While Nintendo took the floor again last month to reiterate that, no new console is planned besides its brand new Switch OLED, new first-hand information contradicts the video game and platforms manufacturer’s claims.
We’re getting used to this back-and-forth between official Nintendo statements and informants. But this new information from Nate The Hate supports the ones published during the year by Bloomberg about a 4K Switch.
A console doped with DLSS
Generally well-informed, this Nintendo insider has expanded on the company’s hardware future in his latest podcast. He talks about having interviewed several contacts and seeing a bit more clearly the vagueness that surrounds Nintendo’s plans.
“After the Bloomberg article was published (on the availability of devkits for a Switch 4K, editor’s note), I contacted several of my sources to try to get a better idea. And I will no longer call this console the “Switch Pro”. From the conversations I’ve had, it’s clear that this is new hardware for the Nintendo Switch, but I don’t yet know how it will be positioned.”
A revision of the current model? A Nintendo Switch 2?
Nate isn’t sure yet, but he will now rely on the “Switch 4K” designation due to the capabilities of said console. “[The console] can deliver 4K, and that will be possible with DLSS. These facts are tangible, there is clear evidence to support this information, and there is no reason to think this will change in the future.”
Is Nintendo about to segment the market?
So we’re back to where we were before the Switch OLED curtain call. How will Nintendo assume to segment a market as successful as the Switch, which is just over 4 years has sold over 89 million units?
Because offering 4K (sprinkled with DLSS, or another upscaling method) can only be done by opting for the last generation chip. A more powerful model then, which would logically push developers to prefer it to the original Switch and its aging hardware. In other words: if there is a Switch 4K, it will come with exclusive games, which will leave some 89 million faithful on the sidelines.
In addition, the change in graphics architecture would pose huge backwards compatibility concerns. This points to the hypothesis of a next-generation console rather than a “simple” revision that would complicate Nintendo’s lineup.
Continuing his presentation, Nate confirms that the development kits for this new console have been distributed to studios since the end of 2020. And according to his sources, Nintendo could make this console official between the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. That is, for the sixth anniversary of the Nintendo Switch – which exceeds the usual life cycle of a home console of the company.