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Nintendo Switch Pro could get a killer display — but there’s a catch

Nintendo Switch 2 concept design
(Image credit: Katarzyna Penar at Lightframes)

It could be as many as three years before the rumored Nintendo Switch Pro makes an appearance, but when it does it could have a major display upgrade. 

That's according to a report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News, which claims that a so-called Switch Pro will have a Mini-LED display supplied by Innolux. However, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser has hinted that there's no rush to change up the Switch’s winning formula.

But if and when the Nintendo Switch Pro does arrive it could sport a Mini-LED rather than LCD display. 

Mini-LED displays use thousands of tiny backlights in the glass substrate of a display panel, effectively replacing the clusters of backlights used in LCD screens. Doing this makes for deeper blacks, a wider contrast ratio and improved control over brightness. You can think of Mini-LED as a more affordable alternative to OLED panels. We’re expecting to see Mini-LED displays turn up in Apple MacBooks and iPads next year. 

While the Switch’s display is impressively bright and colorful for an LCD, it’s still only a 720p resolution and its panel tech holds it back a bit. A move to Mini-LED could allow Nintendo to makes its console much more compelling when undocked. An upgraded Nintendo Switch 2 is expected to support 4K resolution in docked mode. 

Speaking of 4K, a Switch Pro is expected to come with an upgraded chipset and overall more performance to suit 4K TVs, which are now more prolific. Currently Nvidia provides the Switch's chipset, but there’s been no word on the graphics giant making a new mobile-grade chip. 

Nintendo Switch Pro is years away

All of this suggests the next Nintendo Switch is some time away. That's given further credence by Bowser, who in an interview with Polygon said that the Japanese gaming company is always thinking about and working on improvements to its hardware, but it's not set to move away from the current Switch formula for a while. 

"We’re always looking at technology," Bowser explained. "And as we know, technology is constantly evolving and changing. And we’re always looking at what is coming to determine: how can it enhance and improve the gameplay experience? And whether that’s on a current platform, or whether that’s on a future platform, we’re always looking at that."

That somewhat vague answer to whether the Switch hardware will be updated before too long, was accompanied by Bowser noting that “the momentum on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite in the fourth year is strong.” 

"We believe we’re changing the trajectory of another typical console life cycle,” Bowser added, highlighting that with the Switch, Nintendo is in the "midpoint of this life cycle." 

Given the Switch launched in 2017, our rough calculations would suggest there’s another three more years of life left in the Switch before Nintendo moves to create a new version in the form of the Switch Pro or the Nintendo Switch 2.  

While we'll very likely be waiting several years before a new Nintendo Switch arrives, that’s no bad thing. That because the Switch is pretty much in the prime of its life, with a whole slew of impressive games - check out our pick for the best Nintendo Switch games

So with another two to three years of life, we can expect more games for the Switch that really get the most out of the system as developers become increasingly familiar with its capabilities. And as it stands, Nintendo’s hybrid console is still wildly popular, so much so it can be quite tricky to buy even three years after its release. Check out our where to buy Nintendo Switch to get your hands on the console if you've yet to get one.  

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. 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.