New Nintendo Switch coming in 2021 — with the upgrade you've been waiting for

New Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A Nintendo Switch 2 seems likely for next year, and it could give Nintendo's console a new weapon against the PS5 and Xbox Series X launching this fall.

That's according to Takashi Mochizuki at Bloomberg, who reports that Nintendo plans on launching an upgraded Nintendo Switch in 2021 that may feature better specs and even 4K graphics output.

Rumors of a new Switch launching in 2021 started making the rounds earlier this week, thanks to a supply chain report out of Taipei. But now we have a slightly clearer idea of what kind of performance we should expect from Nintendo's next hybrid console.

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo is planning a large wave of big new game releases from both first- and third-parties to accompany this rumored 4K Switch. The outlet notes that these games "would address a wide range of players, from casual gamers seeking small doses of escapism to more devoted fans putting in marathon gaming sessions." That may explain why the rest of 2020 looks relatively quiet for the Switch, aside from a Pikmin 3 re-release, Bravely Default II and a rumored collection of classic Mario games.

While the Switch has sold more than 62 million units worldwide and has been flying off shelves as people look for entertainment during a pandemic, it's hard to blame Nintendo for prepping a more powerful model. The PS5 and Xbox Series X are set to arrive this fall, both touting advanced features such as instant game loading, 8K resolution support and dynamic ray-tracing to make games more immersive than ever. 

A new Nintendo Switch likely won't compete with these consoles on sheer power, but it could at least provide a more high-end experience and possibly support hot third-party games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin's Creed Valhalla. The current Switch is limited to 1080p output in TV mode and 720p in handheld mode, so a jump to 4K would provide much more immersion for the latest Mario and Zelda games. 

And whereas the PS5 and Xbox Series X are tipped to cost in the ballpark of $400 to $500, a new Switch could be the ultimate next-gen value if it stays close to the original's $300 asking price.

The next Nintendo Direct presentation is tipped to take place as early as August 28, reports VGC. While that showcase will likely be focused on new software releases, it's possible that we could get our first tease of this rumored Switch upgrade — especially with new Sony and Microsoft consoles waiting in the wings.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.