New Nintendo Switch 2: Release Date, Specs, Leaks and More
|Nintendo Switch. Photo: Tomsguide|
What is Nintendo Switch 2?
The original Nintendo Switch launched back in 2017, to phenomenal success.
Gamers were enamoured with the two-in-one console that worked as a handheld device – and plugged into the telly too.
The console is regularly sold out around Christmas, and is now one of the most recognisable gaming machines in the world.
So it's no surprise that rumours of a Nintendo Switch 2 have been swirling for years.
The latest and possibly best evidence for a Nintendo Switch 2 is a recent Bloomberg report.
It claimed that a second, even better version of the Nintendo Switch is on the way, according to thesun.
Latest Nintendo Switch 2 news
According to Bloomberg, the Nintendo Switch Pro will use a new Nvidia chip and utilize DLSS to upscale to 4K.
We got together to discuss what Nintendo Switch Pro or Switch 2 upgrades we'd really like to see.
We spoke exclusively to Display Supply Chain Consultants, where we heard more potential details around the Nintendo Switch Pro or Switch 2's OLED display.
How much are these going to cost?
Well, the idea of two more models very much mimics the 3DS, with the 2DS and the New 3DS XL being the cheaper and more expensive versions. It tends to be that the cheaper model has less functionality, perhaps, in this case, it loses the ability to dock, while the more expensive one makes for a smoother experience. There was even an extra analogue stick on the New 3DS XL.
Assuming that the Switch Mini will be cheaper than the RRP of £279 for the Switch, we can probably expect it to be somewhere in the region of £150-£200. Meanwhile, a Switch Pro could easily come in at somewhere around £300-£400 depending on just how much it adds. It could well be that we see a drop in price for the OG Switch too, as it will no longer be the latest thing, and dropping the price makes it more accessible too.
It all depends on what kind of a profit margin Nintendo is looking to make with the consoles. Most of the profitability in gaming actually comes from the software, not the hardware, so it might be that it is sold at a small loss per console given the number of games that many Switch owners have.
Time will tell, or failing that, we await yet more accessory leaks, as reported by dailystar.
Nintendo Switch Pro release date
Just a few months ago, the Nintendo Switch Pro was nothing more than a rumor. Today, we are seeing more and more industry experts backing the possibility of the updated Nintendo Switch finally coming to life this year. Recently, multiple analysts were interviewed by Gamesindustry.biz where they shared their visions for 2021. Most of the talk was concerning the Nintendo Switch Pro. Dr Serkan Toto of Kantan Games previously foresaw the famous Switch Lite, and this year he provided us with a prediction that is just as exciting:
“I predict a beefed-up 4K device is coming during Nintendo’s next financial year,” he said.
Piers Harding-Rolls of Ampere Analysis built on Dr. Toto’s thoughts by supporting the likelihood of a 2021 Switch Pro release: “Last year I was unconvinced there would be a new flagship model Switch in 2020, but it makes more commercial sense to release an updated version in 2021."
The original Nintendo Switch was released on March 3, 2017. With 2021 marking the Switch’s four-year anniversary, it’s entirely possible that we will see an upgraded console by the end of this year.
This 2021 release was given further credence by a report from Bloomberg that cited insider information that claims the Switch Pro will arrive later this year, according to Tomsguide.
Nintendo Switch Pro specs
Sources seem to offer different reports of what sort of specs we can expect to see in the Switch Pro. The majority of them appear to agree that we’re likely to see support for 4K resolutions in docked mode, as well as better battery life.
Currently, the Nintendo Switch features a custom Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, a 720p LCD display and 32GB of storage. The most recent refresh of the Nintendo Switch happened in August 2019, which bumped up the battery life, taking it from 6.5 hours to 9 hours of game time. When we tested the battery life upgrade using Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we found that the amount of game time we were able to fit in before it needed to be recharged doubled.
