However, what we didn't know was exactly when it was going to get its first official unveiling. A Nintendo Switch Pro release date in the months leading up to the 2021 winter holiday season was obvious, but when it would be unveiled to the public wasn't so.
Well, now we do know, thanks to a Bloomberg report by authoritative Nintendo insider Takashi Mochizuki, who states that Nintendo "plans to begin assembly of its new Switch as soon as July and release the upgraded replacement for its four-year-old game console in September or October".
So, the perfect launch window to tap into the winter holiday season market, then. And, with Mochizuki's bullet proof heritage in terms of accurately reporting Nintendo information, we can now safely say that the Nintendo Switch Pro release date will be "in September or October" this year.
What's more interesting about this report, though, is that Mochizuki states that the Nintendo Switch Pro "may be announced ahead of the E3 conference starting June 12". And, well, if that is true then we are within weeks of seeing the Nintendo Switch Pro. Now that's properly exciting.
Why would Nintendo go so early with its Nintendo Switch Pro launch? Only to tap into the wave of disenfranchised gamers who are still unable to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X, that's why. I wrote mere weeks ago about why it would be a misstep by Nintendo not to capitalise on this, and with a pre-E3 2021 unveiling it certainly would do, which makes sense to me.
Suddenly the 4K-capable graphical beast that is the Nintendo Switch Pro will be in front of gamers eyes and very, very real, and many will likely ask themselves if actually waiting a few more months to buy a Switch Pro might be their best option.
Although, for me at least, I don't think it is going to be that straight forward at all, and the reason for that is another detail mentioned in Mochizuki's report – the Nintendo Switch Pro price.
Apparently, the Nintendo Switch Pro is "likely to be priced higher than the $299 original" Nintendo Switch, according to Mochizuki. And that to me spells the potential for big trouble for gamers, and especially so in light of the on-going semi-conductor shortages worldwide.
I foresee a Nintendo Switch Pro launch that not only has a higher barrier for entry for gamers off the bat, with say the console retailing for say $399, which is obviously far from ideal, but then many gamers then also having to factor in the scalper mark-up, too, due to console shortages.
Does it make sense that the Nintendo Switch Pro costs more than the Nintendo Switch? Probably, and I bet a lot of gamers could rationalise paying, say, a $100 premium to get the upgraded console, but would they be prepared to pay $200 or even $300 to get 4K visuals? And especially so when plug-and-play upscalers like the Marseille mClassic exist?
Because unless the Nintendo Switch Pro faces no supply shortages, scalpers are going to run rampant again and, with their inevitable mark-ups, they are going push the Switch Pro to PS5 and Xbox Series X levels in terms of cost. And while the Switch Pro will be a power increase over the original Switch, it is not going to be capable of the graphical power of the PS5 or Xbox Series X.
There's no easy solution to this problem, but I think if the Nintendo Switch Pro price does rise above the $299 original, it could make the at-launch take-up of the console compromised, and really make many gamers question whether or not they would be better with say a Nintendo Switch Lite as a second console, which could by that time cost under half of what the Nintendo Switch Pro is retailing for.
Here's hoping, then, for a modest price rise (if any), as well as plenty of Switch Pro consoles for its launch window. As otherwise its price could keep it from becoming the main console Nintendo it clearly would love it to be for many gamers.
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