a next-gen console. Finding where to buy Nintendo Switch right now is a much simpler feat.
Still, I think my colleagues convinced me to wait. Maybe not for an entire new console to come out, but for one of the best Nintendo Switch deals to bring the $299 cost of a two-year-old device down, at least. I also think I should spend some time with my Nintendo Switch Lite in that nearby park to see if the screen size is truly starting to bother me.
Then again, perhaps if the current Switch came in the same gorgeous yellow as my Lite model, this wouldn’t be as much of a debate.