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Nintendo Switch Pro release date could be delayed — here’s why

Nintendo Switch Pro release date could be delayed — here’s why
(Image credit: Niphon Subsri / Shutterstock | Remix via Nick Bush)

The Nintendo Switch Pro might not be coming soon after all. Instead of slowing down production of the four-year-old Nintendo Switch, the company is reportedly ramping up output of its flagship console through this fiscal year.

According to Nikkei Asia, Nintendo plans to produce 30 million Switch units between now and the end of March, 2022. That means the company is convinced of continued interest in the console, even with the popularity of the newer PS5 and Xbox Series X.

For comparison, Sony announced in its latest earnings report that it sold nearly 8 million PS5 units since the sought-after console launched in November. According to Statista, 12 million Xbox Series X units are expected to sell worldwide in 2021. 

Thirty million Nintendo Switch units is an ambitious supply. The report implies that Nintendo is optimistic demand for its current console will continue.

The huge production target also suggests we should temper our hopes for a Nintendo Switch Pro or other next-gen Switch. At least for the time being, or until we see more substantial evidence pointing to the launch of a high-end Switch alternative.

And that still isn't out of the question for this year. After all, code in the latest Nintendo Switch firmware seemed to confirm a 4K Switch Pro is in the works. The Nikkei Asia intel didn't specifically say that Nintendo's production plans exclude the expected sales of the existing Nintendo Switch Lite or a forthcoming Nintendo Switch model.

Given the recent console success of Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo could want to throw a new device of its own on the ring. Yes, the company saw severe stock shortages at the start of the pandemic (with buyers desperately Googling where to buy Nintendo Switch). But that episode can't compare to the unwavering hype over PS5 restock and Xbox Series X restock.

There's no debate the Nintendo Switch holds a key advantage over the latest Xbox and PlayStation. Users can take their games on-the-go, and pick up where they left off when the dock their console back home.  

But the Switch's age could start to catch up with it. Although Nintendo slightly refreshed it two years ago, the Switch's graphics might start to look outdated when judged against the next-gen graphics of the Xbox Series X and PS5. For example, February's Bowser's Fury had a max resolution of 792p as the game was too graphically demanding.

The Nintendo Switch Pro is believed to match the competition with 4K graphic capabilities and a slick OLED display. And we could see a device donning these specs soon, still. Given the quantity of leaks and reports placing the Switch Pro release date at the end of 2021, we'd take Nikkei Asia's information with a grain of salt. 

While we wait for more next-gen Switch leaks, check out our guide on why you should (and shouldn’t) wait for the Nintendo Switch Pro.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.