Nintendo is no stranger to rumors popping up about its hybrid console which now enters its fifth year of existence. Two years after the console’s initial salvo, many thought Nintendo would follow the same process they had previously with their other handheld systems and release different versions. The console maker delivered on that with the Nintendo Switch Lite in September 2019. However, there was also an expectation that a more high-powered version of the Switch would see the light similar to the New Nintendo 3DS XL, or something akin to Sony‘s PlayStation 4 Pro, and Microsoft‘s Xbox One X.
Unfortunately, this has remained nothing but persistent speculation. From industry analysts, and data miners to gaming journalists, personalities, and Nintendo lovers, everyone has tried their hand at pushing the existence of the Nintendo Switch Pro with a tireless fervor. Why wouldn’t you want an even better version of a console that has now sold close to 80 Million units?
Nintendo Goes Bigger And Bolder For the Nintendo Switch Pro
However, this latest information from Bloomberg is perhaps the most substantial evidence that a Switch Pro is indeed on the way.
The most surprising aspect of the news is that a larger, 7-inch 720p organic light-emitting display or OLED screen is being built by Samsung for the improved console. According to the co-founder of the DSCC, Yoshio Tamura, the OLED screen consumes less battery, is cheaper to produce, and could even offer a faster response time than the current LCD screen. While also providing an instantly recognizable difference from the original Switch’s 6.2-inch screen for anyone looking for a gift during the holiday season.
For those wondering but what about the games? Well, the other major addition to the Switch Pro is the ability to output 4K when docked. Although it wouldn’t be native 4K, the upscaling on televisions would help put Nintendo’s console more in line with its beefier competition the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles. In order to keep the cost down though, handheld mode would remain virtually the same as it is now. Nintendo is most likely looking at $400 price point for the system and an increase to 1080p for handheld mode would drive up the price considerably.
Is a Nintendo Switch Pro Worth It?
While many gamers are always ready to adopt the latest and greatest simply because it’s new or they get coaxed into it due to the fear of missing out, there are plenty of consumers who take a more measured approach to new technology. This upgrade in visual quality for televisions may prove even more difficult to maintain fidelity for handheld mode. Developers, especially those of the third-party variety, already have a tough time maintaining consistency in framerate between 1080p on televisions and 720p on the handheld for the bigger games. Imagine the starker difference now when trying to account for upscaling to 4K? While there promises to be a performance boost with this console upgrade, is it going to be big enough to warrant purchasing it?
Nintendo sure hopes so, although they’ve consistently denied the existence of a Switch Pro, they have admitted that one of their new sales strategies is to try to get families to buy multiple Switches. While you could certainly go the way of getting a younger gamer the cheaper Switch Lite, there’s also the avenue of the Switch Pro which entices the hardcore gamer to purchase this, and then pass down the original Switch to someone else in the family.
As someone that uses their Switch 98 percent of the time in handheld mode just getting a bigger screen isn’t super appealing. However, if games prove to be much more stable and run better in handheld mode as a result of improved performance that may push me towards considering it. For those that primarily play on their televisions, seeing 4K and Switch could be enough of a driver to go full board with the upgrade. Also, what about the Joycon Drift issue? Could Nintendo actually finally resolve this problem that currently has them involved in multiple class-action lawsuits? This would be a huge boon that could help drive sales of the Nintendo Switch Pro as well.
Games Make All The Difference
Just having an “upgraded” console might entice some to chase after it. However, what pushes the majority of the gaming public towards a new SKU is games. Nintendo has a wonderful chance to prove that there’s tremendous viability in purchasing a Switch Pro by launching it with one of their upcoming titles. They could easily go the route they’ve done twice already with the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 which could really showcase what the Switch Pro could do and also play off the original Switch, which launched with the phenomenon that was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Although Nintendo could also go a route they’ve done many times before launch it with the recently announced Pokemon Legends Arceus. Perhaps they could even launch both of the games very close together to provide a fantastic double whammy that becomes too overwhelming to resist.
Obviously, as proven by the sales of the PlayStation 4 Pro, not everyone is going to buy an upgraded Switch. But if this news finally leads to Nintendo revealing the long-anticipated Switch Pro, the hype cycle is going to be unreal and it will create further years of life for the hybrid console. Not to mention, so many more possibilities for the games that can be made on the system as well. As someone that was absolutely captivated by the first trailer reveal of the Nintendo Switch, it has been a joy to play major Nintendo titles on the go and also be able to slide it into the dock and watch the game instantly flash onto my television. Having an even more powerful, sleeker, and prettier version of that is sure to win over current and soon-to-be Switch owners alike.