Nintendo Switch Pro news: Will Nintendo release the Switch Pro in 2021?
You could be waiting a while for the Nintendo Switch Pro, but it’s starting to sound pretty great…
The Nintendo Switch has been a huge success, and who wouldn’t want a Pro version? But if the latest Nintendo statement is anything to go by, we could be waiting quite a while for the fabled Switch Pro to arrive.
That’s because, according to some official slides that have been doing the rounds, Nintendo is only willing to narrow down its future console’s release date in one way – by saying it will happen this century!
As you can see in the slide below, the date that describes Nintendo’s “Next gaming system” is 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…
READ MORE: When is the next Nintendo Direct?
That being said, there are rumours and rumblings in the wind which suggest that Nintendo’s next console is a little closer than 2099. It remains to be seen whether this will be a whole new system or simply an upgraded Switch (the latter of which would not be unheard of).
With the PS5 and Xbox Series X both having just released this year, 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…
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 recent 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.
The latest Switch Pro release date rumours point towards a launch later in 2021, with one leak suggesting the Switch Pro will be revealed in a Nintendo Direct on January 11, before releasing in April.
Had this been last year, this leak would not have carried much weight as Nintendo tended to announce its Direct’s much earlier. Given Nintendo’s shift in approach, in which they are now more likely to announce events at a moment’s notice, this leak could be true.
However, when looking at the content of this alleged ‘leak’, it does seem rather far-fetched. Seeing GTA V, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Super Mario Odyssey 2 and Splatoon 3 in the announcements reads more like a wishlist than a Direct schedule.
This does not mean a Switch Pro will not launch in 2021, however. Games industry analysts have told GamesIndustry.biz that they believe a Nintendo Switch Pro will launch in 2021. Piers Harding-Rolls of Ampere Analysis and Dr Serkan Toto of Kantan Games both predict a ‘Switch Pro’ will 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, commenting Nintendo’s success in 2021 “will be driven by content and promotional efforts rather than the release of a new iterative model.”
READ MORE: Where to buy a LEGO NES kit!
These Nintendo Switch concept designs are stunning!
The German tech site Computer Bild has 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 certainly made us even more desperate for an upgraded Nintendo Switch, helped by the EPIC video Computer Bild released alongside its designs, which you can view below.
Nintendo Switch Pro rumoured to include Mini-LED screen
Reports from Economic Daily News suggest that a new Nintendo Switch could launch with a Mini-LED display, following Nintendo’s visit to the Taiwanese company, Innolux, known for producing LCD panels and Mini-LED screens.
If this rumour proves to be true, the Nintendo Switch could see its battery life improve significantly due to the efficiency which comes from using LEDs, alongside a brightness level that matches an OLED display for a smaller price tag.
Currently, the Switch console uses a 720p LCD screen when in handheld mode, so we’d expect the upgraded console to at least support 1080p gameplay when undocked.
Nintendo Switch Pro could deliver 4K Switch games
According to reports from Bloomberg, Nintendo has reportedly asked developers to “make their games 4K-ready” in preparation for 2021.
If true, this is further evidence that the Switch Pro will be compatible with 4K TVs or monitors when docked, alongside a higher resolution screen for the Nintendo Switch itself and an improved GPU.
These rumours were later corroborated by prominent leaker Dusk Golem on Twitter.
However, Dusk Golem’s reputation as a leaker has recently been under scrutiny following allegations they purposely release false information regarding the PS5 and its ability to run in 4K, so we’d take this with a pinch of salt.
With games such as No More Heroes 3 and Metroid Prime 4 suffering from delays, could this be a symptom of developers needing to tweak their games for 4K?
READ MORE: Fall Guys on Switch could be coming soon
FCC filing reveals new Switch hardware changes
Nintendo has introduced an FCC filing that details changes to the Switch’s internal components. Included in the filing are images of the internal components, which seem to confirm Nintendo is set on creating a more powerful Switch with improved memory and an upgraded SoC (system on a chip).
In Nintendo’s permissive change letter, the company writes that “We changed the following points from the original model.”
- Change of SoC
- Change of Memory
- CPU Board is changed due to the above two components
Nintendo further clarifies that these changes will not alter the design of the console, stating “Since there is no change in shape of the enclosure and the component layout related to RF characteristics including the antenna between the original model and the new model, the SAR testing on the new model is not required and is waived.”
These changes were submitted on August 23 2020, which lines up with the latest rumours that a Switch Pro is coming in 2021.
Will the Nintendo Switch Pro have two screens?
We don’t know how this second screen will relate to the Switch as we know it, but it’s always fun to speculate about huge upgrades like this.
Maybe the Switch Pro could feature a fold between two screens like the DS, or a controller-connected screen to compliment your TV like the Wii U, or perhaps Nintendo is cooking up something totally different.
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.
The Switch Pro’s rumoured specs change depending on the reports, and it could be anywhere between a small upgrade and a generational shift.
One thing we would love to see is an SSD, which would help Nintendo to keep up with the Xbox Series X and the PS5.
Some powerful new hardware like this could cut down the loading times on things like Animal Crossing, which would be awesome.
READ MORE: Will we see GameCube games on the Switch?
Will the Nintendo Switch Pro have exclusive games?
If we do see a Nintendo Switch Pro released next year, there is no chance it will have exclusive games.
Much like the many upgrades to the 3DS, most new games for the handheld, especially for the first few years, were compatible with all 3DS consoles.
Instead, games may be ‘optimised’ for the Switch Pro, meaning they run smoother and look better.
So if you’re worried about missing out on Breath of the Wild 2 or Metroid Prime 4, you can rest easy knowing these games will work on the base Nintendo Switch whenever they release.
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 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 that the 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 may lead to a hefty price increase.