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Nintendo Switch Pro: latest rumours, news, specs, price and more

Ninty boss reignites rumour mill

Nintendo pretty much single-handedly relaunched the handheld console market with the Nintendo Switch back in 2017. Given the huge success and popularity of the system, it’s something of a mystery that we still don’t definitively know if a successor is in the works. Based on how the games world typically operates, it’s safe to say one probably is, be it in the form of a Nintendo Switch Pro, Switch 2, or even Super Switch.

Yes, for almost as long as the Switch has existed, rumours have circulated about a more expensive, more powerful version – known to many as the Switch Pro. As if to stoke the fires of anticipation, Nintendo went the opposite way in 2019, launching the cheaper, non-modular Switch Lite. Talk of the Switch Pro name has dimmed a little in recent weeks, with the Nintendo Switch 2 now a popular working title, and the idea of a Super Switch also gaining traction amongst fans.

For all this chatter, the Nintendo Switch is still the definitive new-gen handheld console, making up for its lack of firepower (compared to full fat systems like the PlayStation 5, at least) with a combination of killer games, portability and that all-important dash of Ninty magic. Nintendo seems to be continuing to bet that high-profile new exclusives will keep the Switch selling…but for how long?

Is the elusive Nintendo Switch Pro actually in the pipeline? And if so, when will we see it – and what will it do? We’ve dug through all of the internet gossip to sift out the most likely story. Here’s everything we know about the Nintendo Switch Pro so far including its potential specs, price, games, and release window – plus all the latest Switch 2 rumours, news and leaks.


Latest Nintendo Switch Pro news: Ninty boss reignites rumour mill

The Nintendo Switch Pro rumours had quieted down after March’s huge NVIDIA specs leak (more on than below), but now Ninty boss Shuntaro Furukawa has set fire to keyboards once again, with analysts reading huge amounts into the subtle change of course indicated by his recent comments about plans for a future Switch.

Rather than totally deny the existence of a Switch Pro or Switch 2 (as he has in the past), Furukawa instead declined to comment on the company’s plans for such a device. Inherent in the ambiguity of a ‘no comment’ response is the possibility that a new Nintendo Switch is now getting closer to a potential release.

It also fits nicely with the fact that we had our first significant Switch Pro leak a couple of months ago, with both nuggets of info quietly suggesting that a Switch 2 might be closer than we think.

That said, there’s still a very real chance that fans and onlookers are clutching at straws for the lack of more substantial new Switch rumours of late, but the fact that the analysis comes via a respected source like Bloomberg certainly lends it some credences in our eyes.

More Nintendo Switch 2 rumours: NVIDIA leaks and more

Back in March, a new Nintendo Switch console has been seemingly confirmed through the NVIDIA leaks, which references “nvn2”, a graphics API that game boffins have linked to the Switch Pro.

Obviously, we know that any Switch Pro console will be more powerful than the plain ol’ Switch. What this leak claims to specifically reveal is that the Switch Pro will come with ray tracing support and DLSS, which basically means it will utilise AI to turbocharge its graphics, increasing framerate and resolution beyond what would otherwise be possible.

This neatly ties in with one of the main Switch Pro rumours saying that it will play games in 4K, and if you really want to get in to the nitty gritty, there are further references to T234 and T239 chips – the T234 packing a 2048 Ampere GPU CUDA core and 12x ARM Cortex-A78AE 64-bit cores.

Continue to take all the Switch Pro rumours with a pinch of salt, but given this info is the result of a hack as opposed to some mystery insider source or spurious social media activity, this is again good reason to be believe that an upgraded Switch system is indeed in the works.

Nintendo Switch Pro release date: when will it come out?

In short: no-one outside of Nintendo knows for certain. In this very feature last year we shared intel from “reliable sources” that Ninty was gearing up for an autumn launch, just in time for the pre-Christmas rush. Clearly, that didn’t happen. Sorry. Instead, we got the Switch OLED, with its improved stand and superior screen.

Perhaps the more pertinent question is whether the Nintendo Switch Pro was ever going to launch last year. Was it simply conjecture or was the Switch Pro delayed by supply chain difficulties? Nintendo’s official line remains that it has “no plans for launching any other model at this time.”

So the jury is still out. A quick search online will net conclusions on the Switch Pro’s existence ranging from “fanciful” to “cancelled” to “definitely coming in 2022”. So whatever you read should be taken with a pinch of salt big enough to block a Warp Pipe.

Indeed, some of the same sources which were certain that the Switch Pro would hit shelves in 2021 are now reporting that a premium variant won’t be seen until the end of 2022 at the earliest. Others have suggested that the Pro has already been canned completely, in favour of a new next-gen console, due to arrive in 2024. As you can tell, there’s a huge Question Mark Block hovering over the whole thing.

