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Nintendo Switch Pro launch now looks closer — thanks to Nvidia

Nintendo Switch with larger display remix
(Image credit: Niphon Subsri / Shutterstock | Remix via Nick Bush)

The existence of the Nintendo Switch Pro may have been given a credibility boost thanks to a new report on the chip inside Nintendo's current consoles.

A source within Nvidia (speaking to Gamereactor) claims the company is halting production on the Tegra X1 chipset used in the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite this year. Unfortunately, this source didn't say exactly what was coming next, but this info is already enough to get our minds racing.

Nintendo's said nothing about completely stopping production of the Switch, and it's still selling well even four years after its release. Therefore it seems likely that it will need a new chip of some kind to continue producing more Switch units. And needing a new chip is an excellent opportunity to make some upgrades to performance, like the ones rumored for the Switch Pro.

Rumors around a Switch performance boost have it tipped to deliver 1080p graphics rendering when in handheld mode and some for 4K output when docked. It's not hugely likely a Switch console will be able to deliver true 4K gaming, but some leaks and hints point towards a form of co-processor in a new Switch dock to help up mix the graphics into a 4K output. 

That being said, Nvidia might just be killing off the current Tegra X1 Mariko and simply refreshing it with a few minor tweaks that won't result in a significant performance boost for the Switch consoles that use whatever replaces Mariko. 

The rumors for a Switch Pro don't just revolve around processing though. There has also been a recent report of Nintendo using larger, more power-efficient 7-inch 720p OLED display panels from Samsung. While that's the same resolution as the display on the current Switch, this report also says the Switch Pro will gain the ability to output 4K video when connected to a separate display.

A follow-up report on these displays revealed that Nintendo is ordering between 500,000 and one million of them a month. It certainly looks like the actions of a company preparing for a major spike in demand around launch.

Nintendo itself has said it has no upcoming plans for a new console. However, that could mean we still see a Switch Pro emerge at some point in the future, even if it's next year or later. 

A reasonably credible, if unconfirmed, Nintendo insider going by the name of NateDrake on the Resertera forums has claimed the Switch Pro will arrive in Nintendos next fiscal year, which translates to a 2022 release date.  

"The plan was to release this year, but I suspect it'll be delayed into 2022. Delays can, and will, continue to be an every changing variable in figuring out when we'll hear about it and see it," said the alleged insider. 

Bloomberg's report claimed that the earliest we could see a Switch Pro launch is in September of this year. 

As for pricing, one analyst reckons a Switch Pro would sell for $399. That's less than the PS5 or Xbox Series X, but those have far different priorities when it comes to graphics, audio and storage speeds. 

Time will tell if the Switch Pro is indeed real and when we could expect it. But these leaks further hint that a Switch Pro is on the horizon. 

Richard Priday

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. He's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.