According to a notable data miner, @SciresM, details found in a recent firmware update for the Nintendo Switch seems to indicate that the Pro model will feature the same processor as the 2019 Switch base model and the Lite - the Tegra X1+ chipset. The leak uncovered a project titled “Aula”, which indicates that the chipset will offer higher performances by being pushed to higher clocking speeds supported by an improved cooling system. SciresM also hinted that the console will receive a substantial visual upgrade, with an OLED display and 4K capabilities in docked mode, powered by a RealTek chip.
How legitimate the above information remains questionable, as are a lot of Nintendo Switch Pro rumors. But a report from Bloomberg, citing insider information, also has the Switch Pro tipped to offer a 4K output in some form of docked mode. Likely when docked the Switch Pro will have some form of co-processor to upmix a 1080p video feed into a 4K output.
While Economic Daily News in Taiwan claimed that instead of an OLED display, the Nintendo Switch Pro would feature Mini-LED technology as a more affordable alternative, our sources say otherwise. Right now all intelligence is pointing to Samsung providing rigid OLED panels to Nintendo.
In an exclusive interview with Ross Young, co-founder and CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, discussed with us the potential for the Switch Pro to have an OLED display and what advantages and shortcomings the tech could provide.
“LCDs use a maximum brightness, whether it's a white or black image. And OLEDs don't,” said Young. “Their power consumption varies with the content. So it's going to depend on the type of content that you're playing. If it's video, OLEDs have a big advantage. But if it's a bright video game with a lot of white, then OLEDs may consume more power.”
Some rumors seem to suggest that the Switch Pro might have some more controversial features, too. In a now-deleted 4Chan post (via Inverse), user Xhyll alleged that according to a "former employee of Nintendo," the Switch Pro will feature significant hardware improvements, including a custom Nvidia Tegra Xavier processor, 64GB SSD storage and 4K support.
The obvious downside here is that the post also suggested that the new console will be a TV-only system aimed primarily at users who are in the market for a more traditional console experience. Considering that some Switch gamers spend the majority of their time in handheld mode, this seems somewhat unlikely.
Nintendo Switch Pro features
Considering the success that the Nintendo Switch base model and Lite have both seen in the past year, the Switch Pro may want to capitalize on that momentum. So, we believe it’s safe to assume that the console will continue to be playable in both docked and undocked mode, as well as tabletop. However, we’ve seen suggestions that the Pro version will have some unexpected features that might sneak their way into the final design.
According to a recent patent filed by Nintendo, the company seems to be working on a health-tracking device that could potentially be included in the Switch Pro. A translation of the 61-page document shows that the patented device contains a health tracker similar to those you would find on smartphones, capable of monitoring your sleep, keeping track of your vitals and evaluating your mental health. What’s odd is that the device seems to also contain a “odor-generating device” (yes, really). As of now, signs point to the fact that the Nintendo Switch Pro may likely include fitness tracking, presumably designed to work with health-related games such as Ring Fit Adventure.
Rumors of a mini-LED display
Something slightly different from the 4K rumors we've been used to when it comes to the Nintendo Switch Pro; we may see a mini-LED display replace the current LCD screen. According to a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News, the still-rumored Switch Pro model could sport mini-LED screens supplied by Innolux, a well-known manufacturer in the field, as cited by Techradar.
The current Switch and Switch Lite consoles use an HD (720p) LCD screen. If a new Switch console did have 4K capability, we imagine it'd be in docked mode, with handheld mode offering a slightly-boosted Full HD (1080p) display. Upgrading to a mini-LED display would make all of those pixels look better than before as mini-LED displays use thousands of tiny individually-controlled backlights in the glass substrate of the panel to offer a wider contrast ratio, better brightness control, deeper blacks and richer colors. It could even mean thinner and lighter product designs. There are rumors that 2021 will bring an iPad Pro 12.9 which utilizes mini-LED technology, too, so it could be a technology that's on the rise
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