A newspaper out of Taipei, Taiwan called the Economic Daily News has published a report saying that a new Nintendo Switch would enter production in late 2020 and launch in the first-quarter of 2021. The report claims that the new Switch model will feature “upgraded interactivity” and improved display quality. The report cites various manufacturers responsible for Switch hardware, including those that build Flash storage and Joy-Con controllers.
This sounds fairly credible, but back in February 2020, Nintendo was very clear that it didn’t care about the Xbox Series X or PS5, saying:
“We believe that the position of Nintendo Switch in its lifecycle is different from that of hardware from other companies and that the consumers of our products are also different. Therefore, we do not believe that the business activities of other companies will be especially influential on Nintendo’s business”
That quote from Nintendo pretty much told us that the current Nintendo Switch was going to stick around for a little longer. So, even if Nintendo is working on some kind of upgraded hardware, it’s not going to be a next-gen unit like will see from Sony and Microsoft this holiday season. That, however, doesn’t mean that Nintendo doesn’t have something up its sleeve. After all, Switch sales have been amazing to the point that the COVID-19 pandemic pretty much depleted stock of Switch consoles around the world.
So, what could Nintendo have planned? Well, it could be some basic, updated hardware. Perhaps we’ll see a better resolution on-console and on the big screen. Or perhaps there will be other hardware tweaks to make the Switch faster. I wouldn’t expect a major redesign of the console or the Joy-Cons, though, with one major exception. Remember back in April when Nintendo launched Switch Firmware 10.0.0 with some fairly decent updates? Well, back then, dataminer Mike Heskin discovered preliminary support for a new model with an internal name of “NX-ABCD.”
Firmware 10.0.0 adds preliminary support for a new hardware model: "nx-abcd".— Mike Heskin (@hexkyz) April 14, 2020
3 of the 5 new DRAM profiles are for this new hardware type and there's evidence of a secondary display of sorts being added exclusively on this model.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
The name, at a glance doesn’t make sense, but it is in line with codenames used for previous Switch devices. What was more important was that there was evidence of a “secondary display of sorts” being added to the Switch. So, we could be looking at a dual-screen Nintendo Switch. It seems a little odd to think of the switch with a secondary screen, but Nintendo has pulled it off in the past. Ideally, Nintendo could add in a plug-and-play screen or perhaps even a slide-out screen. Neither of these really make sense, though as it would take away from the Switch’s portability factor – one of its major selling points.
With all of this said, there is at least some potential for some kind of updated or dual-screen switch to hit the market in early 2021, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. If anything we’re probably looking at some minor hardware upgrades to speed things up and improve graphics. Then again, with the way Nintendo is selling the Switch, just about anything is possible – it might not give a damn about the Xbox Series X and PS5, but it doesn’t want to push itself into a position of obscurity either. We’ll certainly learn more in the coming months, so stay tuned for updates.