What’s next for Nintendo hardware? For months rumors of a “Switch Pro” circulated, but then Nintendo revealed the Switch OLED – a largely cosmetic upgrade that improved the system’s screen and added a few small features but did nothing with its internal hardware. So, were the reports of a 4K Switch inaccurate? Not necessarily. Last month a report from Bloomberg indicated numerous publishers had received dev kits for a new 4K-capable Switch, which Nintendo denied, but the company has shot down rumors only for them to come true in the past.
Well, now tested Nintendo insider NateDrake has entered the fray to perhaps provide a bit of clarity. According to the insider, a Switch Pro isn’t happening, but only because a full next-gen Nintendo system is in the works. NateDrake doesn’t know exactly how the new hardware will be sold or positioned, but he’s now going to be referring to the product as the Switch 4K…
Since the Bloomberg article came out, I've reached out to numerous contacts of my own to try to make sense of the information. [...] I will no longer be referring to this as a "Switch Pro." Based on the conversations I have had it is clear this is new Nintendo Switch hardware, but it's not clear to me how it's going to be positioned. I don't know if it's going to be positioned as a Switch 2 or a revision, but moving forward I'm simply going to refer to it as the Switch 4K. Because it does have 4K capability and that is going to be achieved with DLSS. Those facts are solid, there is substantial evidence backing that information and there's no reason to anticipate that, that is going to change anytime soon.
As mentioned above, it seems the Switch 4K will be relying on NVIDIA’s DLSS tech to deliver higher resolution gameplay (something we've heard before), which will likely require a fairly major silicon upgrade – to the point backward compatibility may be difficult. That said, NateDrake and his co-host believe Nintendo will find a way to make it work. Expect the new hardware to have its share of exclusives, particularly from third parties, who will probably focus on the next hardware rather than the dated Switch.
Speaking of which, dev kits have been going out since late 2020, and in more recent months have been passed out to smaller developers (despite Nintendo’s insistence to the contrary). As for launch timing, NateDrake expects to see the hardware somewhere in the six-month window between the beginning of Q4 2022 and the end of Q1 2023. Of course, as always, take this with a grain of salt – it all sounds plausible enough, but Nintendo moves in mysterious ways.
What do you think Nintendo has brewing behind closed doors? What features do you hope Nintendo’s next hardware includes?