Nintendo Switch Pro with OLED display revealed in new report — and it could launch this year

Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Nintendo Switch Pro could feature a new OLED display and be capable of outputting 4K graphics when docked, according to the latest rumor surrounding this most-rumored of consoles.

Bloomberg, citing “people familiar with the plan,” reported that the as-yet-unannounced Switch Pro will dump the LCD panel of the current Nintendo Switch in favor of a 7-inch OLED screen made by Samsung. This will once again use a 720p resolution, but Bloomberg’s sources also suggest you’ll be able to play in 4K when connected to a TV.

Samsung is supposedly planning to start production of the screens in June, ready for the Nintendo Switch Pro to launch sometime in the Holiday 2021 period.

Word of a new 4K-ready console might be encouraging to anyone who’s spent several fruitless months trying to find where to buy the PS5 or where to buy the Xbox Series X. But should you believe it? The report’s sources are anonymous insiders, so are impossible to independently verify.

At the same time, Bloomberg is arguably a more reputable and reliable source of insider information than others we’ve seen offering Nintendo Switch Pro information. One recent whisper, that the Switch Pro would have the power of PS4, came from gaming forums and Reddit, complete with questionable sources.

The combination of an OLED screen and 4K TV support also tracks much more closely with previous leaks. For instance, data miner @SciresM found evidence in existing Switch firmware that a new console, with an “upgraded” OLED display, was in the works. There are also hints towards a 4K-capable media SoC “likely” to be part of a new dock rather than the console itself, to provide a means of upmixing the Switch Pro's output into ultra-high definition.   

So, while you should approach this latest Switch Pro rumor with the same skepticism you would any other, a potential OLED display and added 4K capability have been brought up just a few too many times for them to be dismissed as unlikely features. 

As Bloomberg's report noted, the Switch is five years old now and is competing with much newer, more powerful competition in the PS5 and Xbox Series X; when they’re actually on sale, anyway.

Drastically improving the Switch’s internal hardware while keeping its handheld dimensions would be difficult (though not impossible). Focusing on improved output options for the Switch Pro might therefore be an easier and more affordable way for Nintendo to close the gap.

Still, that too is just speculation for the moment. The most likely development right now is that there’ll be more Nintendo Switch Pro rumors, as well as whispers of a Nintendo Switch 2. Better keep that bag of rumor-seasoning salt handy.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.