As a games writer, console names are incredibly important to me. I’ve got to type whatever a company ends up callings its hardware tens of thousands of times, so it’s something I take an interest in. With rumors of an impending “Switch Pro,” I have to wonder what route Nintendo will take. Since it’s almost assuredly a midlife refresh and not an entirely new console, “Super Nintendo Switch” is the most obvious name, and if Nintendo doesn’t go with it, I’m not sure I can handle it.
Why the Switch Pro should be the Super Nintendo Switch and everything else is terrible
Only one console maker has stuck with a naming scheme that makes sense over the years. Sony gets points for dependability (but not originality) for just naming the PlayStation family sequentially. Everyone knew what the PS5 was going to be called as soon as the PS4 was announced.
Everyone else is all over the place with their console names. Microsoft gets (deserved) flak for the Xbox lineup, and I’ve accidentally typed “Xbox One X” instead of “Xbox Series X” over a hundred times in the past year. However, Nintendo is just as bad, to the point where they pretty much torpedoed a console by burdening it with a confusing designator.
“Super Nintendo Switch” makes sense on so many levels. It expresses that it’s an enhanced version of the Switch. This name also calls back to Nintendo’s second console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, which drives home that it’s the second version of the Switch (the Lite doesn’t count). It’s simple, elegant, and that’s why it probably won’t be used.
I’m convinced that Microsoft and Nintendo name their consoles by summoning some being that lives in an M.C. Esther painting and asking its opinion. I imagine that the Switch Pro will be called the “New Nintendo Switch” or the “nintendo switch.” Regardless, it’s sure to be a confusing mess, and people will end up calling it the Switch Pro anyway.
While we’re fantasizing about Nintendo doing anything its fans want, imagine if they leaned into the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo styling with the Switch Pro. It could be an attractive gray with purple highlights, a color scheme that would really distinguish it from the original Switch. With so much nostalgia packed into it, even I would have to unlock my jaw, furl my lips back, and give a big wide-mouth, toothy, Switch-loving grin.
I don’t have any red-hot insider tips, so I’ll be waiting to find out what the Switch Pro will be called (if it exists) with the rest of you. Regardless of what’s chosen, I’m sure we’ll all get to participate in that age-old tradition that brings gamers together: making fun of bad marketing decisions.