There was long speculation that Nintendo would launch a more powerful version of the Switch hybrid system. While rumors were still circulating last year, we were told that two new versions were in the works: a more powerful version (speculators called it Switch Pro) and a portable variant (then called Switch Mini). As we all know by now, the Switch Mini went into decline with the release of the Switch Lite on the 20th. September 2019 to become a real product.
Last month, Nintendo discreetly upgraded its existing Switch system with a slightly smaller number of power-consuming chips, extending battery life. Some people thought that maybe the wires were mixed up and that this device was basically a work in progress and that a more powerful Pro console had never been developed. Others have refrained from disclosing their inside information, insisting that Nintendo will still release a more powerful Switch in the near future. In fact, Dr. Serkan Toto recently predicted…
I have no doubt that Nintendo will release the Switch Pro in 2020 for $399. Specifically, I predict 4K support, larger cartridges, and of course, strengthened components. I also think it will launch after the summer break to counter the launch of the PS5 and Xbox next-gen later this year – as well as a first-party system game for manufacturers.
Today, DigiTimes reports that the new Nintendo Switch will enter mass production later this quarter (around March 2020). In fact, they say that Nintendo will release a new version of the Switch this summer, which will include several updates. Apparently, the processor will be more powerful and the housing of the current system will be made of magnesium alloy instead of plastic. Sources in the supply chain reportedly confirmed these details and timelines.
It should be noted that DigiTimes does not have a good track record when it comes to Nintendo leaks. That’s not to say it’s not true, and in fact some insiders still insist that the Switch Pro (or whatever it’s called) will be released later this year. That makes sense, as Nintendo may want to have a more powerful console on store shelves in time for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X to go on sale during the 2020 holiday season. One can only imagine that third-party developers who already make software for more powerful machines will find it increasingly difficult to port games to the Switch. However, if Nintendo releases a more powerful device, there may not be any ports left on the next generation of systems.
Nintendo is no stranger to updating its devices mid-cycle. We saw it with the DSi, which brought a more powerful processor and the ability to buy games from the online store. Nintendo later upgraded the 3DS to the new 3DS – again with a more powerful processor and games that only worked on the new version. In both examples, however, the improvements were very modest and required only a few games. We even had something similar on the Nintendo 64 with an expansion pack that added some RAM for high-resolution textures. The question may not be whether Nintendo will release a more powerful Switch, but whether it will be as comprehensive as the PS4 Pro or the Xbox One X.
Either way, the year 2020 will be full of new hardware, and it’s an exciting time for players! Hopefully the Switch Pro will be a real success and bring a significant improvement in platform performance. When it comes to Nintendo, you never know what to expect.
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Digitimes claims that the new switch comes with a magnesium alloy housing (instead of plastic).
Another explanation is that the device will come with a better processor.
Note that Digitimes has a mixed record on Nintendo. https://t.co/XLclA70wDI.
– Dr. Serkan Toto / Kantan Games Inc (@serkantoto) January 6, 2020
Sources..: DigiTimes, Dr. Serkan Toto & ResetEra…
Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published in various media. He is currently an editor and contributor to Age of Games.
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