Something is looming in the air, and it could be an upgraded version of the Nintendo Switch. Rumors suggest that Nintendo could announce the Switch Pro as early as June 4, and with E3 just around the corner, anything is possible. Here̵
What are the features of the Switch Pro?
We’ve heard a lot about the Switch Pro in recent years, including rumors of a high-resolution display and 4K support in docked mode. But things change. Reliable Switch Pro leaks from a few years ago may no longer matter if Nintendo has changed its direction for the console – remember we’re in the midst of a global semiconductor shortage.
At the time of writing, Bloomberg’s March 3 report appears to provide the most accurate insight into the Switch Pro’s hardware and features. Bloomberg says Samsung Display Co is producing 7-inch, 720p resolution OLED panels for the Switch Pro, with a monthly target of nearly a million units. Slightly larger than the Switch’s standard 6.2-inch panel, this screen offers improved contrast and color accuracy in portable mode.
If Bloomberg’s reporting is correct, the Switch Pro will have the same screen resolution as the original Switch. But the console will likely offer 4K support in docked mode thanks to a new NVIDIA chip. Nintendo can implement 4K support through NVIDIA DLSS upscaling, which requires a newer, more powerful NVIDIA chip. Using DLSS would also ensure 4K support for old games and reduce the need for a large, power-guzzling, expensive GPU (at least, that’s why DLSS is a popular 4K gaming solution in laptops).
Of course, Nintendo may not need to upgrade the Switch Pro’s hardware to get 4K support. Some rumors suggest that Nintendo will add NVIDIA DLSS to a new Switch dock, allowing the docking station to handle the upscaling. It makes sense: AI upscaling doesn’t make sense if the Switch Pro is in portable mode. The improved dock may also add 4K support to original Switch consoles, though this is just speculation.
But will the Switch Pro’s bigger screen force users to buy new Joy-Cons? It depends on a number of factors. Rumors suggest that the Switch Pro will have thinner bezels, and if it does, it may be the same size as the original Switch and will work with existing Joy-Cons. But there’s no guarantee that old Joy-Cons will work with the Switch Pro, and as we saw with the New 3DS, Nintendo likes to stick new buttons on its upgraded consoles.
When will Nintendo announce the Switch Pro?
If we ignore the rumors for a while, there’s a good chance we’ll get a Switch Pro this year. That’s because the Switch’s release schedule has mirrored the 3DS’s release schedule so far. Like the 2DS, the Switch Lite came out two years after the original console’s launch. The New Nintendo 3DS came out four years after the original 3DS, and yes, it’s been four years since the Switch came out.
But you don’t need to study Nintendo’s business tactics to feel the impending Switch Pro release, as there are leaks and rumors circulating everywhere! The biggest leak comes from Twitter user @Alphabeat_g, who accidentally found a listing for a “New Nintendo Switch Pro” on Amazon Mexico. A subsequent leak of a retailer’s internal system verified by Centro LEAKS states that pre-orders for new Switch-related hardware will open on June 4.
Just found this on Amazon Mexico pic.twitter.com/lGa6ViQL3V
— Alphabeat (@Alphabeat_g) May 28, 2021
Of course, the “hardware” described by Centro LEAKS for the Nintendo Switch can be anything, and retailers often use temporary dates for product releases in their internal systems. But the rumored June 4 announcement is backed up by other leaks, including a statement from Nintendo leaker @Shpeshal_Nick and a coincidental mention of a French retailer (which also points to a €399 price tag for the Switch Pro).
It would make sense if Nintendo announced the Switch Pro on June 4, just a week and a half before the company’s E3 Direct presentation. That way, the Switch Pro announcement won’t overshadow Nintendo’s new games. And if the Switch Pro is anything like the New Nintendo 3DS, it could have exclusive games or in-game features, which Nintendo could cover during E3.
Again, it’s worth noting that these are all just rumors. Even if Nintendo plans a Switch Pro announcement on June 4, it could push the date back by weeks or months. In the meantime, be sure to follow Nintendo on Facebook or Twitter for live updates, or subscribe to our free newsletter.