If you’ve been waiting for a more powerful version of the Nintendo Switch to hit the market, you might want to look elsewhere. Nintendo has reportedly canceled plans to release a Switch Pro, effectively killing console gamers’ hopes for an upgraded handheld.
According to John Linneman, a video game reporter and enthusiast, the Switch Pro was once a genuine Nintendo project before the company decided to kill it. Following some internal debate, Nintendo appears to have decided to direct any effort that would have gone into a Switch Pro toward a next-generation console instead.
“I think at one point internally, from what I can understand from talking to different developers, is that there was some sort of mid-generation Switch update planned at one point, and that seems to be no longer happening,” said Linneman on the podcast Digital Foundry this week. “And thus, it’s pretty clear that whatever they do next is going to be the actual next-generation hardware.”
Nintendo fans have been wondering for years whether the company would release a more capable version of its best-selling console. Since its release in 2017, the Switch has naturally become a little out of date: it can’t output 4K graphics at 60 frames per second (fps) like the more recent PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X, resulting in a slightly less graphically impressive experience than console gamers can otherwise enjoy these days. It is now up against the Steam Deck, which can output 4K resolution while sharing a library with the user’s PC.
Nintendo, to its credit, did release an OLED version of the Switch in 2021. The Switch OLED produces richer colors and deeper blacks than its predecessor for an additional $50… but with no performance enhancements. Fans have been hoping for a Switch Pro with 4K support and increased computing power, as predicted by Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki in 2020. The speculation only grew from there: a larger and better Switch dock, as well as a DLSS-enabled model, have both been rumored in recent years. It’s clear that if these features make it to Switch at all, it’ll be through a next-generation iteration rather than the Pro version we’re already used to.
According to Linneman, a next-generation console could hit the market within the next year or so. He stated on Digital Foundry that a “Nintendo Switch 2” could be released in 2023 or 2024, likely after the long-awaited Legend of Zelda sequel. According to one reliable leaker, the new console will use the Nvidia T239 chip and will include new graphic features such as ray tracing.