Talking Point: Could Monster Hunter Rise Hint At New Switch Hardware On The Horizon?

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Friday 26th March 2021. The date that Monster Hunter Rise, a brand-new and bespoke entry in Capcom’s beast-battling series, will be arriving on Nintendo Switch. It’s not the only game to land that day — Balan Wonderworld is scheduled to drop on the last Friday in March, too — but Capcom’s game is the release which has really piqued our interest.

Not solely because it’s a fresh monster hunting adventure coming to our favourite console, and not because the verticality and environment traversal (as communicated through that ‘Rise’ subtitle) seems to have taken a leaf out of Breath of the Wild‘s book. No, there’s something else; something in the air that smells a bit fishy (in a good way) about that date, and we’re not the only ones to notice. Could it be that Nintendo has some bigger plans for that Friday?

If you somehow missed the article title, we’re talking about the oft-rumoured Nintendo Switch ‘Pro’, or ‘New Nintendo Switch’, or whatever you want to call the hypothetical upgraded version of Nintendo’s all-conquering ‘homeheld’. While almost entirely speculative at this point, we’re beginning to see the stars align and indicate some exciting news in the not-to-distant future.

MHR 3

It’s certainly been a very long time coming. Rumours of a hardware refresh have been rife since the launch of the original console back in 2017, and analysts have been predicting an upgraded Switch with improved specs for ages now. The standard model received a minor ‘silent’ refresh which improved battery life (and some of us ‘upgraded’ our launch models when that arrived around the same time as handheld-only Switch Lite), but the ‘Pro’ model remains elusive.

So what gives us this feeling in our bones? Well, for one thing, the Monster Hunter series has form when it comes to launching alongside new Nintendo SKUs. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate released at the same time as the New Nintendo 3DS, and it would be a very strong candidate to perform a similar role with Switch. MH4U was perfectly playable on original 3DS hardware, but the ‘New’ variant offered “a slicker and therefore slightly more enjoyable experience”, as erstwhile editor Thomas Whitehead stated in Nintendo Life’s review.




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