Alas, it seems rumours of a Nintendo Switch Pro with a 1080p OLED touchscreen, thinner bezels, and improved battery life to launch this year were unfounded.
Nintendo has confirmed that its upcoming Switch Lite, which has a smaller body, un-detachable Joy Con controllers, and is unable to be played on the big screen using the Switch Dock accessory, will be the only new hardware to launch this year.
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The un-switchable Switch Lite is considerably cheaper than the standard Switch, with prices from £199 on pre-order, and new bundles and discounts tipped to be in the works for the blow-out Black Friday sales at the end of the year. As such, many assumed Nintendo would launch a new model that caters to players willing to pay a little more for an improved handheld experience with the Switch, which currently sports a 720p touchscreen – a step-down from the 1080p output you get to a TV.
The Wall Street Journal initially reported Nintendo was developing a second-generation Switch earlier this year. According to sources speaking to the publication, the so-called Switch 2 will dramatically improve the built-in touchscreen display included with the console. OLED was also touted as a possibility for the new display. It offers a number of improvements over LCD, which is used in the current generation Nintendo Switch, including deeper blacks and more vibrant colours. They can also be more battery efficient, especially when using a dark mode.
While it's possible Nintendo is working on this improved hardware, we're not likely to see the handheld-cum-home console hit shelves anytime soon.
In an interview with Cnet about the forthcoming Nintendo Switch Lite, Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo America, Doug Bowser confirmed it would be the only new Nintendo Switch hardware this holiday season.
Intriguingly, Bowser – who took over the role in April and shares a name with the main antagonist of Nintendo's popular Super Mario franchise – didn't rule-out an eventual update to the standard switch-able Switch. Instead, the Nintendo of America CEO said that it simply isn't on the cards "right now".
It makes sense that Nintendo will upgrade the internals, screen and performance on the Nintendo Switch in the future. After all, the Japanese gaming firm has already talked about plans to keep the Switch around much longer than a typical console lifecycle – with suggestions there won't be a true successor to the Switch for a decade. In order to keep things fresh, a better display, more grunt under the bonnet, and the improved battery life could be just what the console needs in 2020.
In the meantime, Nintendo will start to quietly roll-out a slightly tweaked version of the Switch next month. Although the hardware is identical, an upgraded chipset should result in better battery life when gaming on-the-go.