With Nintendo weathering the storm of 2020, eyes turn to Nintendo Switch updates from a company with a track record of rampant hardware refreshes, and successful product innovations through the likes of the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Internet murmurings around a Nintendo Switch Pro, a more powerful evolution of the original model, have been quietly building. Although the company is typically aloof in talks of hardware developments, new info sheds light on the future.
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It comes in light of an interview between Polygon and Nintendo of America president, Doug Bowser. Nintendo is always guarded with new releases, and Bowser is predictably tight-lipped:
"First, we’re always looking at technology. And as we know, technology is constantly evolving and changing. And we’re always looking at what is coming to determine: How can it enhance and improve the gameplay experience? And whether that’s on a current platform, or whether that’s on a future platform, we’re always looking at that."
It's a riddling response, but people can take some cautious optimism in Bowser's nod to Nintendo’s pro-active approach in pushing new tech, especially after reports that the next-gen Nintendo models could feature Mini LED display tech. Switch models currently use LCD displays at 720p resolution; however, when docked it can reach 1080p via an HDMI connection to a TV. There’s little in the way of concrete news regarding when we might see any potential new hardware, but he does add:
"However, we also see right now – and we just talked about it – that the momentum on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite in the fourth year is strong. And we believe we’re changing the trajectory of another typical console life cycle. And we will continue, for the foreseeable future, to really lean into both of those platforms and the content that comes with it, because it’s the symbiotic relationship that makes the real difference. And it’s why Nintendo Switch is so differentiated."
It does seem to snub chances of any new hardware in the early part of 2021, as the company leans into the successes of its existing models. But it hasn't stalled chatter around new product launches, though. T3 covered two concept designs of the rumoured Nintendo Switch XL and the Nintendo Switch Pro last week: the former, a multi-cartridge console with reimagined Joy-Con controllers and a bigger 4K screen; while the Switch Pro is envisioned as a 4K gaming dock that plugs straight into your TV and contains two USB-C ports.
With the gaming calendar bursting with exciting releases, Nintendo is certain to carve its own path with the much loved Switch ecosystem that is building a heritage with its loyal fanbase of cartridge based gameplay.