The Nintendo Switch family could soon get a more powerful sibling. Rumors have long been flying about a Nintendo Switch Pro (or Nintendo Switch 2), which would bring beefier internals and potentially new features to Nintendo’s beloved hybrid games console. We could even see this rumored new Switch as soon as late 2020, setting it up to compete with the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Nintendo has yet to confirm the Nintendo Switch Pro, but the rumor mill continues to churn. Here’s everything we know about the rumored new console, including its potential release date, specs, features and more.
Nintendo Switch Pro release date
The fabled Nintendo Switch Pro or Nintendo Switch 2 could be released as soon as mid-2020, according to a supply chain report from Taiwanese news outlet Digitimes. Citing a Korean forum post, Metro claims that the Switch Pro will launch towards the end of the year, putting it right up against both Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
But according to Nintendo itself, you shouldn't expect a Switch Pro this year. In a financial note published in late January, the company wrote, "Please note that we have no plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch model during 2020."
Nintendo Switch Pro price
While there’s no official price set for Nintendo’s next Switch, it seems safe to assume it’ll cost more than the $299 base model -- and certainly more than the $199 Nintendo Switch Lite. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Japan-based games consultant Serkan Toto predicts that the Switch Pro will cost around $399.
Nintendo Switch Pro specs
The Switch Pro’s rumored specs have varied based on different reports, with some claiming that the next Switch will be a modest upgrade and others hinting at a significant power boost for Nintendo’s console. A sketchy, now-deleted 4chan post (via Inverse) suggests some major changes, including a custom Nvidia Tegra Xavier processor, a 64GB SSD, 4K video support, and two USB-C ports. This post also claimed that the Switch Pro would be a TV-only console, and won’t be playable in portable mode.
However, a forum post on Korean website Clien (via TechRadar) suggests that the next Switch might not be a huge generational leap. The poster claims that Nintendo is working with Nvidia on a custom Tegra processor based on Nvidia’s Volta architecture, and won’t include the Tegra X1+ chip that many had expected the console to feature. As a result, 4K support may not be feasible for the Switch Pro.
The current Nintendo Switch packs a custom Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, a 6.2-inch, 720p display and 32GB of storage. In August 2019, the console saw a minor refresh, which bumped the battery life from an estimated 2.5 to 6.5 hours to 4.5 to 9 hours. In our own Switch battery tests, we found that the new model lasts nearly twice as long for games such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
What we want from the Nintendo Switch Pro
If the Switch Pro does become a reality, there are a handful of features we’d love to see that could make it a compelling high-end option for Nintendo fans.
- 1080p handheld gameplay: The Switch’s 6.2-inch screen is limited to 720p in handheld mode, meaning you can’t experience titles like Super Mario Odyssey and Pokémon Sword and Shield in their full glory. The ability to game on the go in 1080p would be a big reason to upgrade to a Switch Pro — if the console can muster 60fps at 1080p, even better.
- 4K or 1440p support for TV mode. Considering that 4K consoles are out there and that the PS5 and Xbox Series X will support 8K content, it’d be nice to see the Switch Pro get a resolution bump. The new console would likely need a beefy new dock to support 4K or even 2560 x 1440 resolutions, but just imagine how glorious it would be to play Breath of the Wild in 4K.
- Better ergonomics. We recently got our hands on Alienware’s Concept UFO, which is a Switch like portable gaming PC that features standard controller-sized buttons, triggers and grips. If Nintendo can devise new Joy-Cons that are bigger and more ergonomic without being too massive, the Switch Pro could be the most comfortable way to play on the go.
- True Bluetooth support. While the current Switch features Bluetooth 4.1 for connecting wirelessly to Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers, you can’t pair other Bluetooth gadgets (like headphones) to the console without an adapter. Nintendo, I just want to be able to pair my AirPods to my Switch without any extra fuss — make it happen!