In recent months, Sony and Microsoft brought out the big guns with their new PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles. But Nintendo has been a little quiet.
The Nintendo Switch was released in 2017, which wasn’t that long ago in the scheme of console lifecycles. Not to mention the Switch continues to break console sale records. So, in reality, Nintendo probably doesn’t need a fancy new console to stay in the competition.
However, rumours have been swirling that a new Nintendo Switch model could be released in 2021. This is said to be more of an upgrade to the original console rather than a complete redesign, similar to the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro releases.
So, what do we know so far about this rumoured new Switch console?
Nintendo Switch Pro Specs
The new Nintendo Switch rumours (which some are dubbing the Nintendo Switch Pro) have been floating around for years but they went into overdrive thanks to a Bloomberg report from March 2021.
This report stated that the new model would make use of a larger 7-inch, 720p-resolution OLED screen. As anyone who owns an OLED TV would know, these panels are some of the best on the market.
The screen size of the current Nintendo Switch sits at 6.2 inches but it’s surrounded by a rather thick bezel. While designs for the Nintendo Switch Pro are yet to be revealed, it would make sense for Nintendo to gain those extra 0.8 inches by shrinking the bezel rather than increasing the console’s size. The Switch is, after all, a handheld console so making it any larger could cause problems.
The Bloomberg report also claims that the new Switch will be capable of outputting 4K resolution when connected to a TV. This would result in a huge differentiation in graphics between handheld and docked modes for the Switch. However, the rumoured OLED screen should help to make the handheld visuals more impressive.
A new report also claims that Nintendo may turn to Nvidia’s DLSS technology to improve the new Switch’s graphics. DLSS tech would provide a boost in frame rates and allow the new Switch to hits its 4K target via upscaling.
On top of this, a code in the latest Switch firmware update found a new device codenamed “Cradle Aula”. This is suspected to be a new dock for the Switch that will contain a more powerful processing chip and display port for 4K output.
Bloomberg has also said the new Switch will have a faster CPU and more memory. We can only hope Joycon drift will also be addressed.
Nintendo Switch Pro Games
It’s more than likely that the upgraded Nintendo Switch will be capable of backwards compatibility with all existing Switch games.
That being said, a rumour from insider NateDrake posted to ResetEra, points to there being exclusive third-party games in development for the upgraded Switch console. It’s unknown just how many games will be exclusive to the Switch Pro but NateDrake claimed to know of “at least one”.
Bloomberg’s report claims that the upgraded Switch model is targeting a holiday 2021 release period. The outlet claimed that panels are going into mass production and are scheduled to ship to assemblers by July.
However, there is the potential hazard of the global chip shortage which could throw a spanner in the works. The lack of parts is impacting multiple industries including cars, laptops and video games. Here’s hoping for a Christmas miracle.
Nintendo is yet to officially announce anything about a Switch upgrade, so take these rumours with a grain of salt right now. But it’s strongly suspected an upgraded Switch will release later in 2021, to maintain sales momentum for Nintendo and extend the console’s lifespan.
We’ll continue to update this article as more information about the new Nintendo Switch is revealed.