It’s hard to believe that it has been four years since Nintendo released the original Switch. The hybrid console has found its way into the hands of more than 70 million players around the world and its library of exciting titles has captured countless headlines.
Now, Bloomberg reports that Nintendo plans to release a new Switch later this year ahead of the holiday shopping season. It doesn’t appear that the console will be a true generational upgrade like Sony’s PS5 or Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. However, the upcoming Switch is rumored to have several features that could convince current owners to upgrade anyway.
The handheld console will reportedly boast an OLED screen manufactured by Samsung as well as support for 4K play when connected to a TV. Those are noteworthy upgrades for the aging console and should be exciting for players.
Aside from Nintendo’s bottom line, no one is trying to argue that the Switch is a direct competitor to Xbox or Playstation. The target audience for Switch games like “Animal Crossing” and “Super Smash Bros” simply isn’t the same. Still, hardcore players might want a PC, Xbox, or PlayStation for certain games and also buy a Switch for Nintendo’s nostalgic, casual titles.
That’s part of what helped Nintendo lead the way among all console sellers in terms of sales in 2020.
Now, as the latest consoles from Microsoft and Sony entice players, Nintendo wants to keep its name in the conversation. Rumors of an OLED Switch model have been circulating for some time. However, they gained serious credibility when Bloomberg reported that Samsung will start producing the seven-inch OLED panels as early as June.
The company will manufacture nearly one million units per month for Nintendo and plans to begin shipping them to assemblers in July.
Ultimately, that means the newest Switch model should be on track for a pre-holiday launch this year. Shortages within the chip industry could throw things off-track. However, it appears that Nintendo has been planning this move for a while.
New Switch Features
The rumored OLED display would be a tremendous upgrade for a console like the Switch that relies on battery power part of the time. The updated panel will be more efficient than the current LCD screen, helping to make the console last longer when playing on-the-go. It will still have a 720p resolution.
It’s also worth noting that the screen itself will be the largest of any Switch so far. The latest model has a 6.2-inch screen while the Switch Lite has a smaller 5.5-inch. display. As Bloomberg notes, the upcoming Switch should have much thinner bezels than its predecessors assuming Nintendo doesn’t change the console’s physical design.
Finally, the addition of 4K support is also exciting. There will now be an even more noticeable jump when moving from handheld mode to TV mode. However, it will make Switch titles look even better on the big screen.
Given these upgrades, it’s likely that Nintendo’s upcoming Switch will also be a bit more powerful than earlier models. Although nothing has been confirmed, it will need some additional support to handle the new 4K output and OLED display.
Keep an eye out for an official announcement from Nintendo at some point this year.