Finally, the time is approaching: Nintendo is getting ready to unveil an updated version of the Switch console. The new switch will be made with a larger Samsung-made OLED screen to play in handheld mode, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The news will not come as a surprise to those who, like us, have been waiting for an updated version of Switch since rumors of it first began making the rounds in August last year. At the time, however, we knew very little about Nintendo’s actual plans, except that there were actually plans.
This week’s report states that Samsung will produce a 7-inch, 720p OLED panel for Switch Pro (or whatever Nintendo decides to call it). Samsung could start production as early as June, sources say, with an initial monthly target of about one million units. The screens can start being sent to fitters around July.
A new effort on the quay? ̵
If you believe the rumors, the updated switch will also include 4K output when connected to a TV, which can point to a dock with a dedicated GPU and more processing power. If Nintendo changes resolution for performance when playing handheld, it can squeeze more detailed graphics out of a lower-power system and a lower-resolution screen. By connecting the system to a GPU when docked, it is possible that a new switch can counteract the PS5 and Series X in a way that gives users the best of both worlds. From Bloomberg:
The latest model also comes with 4K ultra-high definition graphics when paired with TVs, they said. It may reinforce a long-standing complaint from developers, who have struggled with the difference in resolution between handheld and TV mode and now face a larger gap between the two.
An updated switch may be just the pressure Nintendo needs to keep sales of the four-year-old console high through 2021. The OLED screen is also likely to increase the console’s handheld battery life. But as longtime Nintendo fans know, the company does not need high def screens to do what they do best.
The console war is underway – Nintendo’s Switch sold exceptionally well in 2020, with the console selling more than 11.5 million units in the fourth quarter alone. The console is now on its way to outsell Game Boy Advance, one of Nintendo’s most popular devices ever.
The only thing holding back Sony and Microsoft from dominating the market is really a serious lack of offers. Nintendo knows that it must increase its game if it wants to have any chance of carrying its winning streak through 2021.
Does Nintendo need more power? – Nintendo has never been about premium graphics. The company has always focused on new game methods and a tried and true series of exclusions over graphics superiority.
But the end of 2020 led to fierce competition for Nintendo. Microsoft released the Xbox Series X and Series S, along with the Game Pass subscription service, and Sony released the PlayStation 5 powerhouse not long after. Both consoles set the switch’s ever-dated performance center in the ongoing battle of eyes and time. Maybe Nintendo will level the playing field without deviating from what Switch did in the first place.
And just one more thing: Releasing the switch may be just the opportunity Nintendo needs to update its Joy-Con controllers. Let’s take that call, Nintendo.