It feels like we've been waiting forever for an official announcement about a Nintendo Switch Prorelease. The Nintendo Switch has been a huge success, and who wouldn't want a Pro version?
The Switch Pro rumours have been swirling around for quite a while now. As you can see in the slide below, the date of Nintendo's "Next gaming system" was listed as just "20XX". That is to say, it will arrive in a year that starts with the number 20. It could be a 'holiday 2099' release for all we know...
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That being said, there are rumours and rumblings in the wind which suggest that Nintendo's next console is a little closer than 2099.
Table of Contents
- Nintendo Switch Pro release date - the story so far
- Nintendo Switch Pro Release 2022: Latest Rumours
- These Nintendo Switch concept designs are stunning!
- Nintendo Switch Pro specs and hardware
- Nintendo Switch Pro price
- Will the Nintendo Switch Pro have exclusive games?
- Nintendo Switch Pro Joy-Cons
- Nintendo Switch Pro's Pro Controller
With the PS5 and Xbox Series X both having been released over a year ago, a Nintendo Switch Pro could (in theory) build on the existing console with new features. Some people also like calling it the 'Super Switch' - nice name, ey?
Here’s everything that’s known about the rumoured new console, including its potential release date, specs, features and the latest news...
Nintendo Switch Pro release date - the story so far
Originally the Nintendo Switch Pro or Nintendo Switch 2 was thought to be released as soon as mid-2020.
However, in a statement, Nintendo said this: "Please note that we have no plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch model during 2020". And in some slides, Nintendo was only willing to date its next console as coming in "20XX". So it could be any time between now and the year 2100.
Games industry analysts told GamesIndustry.biz that they believed a Nintendo Switch Pro would launch in 2021. Piers Harding-Rolls of Ampere Analysis and Dr Serkan Toto of Kantan Games both predicted a 'Switch Pro' would release in 2021. Although Dr Toto previously predicted the updated Switch would launch in 2020.
NPD's Mat Piscatella is more cautious about the Switch Pro's existence. He commented that Nintendo's success in 2021 "will be driven by content and promotional efforts rather than the release of a new iterative model."
While there was a lot of expectation from fans, 2021 proved to be a disappointment in terms of a Pro version of the Switch. Instead, Nintendo gave us the Switch OLED. A Switch with an improved display, but essentially no other changes.
So now that we are well into 2022, what's the latest? Are there any rumblings to suggest a Nintendo Switch Pro release is in the pipeline?
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Nintendo Switch Pro Release 2022: Latest Rumours
Last year, Nintendo made it fairly clear that they had no plans for a Switch Pro. But then, Nvidia was hacked. And intriguingly, some of the data released in that hack suggests source code for something called NVN2. Which by itself could mean anything.
However, the current Nintendo Switch is known as NVN in the same database. It seems unlikely that Nvidia would have a completely different product from a different company with such a similar name. Far more likely, is that there is a successor to the Nintendo Switch in development. What is much less certain, is whether that is a Switch Pro, or an entirely new console.
The picture is even murkier when you consider what industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls of Ampere Analysis said to gamesindustry.biz in January 2022:
I'm not expecting a Switch Pro in 2022. We have a next-gen Nintendo console in our forecasts for late 2024, so I'm not convinced a 'Pro' model is going to appear at all.
If this proves to be correct, it would seem far more likely that this would be a new console, rather than a 'pro' version of a console that was released in 2017. A seven-year console cycle would not be dissimilar to the Xbox One. That console launched in 2013, before the Series X came out in 2020.
So where do things stand at the moment? Well, we certainly wouldn't be betting the house on a Switch Pro coming out in 2022.
These Nintendo Switch concept designs are stunning!
The German tech site Computer Bildhas released a video featuring two designs for a potential new Nintendo Switch - a Nintendo Switch Pro and Nintendo Switch XL.
The Nintendo Switch XL concept includes a bigger screen capable of 4K gaming, a more ergonomic Joy-Con design, four Switch cartridge slots, and an improved stand.
The Nintendo Switch Pro is a more innovative concept that comes in the form of a new dock. This dock would also be capable of 4K gaming and holding four cartridges at once.
While these two concepts are only fan designs, they have made us even more desperate for an upgraded Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo Switch Pro specs and hardware
While nothing has yet to be confirmed, there have been countless rumours and 'leaks' surrounding the Switch Pro's hardware components.
This includes rumours that the Nintendo Switch Pro will feature a 7-inch OLED screen that runs in 720p when in handheld mode, but in 4K when docked. The Switch Pro is also expected to support NVIDIA DLSS to further enhance its graphical fidelity.
The suggestion is that a Switch Pro would have similar power to that of a PS4. Which, for a handheld device, is pretty good.
Nintendo Switch Pro price
There’s no official price in the market for the next Switch model, so all we have is guesswork at this stage.
Given that the Nintendo Switch still, over three years after its launch, costs around £279 ($299) due to its immense popularity, we expect that the Switch Pro, with its increased specs, will cost more than the $299 the Switch launched at.
Most of the predictions have it priced around the $399 mark - which is £345 in the UK. This, of course, is all subject to change. And if the new console isn't with us until 2024, inflation and other factors could raise this price even further.
Will the Nintendo Switch Pro have exclusive games?
If the Switch Pro does launch this year, there is a chance the upgraded console could have some exclusive titles, according to one notable insider.
Writing on a ResetEra thread discussing the Switch Pro's alleged OLED screen, NateDrake said. "There will be some select exclusives, especially from third-party partners. May not be a big number of them, but I know of at least one."
This means that the likes of Breath of the Wild 2 will still launch on the base Switch, while games such as Final Fantasy VII Remake may be exclusive to the Pro.
However, this all remains pure speculation at this point, although given the base Nintendo Switch's hardware, does make sense.
Nintendo Switch Pro Joy-Cons
The Joy-Con controllers have quickly become yet another iconic Nintendo design. But if you've been using them since the Switch launched in 2017 then you'll know they are prone to certain issues.
Joy-Con drift is the main issue that has plagued the system. After an extended amount of use, the left Joy-Con's stick would be prone to drift. This was usually due to a build-up of dust inside the controller. While Nintendo offers to fix these drift problems for free, even after the warranty ends, it is a frustrating issue that comes down to a flaw in the Joy-Cons design.
Nintendo has now publicly addressed the Joy-Con issue, with their President, Shuntaro Furukawa apologising during a Q&A in late June for the drift issue.
Nintendo Switch Pro's Pro Controller
If the Switch Joy-Con's get an upgrade with the new console, we'd hope a Pro Controller gets the same treatment.
While the controller is the best way to play the Switch while docked, there are still issues with the base design, such as the wobbly D-Pad.
We would also like to see Nintendo include new features on the Pro Controller such as those found in the upcoming PS5 DualSense Controller. Although this would almost certainly lead to a hefty price increase.
Much as we love to speculate, at this stage, it isn't looking like particularly encouraging news for a Nintendo Switch Pro release. That's ever, never mind in 2022. But Nintendo do like to surprise us. So if anything changes, we'll be sure to let you know.