Huh? Nintendo Switch OLED teardown tips 4K 60fps output

Nintendo Switch OLED and dock on a wooden table
(Image credit: Nintendo)

A 4K Nintendo Switch is the rumor that just won’t quit, with a new teardown suggesting that the Nintendo Switch OLED dock can support 4K output and 60 frames per second gaming. 

That's according YouTuber Nintendo Prime, who after taking apart a Switch OLED dock he managed to get early access to, claimed that the console’s dock has an HDMI 2.0 controller, which is required for 4K output. That’s not hugely surprising, but the YouTuber also claims the cable that the Switch OLED ships with is 4K-ready. The original Switch came with an HDMI 1.4 port controller and non 4K-ready cable. 

Gaming at 4K and 60 fps was rumored for the so-called Nintendo Switch Pro, which was thought to be an upgraded version of the original Switch with new hardware in the dock that would allow for some form of 4K output, even if it meant up-mixing a 1080p signal.

But the Switch Pro didn’t arrive, with Nintendo offering the Switch OLED instead. This new Switch offers a larger display with an OLED panel, an improved kickstand, better audio and more onboard storage, as well as an Ethernet port in the dock. But it’s definitely not a 4K games console.

Nintendo has regularly shot down claims of a Switch Pro being in the works, but that’s not stopped the rumor mill from churning, with one recent Bloomberg report noting that developers had been supplied tools to build 4K Switch games. Nintendo came out and said this report is not true, but we are somewhat skeptical as sometimes there really is no smoke without fire.

And this Switch OLED teardown is yet another nod at a Switch Pro or 4K future for the Switch. Perhaps it’s a case of Nintendo getting docks in place for a future firmware update that enables the Switch OLED to run less demanding games at some form of 4K output. 

Or it could be the case of a Switch Pro being released some time next year or in 2023 yet being backwards compatible with older docks. This is all speculation, but we feel it’s warranted given the rumors that have been circulating. 

With Black Friday deals on the horizon and likely to present a good time to get one of the best 4K TVs, the appetite for a 4K Nintendo Switch is only likely to increase. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.