Nintendo might be working on a dual-screen Nintendo Switch (opens in new tab) according to data gleaned by a security researcher in the console’s 10.0.0 firmware update.
Mike Heskin (opens in new tab), a self-confessed “reverse engineer and infosec enthusiast” did some digging into the latest Switch firmware update and found what he claims is “preliminary support” for a new model of Switch codenames ‘nx-abcd.’ Heskin claims that support is for a second screen.
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In a nutshell, this titbit of information could translate into Nintendo working on a new Switch that has a clamshell-like design that holds a second screen, much like the Nintendo 3DS XL (opens in new tab).
Such a simple codename might raise an eyebrow at how legitimate it is. But it does track with previous codenames Nintendo has used in its firmware, such as nx-abcb, which was the codename for the Nintendo Switch Lite. That’s not to say the new codename in the latest firmware guarantees a new Switch model, but it’s an interesting snippet of data to chew over.
Firmware 10.0.0 adds preliminary support for a new hardware model: "nx-abcd".3 of the 5 new DRAM profiles are for this new hardware type and there's evidence of a secondary display of sorts being added exclusively on this model. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)April 14, 2020
Nintendo has been making use of dual and second-screen devices for some time, with the successful Nintendo DS and 3DS handhelds and the far less successful Wii U, which combined a TV console with a tablet gamepad. So creating a Switch with an extra screen doesn’t seem to be a left-field idea.
Whether such a console would be a next-generation Switch or perhaps a form of next-gen 3DS with support for Switch games, isn’t clear. And given that the only hint of such a console is in the firmware, we don’t expect to hear much from Nintendo on a new Switch or 3DS-like console any time soon.
Nintendo is selling a lot of Switch consoles at the moment, so much so that it can be quite difficult to find one on sale. So there’s arguably a lot left in the tank for the Switch’s lifespan, especially with games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons proving hugely popular at the moment.