The PS5 and Xbox Series X closed out 2020, taking gamers into the next console generation. Nintendo sat on the sidelines, content with the phenomenal sales that the Switch and Switch Lite have achieved so far, but it looks like it's pulling out the big guns next year.
After releasing the handheld-only version of its Switch console, Nintendo has been rumored to be prepping a more powerful model, complete with 4K support; it's even gone so far as to ask third-party developers to make 4K ready titles. And it looks like that beefed-up system is set to drop this year.
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Industry analysts talking to GamesIndustry.biz (opens in new tab) have all got their money on another year of strong sales for the existing hardware lineup, as well as the debut of Nintendo Switch Pro – or a more powerful console going under another moniker.
The speculated 2020 release for the Switch Pro was shot down pretty quickly, but the general consensus is that we'll see it roll out this year, while the Switch will continue to perform, and outsell the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The price point, and library of Nintendo Switch games will no doubt help that come to fruition.
Piers Harding-Rolls, from Ampere Analysis, says he expects "Nintendo's Switch family of devices to be the best-selling consoles again in 2021 following a very strong 2020," adding that "it makes more commercial sense to release an updated version [of the hardware] in 2021."
Kantan Games' Dr. Serkan Toto joins him in his prediction, saying, "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."
Nintendo rarely iterates on its devices in the same way its competitors do, so whether this new system will be part of the Switch family, or take on a new name remains to be seen, but Toto seems to be alluding to the latter scenario.
Nintendo of America president, Doug Bowser, recently talked about the Switch and Switch Lite's success, crediting the "symbiotic relationship" between the two as making "the real difference".
With plans to "lean into" both of the consoles (for the foreseeable future at least), bolstering the lineup with a 4K Switch Pro would undoubtedly prove to be get more gamers into Nintendo's ecosystem – especially with ports of amazing games like The Witcher 3, and Skyrim available on the platform.