There was long speculation that Nintendo would launch a more powerful version of the Switch hybrid system. While rumours were still circulating last year, we were told that two new versions were in the making: a more powerful version (speculators called it Switch Pro) and a portable version (then 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, increasing battery life. Some people thought that the wires might have gotten mixed up and that this device was in fact a work in progress and that a more powerful Pro console had never been developed. Others have refrained from disclosing their insider information and insist that Nintendo will release a more powerful Switch in the near future. In fact, Dr. Serkan Toto recently predicted…
I have no doubt Nintendo will release the Switch Pro for $399 in 2020. Specifically, I predict 4K support, larger cartridges and of course reinforced components. I also think it will be launched after the summer holidays to counteract 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 go into mass production 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 would have confirmed these details and timelines.
It should be noted that DigiTimes does not have a good track record when it comes to leaks from Nintendo. That’s not to say that 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, because Nintendo may want to have a more powerful console on store shelves in time so that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X can go on sale during the holidays of 2020. One can only imagine that external developers who are already making software for more powerful devices will find it increasingly difficult to transfer games to the Switch. However, if Nintendo releases a more powerful device, there may not be any ports left of the next generation of systems.
Nintendo is no stranger to updating its devices in the middle of the cycle. We saw it with the DSi, which brought a more powerful processor and the ability to buy games in 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 races. 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.
Anyway, 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 the performance of the platform. 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) 6. January 2020
Sources..: DigiTimes, Dr. Serkan Toto & ResetEra…
Craig has covered the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published in various media. He is currently editor and employee of Age of Games.
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