The New Nintendo Switch Pro: Rumors, Price, Release Date, Specs, News, and Games

An updated Switch is in the works. Here's what you need to know

Japanese patent drawing of a bendable Nintendo Switch controller.

There's a brand-new Nintendo Switch on the way, whether or not Nintendo will admit it. The next version is expected to include upgraded computing power, a new console (or two), and support for 4K resolution graphics.

When Will the New Nintendo Switch Be Released?

Although some very early rumors said 2020 was the year of the new Switch, the rumor mill ultimately began targeting 2021 for release of the next-gen console and the industry is now collectively referring to it as the Nintendo Switch Pro although some outlets are also chattering that a second new Switch called the XL will also be released. Some reports indicate it could come early in the year but, given the pandemic, that timing seems awfully aggressive.

The President of Nintendo America staying tight-lipped; a recent interview with Polygon gave no real hints beyond the idea that Nintendo is 'always' looking at new technology and 'watching' how people are engaging.

Lifewire's Release Date Estimate

Our money is on an April to June 2021 release timeframe. We think it's most likely that production of the new console began in late 2020 or will in early 2021, with release and distribution slated for more of a mid-year timeframe. To release earlier than that after millions of consumers have just spent their hard-earned money on two other fairly expensive consoles over the holidays just doesn't appear to be the smartest move by a company known for its savvy gaming marketing. That said, Kantan Games' CEO, according to IGN, thinks the new Switch is coming in the second half of 2021...only time will tell.

The original Switch was released in March 2017 and the Switch Lite was released in July 2019.

Nintendo Switch Pro Price Rumors

Any pricing speculation is just that at this point: speculation. Currently, the Switch sells for $299 and the Switch Lite retails for $199.

It could be that the Switch Pro, with an emphasis on higher graphics resolution and power upgrades, could sell more in the $399 range and compete more with Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Sony's PS5. But that's strictly a guess on our part at this stage.

Pre-Order Information

Since there has been no official announcement about a new Switch, there is no pre-order information available. Yet.

The Latest News about the Nintendo Switch

You can get more gaming news from Lifewire on all kinds of topics; here are more stories (and some of those rumors) about the Switch console.

Nintendo Switch Pro Features

Current versions of the Switch come with two Joy-Con controllers that attach to the console but can be used separately, too. A single console can support up to 8 players. The console also supports the Pro Controller, a wireless controller that connect via Bluetooth.

New features are rumored to include:

  • An upgrade in power
  • Nvidia's DLSS AI upscaling for 4K resolution
  • A new, possibly standalone, controller
  • A Mini-LED display
  • Improved cloud gaming features

Reports are rampant that the new Switch will come with a new controller that connects the console to a PC. There is also speculation that the next model will have some sort of interactivity features along with a better display.

That could explain why there has been a recent move to unlock frame rates in current games. Such a move would make it easy, say insiders, to boost game performance via a new console.

More rumors are exploding that the Pro version is likely to include a Mini-LED display, which illuminates pixels more precisely that the current LED display can using OLED to transmit light. If Nintendo signs a deal with Innoloux Corporation, that would almost certainly make this rumor a done deal although other manufacturers could also fulfill the need.

Cloud gaming, currently handled through Ubitus GameCloud Service, could be an even bigger feature for the next version of the Switch. Nintendo could be planning to launch a cloud gaming subscription program like Microsoft and Sony do for the Xbox and Playstation consoles. Doing so would allow it to offer additional, more intriguing titles that most people don't currently expect from the Switch.

Nintendo Switch Pro Specs and Hardware

No one really knows anything yet and rumors aren't even worth touching here beyond the generic 'upgrade in power' and references to the potential for 4K graphics. As soon as we get hold of any more definitive rumors or, better, actual facts, we'll post them here for you.

As for what the system could possibly look like, a few outlets have theories at the ready. Computer Bild, a Dutch IT site, even created a visualization of what it thinks could be coming. Is it based on fact? Not any that anyone has confirmed. (Yet.)

Computer Bild imagined view of what a new Nintendo Switch Pro could look like.
An imagined view of what a new Nintendo Switch Pro could look like.

Computer Bild

An imagined view of what the new Switch Pro could include.
An imagined view of what the new Switch Pro could include.

Computer Bild

Nintendo Switch Pro Games and Backwards Compatibility

Support for 4K games is partially what's driving a lot of the rumor mill. Bloomberg via VGC says that Nintendo has supposedly told developers to make their new Switch games 4K-ready, a huge tip-off that a new console is coming since current versions don't support that resolution.

A recent tweet by FDG Entertainment, a third-party game developer that produces Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom for the Switch, confirmed that the game is getting an update for next-gen consoles to support native 4K.120fps signal via HDMI 2.1. Its reply to a fan bemoaning the fact that he would need a PS4 to play it was followed by a comment that perhaps the PlayStation purchase wasn't necessary.

Nothing is known yet about backwards compatibility for the upgraded Switch.

Nintendo Switch Pro/2 Controller and Accessories Details

One of the most exciting rumors about the next Switch is that it will have a completely updated controller. This seems to be confirmed in a couple of back-door ways: A controller for computer patent granted in 2020 and a Japanese patent for a bendable controller filed in 2019.

The first Japanese patent focuses on improving the shape of the current controller. It would still slide onto the console when needed but it would fold down (and back up) for a more pleasing, ergonomic experience.

A Japanese patent drawing of a bendable Switch controller.

Nintendo received a second patent in April 2020 for a 'controller for computer', which looks suspiciously like the current Switch controller with modifications.

The patent seems to imply that this controller will not be part of the Switch unit, meaning that it wouldn't be part of the current handheld hybrid console we all know and love. Instead, this controller appears to stand alone and could be a Bluetooth option to play Switch games on a PC.

Nintendo patent for a controller for computer
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