Leaks and whispers about a Nintendo Switch Pro have been circulating for years now and, in wake of the PS5 and Xbox Series X launching at the end of last year, renewed emphasis has fallen on when gamers can expect to see the Big N's next-gen Nintendo Switch.
However, up until now Nintendo has firmly rejected any idea that a Pro system is coming, with President of Nintendo Shuntaro Furukawa stating last year (opens in new tab) that, "we have no plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch model during 2020."
Fast-forward to today, though, and Nintendo has just released (opens in new tab) its financial results for the last quarter and they are the firm's best since 2008, with 11.6 million consoles sold over the winter holiday period.
What's interesting about these results being released, though, is that during a Q&A with journalists, when asked if there would be a new Nintendo Switch model released this year in 2021, according to the world's foremost Nintendo reporter Takashi Mochizuki (opens in new tab), the reply was that the Big N is "not going to make an announcement anytime soon".
And that is interesting. It's interesting because, one, unlike last year Nintendo has not explicitly stated that no new model is coming in 2021 (like it did in 2020) and, two, the vaguer response comes just as analysts have started to speak out on how it makes sense for a new Nintendo Switch to be forthcoming. It seems like a clue to when we should expect to see a Nintendo Switch Pro console.
Q: new model this year?A: not planning to make an annoucement anytime soon as we have Mario ver in Feb, MH ver in Mar.Hint: Nintendo chief last year said not planning to release new model in 2020. Today's was just "not anytime soon." So, that means...?https://t.co/MQkwskXYrnFebruary 1, 2021
Last month, for example, Piers Harding-Rolls from Ampere Analysis said he expects "Nintendo's Switch family of devices to be the best-selling consoles again in 2021 following a very strong 2020," before adding that "it makes more commercial sense to release an updated version in 2021."
Meanwhile, Kantan Games' Dr. Serkan Toto has also recently stated that "I predict a beefed-up 4K device is coming during Nintendo's next financial year. And let it be said: 'Switch' is just a word."
While mere days ago respected analysts Matthew Kanterman and Jitendra Waral agreed that, “Without a Switch Pro and suite of new games such as a sequel to Zelda Breath of the Wild, Nintendo’s 2020 will mark the high watermark as the Switch cycle wanes and with a difficult year-ago comparable as 2020 results were significantly boosted by Covid-19 demand.”
Here at T3 we read this situation to mean that a Nintendo Switch Pro console is coming, and it makes financial sense for Nintendo right now for that to happen. The unique circumstances of 2020 really helped maintain the momentum of Nintendo Switch, but with the original system now been on the market for almost 4 years, the Nintendo Switch Lite aimed at more casual gamers, and a light-looking software release schedule for 2021, in order to maintain momentum it looks like the Big N needs new hardware.
As to if the Nintendo Switch Pro will be launched in 2021 remains unknown, and if it indeed has a next financial year release window, that could mean an early 2022 release. We could very much see the Switch Pro announced or teased this year, only to then get released next year.
Either way, though, this latest development seems great news for Nintendo fans and has got us here at T3 very excited, as not only does it confirm that the Japanese console maker is doing very well (long live Nintendo!), but also that a Nintendo Switch Pro looks like it is inching ever closer towards a release.
Just imagine playing new Nintendo Switch games like a 4K sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Simply mouth watering...
As to what a Nintendo Switch Pro console could look like, our most interesting look yet comes from this concept design video:
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