Rumors of a 4K follow up to the Nintendo Switch have been swirling for months. Now Nintendo has finally provided an update about the Switch Pro.
While it might not be the update many fans were hoping for, it could mean more than it appears to initially.
There seems to be a fresh Switch Pro rumor every couple of weeks. From Nintendo interacting with manufacturers of 4K screens to stories about cloud gaming coming to Nintendo Switch.
Even collaborations with Microsoft, such as the inclusion of Xbox Gamer Pass coming to Switch, have made the rumor mill spin.
But now it appears as though Nintendo has poured cold water on these rumors by suggesting that they are "Focusing on existing models, rather than a potential Switch Pro."
Nintendo Switch Pro - Not A Priority?
In an interview with Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser (yes Bowser) conducted by Polygon, the Nintendo boss attempted to downplay the Switch Pro rumors saying:
"Right now, with the momentum that we have, our focus will be on the existing form factors. However, we also see right now 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."
Going on to say, "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."
Bowser is saying that Nintendo is satisfied with the success of the existing Nintendo Switch models and isn't planning on replacing them anytime soon. It appears that as we head into 2021, Nintendo is going to focus on content instead of hardware.
But what's telling is the terms Bowser has used, such as "foreseeable future." He's also not confirmed or denied the existence of the Switch Pro.
What Mr Bowser is really trying to do here is push the line-up of Nintendo Switch games over this holiday period and beyond. He wants consumers to keep faith in the Switch and continue to support it.
Gamers tend to become hesitant when they know new hardware is coming. They may decide to hold their cash back until it arrives. Nintendo knows this and is keen to avoid it.
The prevailing rumor about the Nintendo Switch Pro is that it will arrive this time next year. Holiday 2021, perhaps being announced at E3 or a Nintendo Tree House/Direct show in Spring.
This would possibly fall out of Bower's "foreseeable future" assessment too. He's not lying, quite the opposite. But he's certainly not telling us everything. In fact, we'd argue that his recent interview with Polygon gives the Nintendo Switch rumors even more credibility.
He's essentially reiterated what we already suspected. And his words fit neatly alongside the estimated Switch Pro timeline. After all, nobody was expecting a Switch hardware refresh anytime soon – Holiday 2021 at the earliest.
Is The Nintendo Switch Pro Real?
It's clear that Nintendo is cooking something up behind the scenes. And at this point, there are too many rumors to deny. There's no smoke without fire – and something is burning away behind closed doors.
The Switch Pro (or whatever Nintendo decides to call it) is real. Why else are the company reaching out to manufactures of mini-LED screens and other third parties?
There's also a collection of anniversaries in 2021. Be it or Zelda or Pokémon, each will be something the company will want to capitalize on. Recent leaks have also suggested this may be the case.
Let's not forget that Nintendo will need to refresh their hardware sooner or later. The Switch and Switch Lite are fantastic pieces of kit, but now that the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S have arrived, it may begin to feel dated.
Switch Pro - 4K Upgrade
4K gaming, streaming, etc., are all about to become standard. While we don't expect Nintendo to try and compete with Sony or Microsoft in these arenas, they will want to at least keep up.
Nintendo thrives when they do their own thing and offer an innovative alternative to PlayStation and Xbox. But they need to make sure modern gaming technology is part of their plan, or they'll fall behind.
The Switch Pro would solve this dilemma. It would allow Nintendo to keep doing what they're doing, but with a Switch console that's more in tune with this gen.
Nobody believes the Nintendo Switch is broken, so it doesn't need fixing. But an update will expand its lifecycle, and while we don't expect to see it in the "foreseeable future" – we do expect to see it.
Here’s where we’ve complied everything we know about the Nintendo Switch Pro.
While we’re on the subject of Pokémon, here’s what we think about the rumored remakes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.