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All info about the Nintendo Switch Pro

Reports and rumors about a possible Switch Pro are nothing new. atechbook therefore collects all known information and classifies them.

Nintendo hit the bull’s eye with its flexible handheld console in 2017. The concept was well received right away, just like the exclusive titles for the Nintendo Switch, especially Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The competition brought powerful new releases to the market in the form of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Nintendo launched the Switch OLED in fall 2021, but it did not bring any technical innovations and cannot be considered a successor in this sense. In the meantime, the rumors about a possible Nintendo Switch Pro have increased.

When is the Nintendo Switch Pro coming?

Since nothing is still official, the question is actually still open: Is a Nintendo Switch Pro coming at all? Since the Switch OLED primarily only has slightly different dimensions and an improved display, there should actually be a technically enhanced version at some point. Nintendo could tackle that with a completely new console, but that seems unlikely due to the Switch’s success.

Some insiders and industry experts still assume a release in 2022. It fits that “Bloomberg” reported at the end of September 2021 that at least eleven developer studios had received hardware kits from Nintendo to be able to develop games for a 4K-capable Switch. The report publicly names one of the studios, Zynga, in the process. This is only possible for a serious publisher like “Bloomberg” if the studio has given its consent. Nintendo itself and Zynga have since denied the existence of the alleged 4K developer kits.

Due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage, a release possibly planned for 2022 could be delayed to 2023. That would also explain Nintendo’s continued silence regarding a Switch Pro. But then an official announcement could still be made this year. Recently, Nintendo took some videos of the OLED version offline. This is a common practice to prepare new announcements so that the latest video appears at the top of YouTube and the like when users search for it. A meanwhile deleted tweet of the renowned analyst Dr. Serkan Toto that summer 2022 is “pro time” also points to a corresponding announcement.

Denial just an attempt to keep the development of the “Switch Pro” a secret?

YouTuber “Nate the Hate” has called in his own contacts to find out what really happened now. He has been right in the past with his prediction that N64 games are coming to Nintendo Switch Online. In a video together with his YouTube colleague “Modern Vintage Gamer” he talks about the possibility of a new Nintendo Switch.

The first thing they investigate is the denial from developer studio Zynga. The exact wording of the denial: “Zynga does not have a 4K developer kit from Nintendo”. This press statement could be interpreted as if Zynga did not receive the developer kit from Nintendo itself. It’s not uncommon for industry partners to give their kits to others who previously didn’t have access to them. Zynga is named in the “Bloomberg” report. So the company has no choice but to deny owning a developer kit from Nintendo. After all, developers are legally bound by so-called “NDAs” (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to keep the ownership of unreleased hardware secret.

YouTubers see this statement as an attempt to reassure investors while still not ruling out the possibility of a new Switch. Their argument is that Nintendo only denies the development of a “Nintendo Switch with 4K support” with the statement. However, this would not categorically rule out a new console, but only the name “Switch with 4K support”. After all, the console could simply be called “Switch Pro”, “Switch 2” or completely different.

Also interesting: A mistake that buyers of the Nintendo Switch OLED should not make.

These technical innovations are coming

Of course, we can only speculate about technical innovations for a Nintendo Switch Pro so far. However, there are definitely some points where Nintendo could – and with a view to the PS5 and Xbox Series X, should – start. It is a bit unfair to compare the Switch with these high-end consoles, since it addresses a slightly different target group. However, a certain comparison is obvious due to the manageable market in the field of consoles.

Storage capacity

Among other things, both the memory and the RAM could use an upgrade. As of now, the Nintendo Switch has 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. This operates at 1600 MHz and has a bandwidth of 25.66 GByte/s. That is not very much these days. For comparison: The PlayStation 5 has a 16 GB GDDR6 working memory.

There is also a lot of room for improvement in the Switch’s internal memory. Currently, gamers only have to make do with 32 GB. The games for the handheld console require much less space than the graphically more complex PC, PlayStation and Xbox games. However, you will quickly reach the limits with 32 GB, especially if you have installed several large titles. You can expand the storage with a microSD card, but more internal storage seems to be the logical next step. Insiders assume a storage expansion to 128 GB – that would be a big leap!

Also interesting: Find the right memory card for the Nintendo Switch.

Processor, 4K and Co.

The disappointment was great when the Nintendo Switch OLED – among other expected innovations – did not bring a new processor. Therefore, support for ray tracing and DLSS is being discussed for a possible Nintendo Switch Pro. This is also indicated by data that hackers discovered at Nvidia and put online. There, NVN2 is mentioned again and again – a hint for an improved graphics resolution. The abbreviations T234 and T239, on the other hand, point to a graphics acceleration that would also enable ray tracing and thus a particularly realistic representation of light beams.

There are also already several clues that suggest Nintendo is working on 4K-compatible hardware. First of all, the dock of the new Switch OLED already supports 4K output – even though the console itself is limited to 1080p (Full HD). Furthermore, Nintendo didn’t patent a technology that uses Artificial Intelligent (AI) to upscale lower-resolution images to 4K until early October 2021. We are already familiar with the term “upscaling” from many 4K-capable TVs. However, AI-supported “upscaling” is more comparable to the “Deep Learning Super Sampling” (DLSS) technology from graphics card manufacturer Nvidia. This is because Nvidia uses machine learning to achieve the same sharpness in upscaled pictures as in native 4K. Manufacturer AMD also has a similar feature for its graphics cards with “FidelityFX Super Resolution”.

Backward compatibility

Regardless of what the new console will be called, YouTubers around “Nate the Hate” assume that it will be a completely new generation. The aging Tegra X1 chip from Nvidia can be found in all previous Switch models – including the new OLED model. The chip already does not cope well with some games in Full HD resolution, so completely new hardware is needed for 4K. However, this could cause backwards compatibility issues with previous Switch games. This would mean that developers would have to adapt their games for the new console generation, similar to the jump from the PlayStation 4 to the PlayStation 5.

New design would be possible

Nintendo is unlikely to completely reorient itself visually for a new console. The Switch’s design is already too iconic.

But there is still room for improvement in the controllers, for example. In addition, Nintendo has already patented a new wireless controller at the Federal Communications. According to the leak, this controller supports Bluetooth and requires a bit more energy. Thus, Nintendo could solve the previous problem of Joy-Con drift in the long run.

This is how much the Nintendo Switch Pro could cost

Even without concrete info, a price range for the Nintendo Switch Pro can be estimated well. In 2017, the Switch appeared for 330 euros. Since then, it has dropped slightly in price, aside from special offers, and is now around 280 euros. This is primarily due to the unbroken high demand and the shortage caused by the Corona crisis.

The Switch OLED entered insignificantly higher with an MSRP of 350 Euros. That and Nintendo’s family-friendly focus suggest that a new console is unlikely to cost over 400 Euros.

How reliable are the rumors about the Nintendo Switch Pro?

Rumors about a successor to the Switch have been swirling for a long time. However, the Bloomberg report is so specific that work on a new console is very likely. Also, the assessment of YouTube’s “Nate the Hate” and “Modern Vintage Games”, who have their own insider contacts, is that Nintendo and game studios are working with 4K developer kits right now. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we can expect a new Switch anytime soon. Developer kits are often released early to give game studios time to get up to speed with the new requirements. After that, it may be years before a new console actually hits the market.

Sources

  • Nate the Hate on YouTube
  • Bloomberg
  • Vooks

Topics

  • Nintendo Switch