A few months back, Nintendo came out with the “Lite” version of the Switch console. Now, there are reports that the Japanese company could come out with one more Switch model in the next few months. This new model, unlike the Lite variant, is expected to be a high-end variant, or the Pro version. Reports of Nintendo working on the Pro model have been making the rounds since last year, but this is the first time we are hearing about a Nintendo Switch Pro release date.
Nintendo Switch Pro release date
This latest information on the Nintendo Switch Pro release date comes from Taiwanese news site DigiTimes. The tech site, citing supply chain sources, claims that the new Pro variant would enter production sometime in the first quarter of the year (at the end of the quarter). If all things go as planned, the model would hit the shelves by the middle of the year.
As of now, there is not much information on the features that the Pro model would come with. However, the Pro moniker suggests that it would have more power, higher resolution, improved frame rates and may get a few additional features as well.
None of the reports so far tell how different the Pro model will be compared to the original Switch model. But, one thing is for sure, the Pro version would command a higher price than the original Switch. How much more would depend on the upgrades to the Pro version.
Switch Pro: is it really coming?
The DigiTimes report is in line with an August report from Takashi Mochizuki of the Wall Street Journal, which claimed that Nintendo is planning more Switch models. Nintendo came out with the Switch with better battery life and the Switch Lite in August and September, respectively. If we assume the WSJ report was talking about the Lite model (which it was not), then there was no point of this tweet from Mochizuki.
Still, you should take the DigiTimes report of the Nintendo Switch Pro release date with a pinch of salt. So far, there has been no confirmation from Nintendo, not even about the existence of the Pro version. However, the fact that WSJ’s Mochizuki backed the DigiTimes report, lends some credence to the Nintendo Switch Pro release date.
On the other hand, a Nintendo of America spokesperson told Polygon that the company has nothing “to announce on this topic.” This statement could mean anything, such as there are no plans at all, or the company is working on a new model but doesn’t want to reveal it yet or any other possibility.
Similarly, analysts have a mixed opinion on a new Switch model this year. Dr. Serkan Toto of Kanten Games told GamesIndustry.biz that the Japanese company would surely come out with a Pro version this year. The analyst expects the Pro version to come with bigger cartridges, 4K support and improved components.
On the other hand, Piers Harding-Rolls of IHS Markit Technology is not very sure on the Pro model. The analyst notes that since Nintendo has already come out with the Switch Lite and the upgraded Switch model, it may not launch a higher-end version this year.
Chances also are that the Pro version is just a minor upgrade to the original Switch to address any shortcomings, something similar to what Nintendo did by launching a Switch with better battery life.
Whatever may be, a Pro version of Switch does make sense. Microsoft and Sony have already announced their next-gen console for the Holidays 2020. So, it is only logical for Nintendo to come up with new hardware to compete with the new consoles.
Moreover, Nintendo is known for releasing new iterations of its handheld products. For instance, the Japanese company has come up with several variants of the Nintendo DS and 3DS consoles. So, if Nintendo comes up with the Switch Pro, it won’t be a big surprise.
Will Breath of the Wild 2 come with Switch Pro?
If the latest report of the Nintendo Switch Pro release date is correct, then there are chances that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 might launch along with it. Previously, there had been rumors of BotW 2 releasing alongside the Switch Pro or “Switch 2.” Also, over the past few months, Nintendo has hinted at the progress made with the next Zelda title.
Moreover, recent job openings for the game suggest the company’s plans to make the game even more powerful. So, there would be no better way than to show off the new powerful game on the new powerful Switch console.
Nintendo released the original Switch in March 2017 with BotW as a launch title. In just one month, Nintendo sold 5.46 million consoles along with 2.76 million copies of BotW. Nintendo would now hope to repeat the success with the Switch Pro and BotW 2.