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Nintendo Switch Pro price: how much will it cost?

It’s a tricky task, placing a price tag on a console that may or may not exist. Especially when Nintendo doesn’t have a long history of shipping premium versions of its games consoles. Most analyst reports aren’t too helpful either, with one simply suggesting that it will be “priced higher than the original”.

The first Nintendo Switch cost £280 ($300) when it launched in 2017. Even as it’s aged, its enduring popularity means the Switch has pretty much maintained that price tag since. The Nintendo Switch Lite came in at £200 ($200), while the Switch OLED will set you back £310 ($350).

If – and, as you can probably tell, that’s a big if – the Switch Pro ever arrives, we’d expect it to slot in at around the same price as the Nintendo Switch OLED, if not slightly above it. By what margin can only be a matter of guesswork, especially as some rumours suggest that the Switch Pro would replace the vanilla Switch device in the line-up (meaning it would need to remain broadly accessible).


Will the Nintendo Switch Pro play games in 4K?

Before the arrival of the Nintendo Switch OLED last year, many reports indicated that superior screen tech would be one of the key features of the premium handheld. But since Ninty went ahead and strapped a shiny new display to the existing Switch, that prediction’s been blown out of the water.

So what does that leave for the Switch Pro? Well, it’s likely to adopt broadly the same form factor as the existing Switch. Sure, there might a few physical refinements here and there, but there’s an expectation of familiarity and compatibility with existing accessories.

With the display already upgraded and upsized from 6.2in to 7in with the OLED edition, there’s not too much room left for Ninty to tweak it further. Of course, the resolution remains very low by modern standards at 720p. Yet that’s also a perfect pixel density for most games played on the Switch. Sure, a bump to 1080p might deal with a few of the jagged edges, but the resulting reduction in battery life would have a far bigger impact on the handheld gaming experience – and doubly so if Ninty pushed the pixels to 4K.

Instead, most speculation centres around the ability to play games in 4K on a TV when the Switch Pro is docked. This would make more sense than 4K gaming on the go and significantly improve the living room Switch experience. The Switch OLED’s upgraded dock already ships with a chipset and cable which are believed to support 4K (even though the OLED itself doesn’t), so there’s a good chance that an upgraded console could be dropped straight onto the existing dock for gaming in UltraHD.

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Nintendo Switch 2 specs: How much power will the new Switch have?

Five years is a long time in terms of gaming hardware, especially for a console that wasn’t at the cutting edge of performance even when new. Nintendo has never been one to make outright power a priority, but we’d expect to see the Switch Pro ship with a beefed up chip. And if Ninty wants to add 4K TV gaming to its repertoire, then it’ll need to.

Multiple reports point towards the Switch Pro shipping with an upgraded version of the Nvidia Tegra X1+ chip which currently powers the Switch and Switch Lite. One suggestion is that Nintendo will stick with the same chip, but enhance its abilities through increased clock speeds and improved cooling.

Yet other rumours indicate that the Tegra X1+ chip is soon to be discontinued by Nvidia altogether, which would leave Nintendo in need of new silicone. Some believe Nvidia’s meatier Tegra Xavier chip could be put to use by the Switch Pro, together with 64GB of solid-state storage.

As above, much of this is pure conjecture. The widespread belief – and hope – is that the Switch Pro will deliver boosted CPU and graphics performance, making it capable of running the same titles playable on the current Switch consoles, but at higher frame rates, sharper resolutions and with slicker visuals all round.

To do this, some sources suggest Nintendo will rely on a version of Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling smarts – an AI rendering tech which can boost graphics performance by enhancing and upscaling images. Given that it’s currently limited to specific games and hardware, meaningful implementation on the Switch platform would represent a significant – and perhaps unrealistic – expansion of its use.

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What else do we want from the Nintendo Switch Pro?

Besides a 1080p display, 4K video output to a TV when docked and beefier graphics hardware, there’s one thing many fans would hope to see from the Switch Pro: stronger battery life. The Switch already received a boost in this regard when Ninty quietly upgraded its cell in 2019. But if the Switch Pro really is to ship with a more powerful processor, the battery might need another increase to match.

Many would also hope to see the Switch Pro offer better DisplayPort support over USB-C. Connecting to gaming monitors has proved something of a sticking point for the original Switch, with reliable video output only guaranteed by connecting via HDMI. Some murmurings suggest that the Switch Pro will address this, allowing output of 4K streams using DisplayPort over USB-C.

What about Bluetooth? The Switch might finally support wireless headphones, but support for other Bluetooth accessories is still pretty bolted down. You still can’t use a Bluetooth mic with the Switch, and connecting headphones limits you to two controllers (an allowance maxed out by the Joy-Cons). We’d hope to see the Switch Pro lift at least some of these restrictions. If it’s real. And it ever arrives. Watch this space.