Something is looming in the air, and it may be an upgraded version of the Nintendo Switch. Rumors suggest that Nintendo could announce the Switch Pro as early as June 4th, and with E3 just around the corner, anything’s possible. Here’s everything we know about the console so far.
What Are the Switch Pro’s Features?
We’ve heard a lot of things about the Switch Pro over the past few years, like rumors of a high-res display and 4K support in docked mode. But things change. Reliable Switch Pro leaks from a few years ago may not matter anymore if Nintendo has changed its direction for the console—remember, we’re in the middle of a global semiconductor shortage.
At the time of writing, March 3rd report from Bloomberg seems to offer the most accurate insight into the Switch Pro’s hardware and features. Bloomberg says that Samsung Display Co is manufacturing 7-inch, 720p-resolution OLED panels for the Switch Pro, with a monthly target of nearly one million units. This display is slightly larger than the standard Switch’s 6.2-inch panel and will offer improved contrast and color accuracy in portable mode.
If Bloomberg’s reporting is correct, the Switch Pro will have the same display resolution as the original Switch. But the console will likely feature 4K support when in docked mode thanks to a new NVIDIA chip. Nintendo may implement 4K support through NVIDIA DLSS upscaling, which would require a newer, more powerful NVIDIA chip. Using DLSS would also ensure 4K support for old games and reduce the need for a large, power-hungry, 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 achieve 4K support. Some rumors suggest that Nintendo will add NVIDIA DLSS to a new Switch dock, allowing the docking station to handle upscaling. It makes sense—there’s no use for AI upscaling when the Switch Pro is in portable mode. The upgraded dock could also add 4K support to original Switch consoles, although this is just speculation.
But will the Switch Pro’s larger screen force users to buy new Joy-Cons? It depends on a few factors. Rumors suggest that the Switch Pro will have thinner bezels, and if so, then it may have the same dimensions as the original Switch and 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?
Ignoring rumors for a second, there’s a good chance that we’ll get a Switch Pro this year. That’s because the Switch release schedule has so far mirrored the 3DS release schedule. Like the 2DS, the Switch Lite came out two years after the launch of its original console. 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 have to study Nintendo’s business tactics to feel the looming Switch Pro release, because there are leaks and rumors floating around all over the place! The biggest leak comes from Twitter user @Alphabeat_g, who found an accidental 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 a new Switch-related hardware will open June 4th.
— Alphabeat (@Alphabeat_g) May 28, 2021
Of course, the Nintendo Switch “hardware” described by Centro LEAKS could be anything, and retailers often use placeholder dates for product releases in their internal systems. But the rumored June 4th announcement is backed up by other leaks, including a statement by Nintendo leaker @Shpeshal_Nick and an accidental French retailer listing (which also points to a €399 price tag for the Switch Pro).
It would make sense for Nintendo to announce the Switch Pro on June 4th, just a week and a half ahead of 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 may have exclusive games or in-game features, which Nintendo could cover during E3.
Again, it’s worth mentioning that these are all just rumors. Even if Nintendo is planning a Switch Pro announcement June 4th, it could push the date back by weeks or months. In the meantime, you should follow Nintendo on Facebook or Twitter for live updates, or subscribe to our free newsletter.