Will the Siwtch Pro be released in 2021? (pic: Nintendo)
References to a more powerful version of the Nintendo Switch have allegedly been found in a new firmware update for the current model.
Rumours about the Switch Pro began almost as soon as the original console was released, which is understandable given Nintendo’s long history of releasing new and upgraded versions of their hardware.
There’s never been any real evidence for it, although that may no longer be the case if dataminer SciresM is right about details he’s found in the firmware of the existing model.
In the code, the Switch Pro is allegedly referred to by the codename Aula and apparently uses an upgraded OLED display and a chip capable of 4K resolution graphics.
The Switch Pro sounds like a cheap off the old block (pic: Nvidia)
The Realtek chip in question advertises itself as a ‘4K UHD multimedia SoC [system on a chip]’ but that in itself doesn’t guarantee that the Switch Pro will push 4K graphics. It’s also not clear if the chip is in the console or part of a new dock, as it’s unlikely the console itself would have a 4K screen.
‘Nintendo actually is working on a new model with upgraded display stuff and has been for ~1.5-2 years. I personally believe it’s 4K given the signs I’m seeing in the firmware, but that’s not confirmed yet and could be wrong’, said SciresM in a series of 4chan posts.
The Switch Pro’s main chip is apparently the same ‘Mariko’ Tegra X1 SoC used in the Switch Lite and 2019 revision of the original model.
That suggests a less significant increase in power, but SciresM believes that it will run at higher clock speeds, with better cooling and longer battery life.
Although Nintendo was downplaying the possibility of the Switch Pro as recently as last month, they’re not a company that tends to give hints about their future plans.
Multiple sources have claimed that the Switch Pro will be released in 2021, but then they said the same about 2020 as well – although that was before the coronavirus hit.
Between the pandemic and Nintendo’s natural inscrutability it’s impossible to guess the likelihood of whether the Switch Pro really will be released this year, especially as even if the firmware details are correct it doesn’t mean Nintendo won’t change their plans later.
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