Tell us if you've heard this one before: Nintendo is working on a more powerful version of the Switch to maintain its brisk sales momentum while fending off the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Although the Japanese gaming giant has either denied or demurred on these rumors in the past, today marks the four-year anniversary of the console's original launch.
With that anniversary comes a highly credible report alleging that the Switch is in for a significant display upgrade. The new Switch is not only getting a bump in size to 7 inches (at 720p), but it is shifting to OLED technology. Besides offering better contrast and faster response times than the displays on the current Switch and Switch Lite, it will also be more power-efficient. Considering that the display is one of the most power-hungry components on a portable gaming device, any efficiency improvements should lead to better battery life.
The current Switch uses its 6.2-inch 720p display LCD when in portable mode or can bump that resolution to 1080p in supported titles in docked mode with a TV. On the other hand, the Switch Lite uses a smaller 5.5-inch display with the same 720p resolution. The new Switch is likely to retain its current form-factor while shrinking the bezels due to the larger display.
Although it isn't explicitly mentioned, we're assuming that there will be a rather significant boost in processing power as well. We say this because the rumored Switch refresh will support 4K gameplay when docked (up from 1080p). The Switch and Switch Lite's current iterations use the most recent revision of NVIDIA's 16nm Tegra X1+ SoC. The Tegra X1 dates back to 2015, and the new Switch would be ripe for a performance upgrade. While likely welcome by gamers, any dramatic changes to performance and [docked] display resolution could lead to other issues.
"That could intensify a longstanding complaint of developers, who have struggled with the difference in resolution between handheld and TV modes and now face a bigger gap between the two," said Bloomberg in its report.
At this point, it is not known how Nintendo will price the new Switch. The company's most logical path would be to keep the Switch Lite and Switch at their respective $199 and $299 price points while pushing this new OLED-equipped Switch to $349 or beyond. The console will reportedly go into production over the summer and be ready to ship in time for the 2021 Holiday shopping season.