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Forget better graphics. Nintendo’s new Switch model needs Bluetooth support

A new Nintendo Switch model might be on the horizon. According to multiple reports from Bloomberg, the long-fabled “Switch Pro” may launch just in time for the holidays. That’s exciting news for current Switch owners who have been begging for an upgrade.

The current rumors note that the new model will feature a 7-inch, 780p OLED screen, better battery life, and a better Nvidia chipset to support 4K image upscaling when docked. The price is still up in the air, but analysts tell Bloomberg they expect it to be anywhere from $350 to $400.

All of those features could make for a needed upgrade four years into the console’s lifespan, but the current rumors lack the one feature a new Switch actually needs: Bluetooth support.

The original Switch’s lack of wireless headphone support was a baffling choice when it launched. The console is the ultimate portable console in theory, but its limited audio options prove to be its Achilles’ heel. Playing a Switch on the go means fans are stuck using a wired headset unless they want to invest in an adapter.

It’s less of a problem for handheld mode and more an issue in its other configurations. Using wired headphones in tabletop mode is an awkward experience. Players have to feed the wire under the bottom of the system to keep it from dangling in front of the screen. Even then, it’s hard to fully prevent that, making headphones something of a no-go in tabletop mode.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The bigger problem comes when the console is docked in TV mode. With no wireless option, there’s no good way to use a headset while playing without sitting next to the dock. That’s an annoyance for anyone who wants to use a headset while playing multiplayer games on the system.

The lack of Bluetooth support wouldn’t be as much of a problem if the Switch’s controllers had a headphone jack. Bafflingly, not even the Switch Pro controller has a headphone jack, which remains a mind-boggling oversight.

When it comes to technology, Nintendo is famously behind the times. Its antiquated online system is still a source of frustration for fans who have to pass around long friend codes or gather in third-party voice apps to communicate. The Bluetooth omission is an extension of that long-running problem.

Nintendo has a golden opportunity to fix that problem with its next Switch model. While a bigger screen and better graphics are both shiny features that’ll move units, it’s the little touches that’ll make a new Switch feel like a worthwhile upgrade. Nintendo needs to give its players more flexibility when it comes to how they hear games, not just how they play them.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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