Supply chain insiders claim Nintendo is readying an upgraded Switch for 2021, best summarized for now as a Nintendo Switch Pro.The new game console would have upgraded visuals and new interactive features.It’s not certain if this will represent a big step forward.
Rumors of Nintendo releasing an upgraded Switch aren’t about to subside any time soon.
UDN sources claim (via VGC) Nintendo is preparing a “next-generation” version of the hybrid game console for a debut in early 2021. The new Switch would reportedly have “better picture quality” and be “more interactive,” although the tipsters didn’t elaborate on what that meant. It’s not certain that you’d get a faster processor or updated Joy-Cons.
There’s no mention of whether or not this would replace the standard Switch or serve as a premium model.
Could this be a Nintendo Switch Pro?
Don’t count on this new model arriving as described. Talk of new Switch hardware has circulated for a while and has led to false alarms. The Wall Street Journal claimed in March 2019 that an improved Switch with “enhanced features” for enthusiasts was coming as soon as that summer, but the only result was a minor revision with updated battery life.
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Nintendo explicitly ruled out new Switch hardware in 2020 when discussing its earnings in January, and it’s not certain how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the company’s plans.
It would make sense for Nintendo to unveil new hardware at the start of 2021. Nintendo will need to compete with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X starting this holiday season. While a new Switch clearly wouldn’t be directly comparable, improved hardware could keep sales humming. Switch sales were strong even before the pandemic, and Nintendo no doubt wants to preserve as much of its momentum as possible.
There wouldn’t be dramatic changes to the design if a refreshed Switch did arrive in 2021. The Switch will only be four years old compared to seven for the outgoing PS4 and Xbox One. It would likely be too soon to introduce a largely new console. Instead, you could see upgrades to resolution (both handheld and on TV), storage, and other features that could stand improvements without breaking compatibility with the Switch game library.