Nintendo is preparing to mass-produce a new Switch model as soon as Q1 2020, sources tell DigiTimes.
The next-gen Switch reports are heating up again. Sources close to manufacturing supply chains tell DigiTimes that a new Switch model is on the way, and that facilities are prepping for wide scale production for the new device. This aligns with what sources told The Wall Street Journal earlier in 2019. But is it a slight revision or a the rumored Switch Pro with 4K support?
Nintendo already revised the Switch twice in 2019. First the base Switch console hybrid was refreshed on NVIDIA's new 16nm Tegra X1, raising battery life but keeping specs exactly the same. Then the Switch Lite released with handheld-only functionality, delivering similar performance on the 16nm Tegra.
Why would they need to revise the system further? The move to 16nm not only fixed a hardware-based fault and closed the door on software hacking, but it improved battery life via thermal and energy efficiency.
Maybe Nintendo is readying a next-gen Switch for 2020 or even 2021, complete with a beefier processor and 4K support?
One games analyst, Dr. Serkan Toto, believes that's exactly what'll happen. Toto predicts a Switch Pro model is coming this year for $399.
"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Nintendo will launch a Switch Pro in 2020, my guess is at $399," Toto told GamesIndustry.biz.
"More specifically, I predict 4K support, bigger cartridge sizes, and of course beefed-up components. I also think the device will launch after the summer holidays to counter the roll-out of the PS5 and next-gen Xbox later in the year - along with a first-party, system-seller game."
We speculated the new 4K Switch could use NVIDIA's 12nm Tegra Xavier SoC for improved performance, but it'd have to be highly customized just like the Switch's Tegra X1. If NVIDIA is releasing a next-gen Shield TV set-top box, it's a good bet the Switch Pro will use whatever's inside.
We've also speculated the Switch Pro could be a dedicated console-only box.
Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa recently said dedicated console gaming isn't going anywhere at Nintendo, and the company is constantly experimenting with new hardware.
"We are not turning our backs on new technologies. We are constantly researching and developing. Our hardware development teams evaluate all kinds of new technologies available thus far and consult with our software developers. If they determine that a technology can be used with a game, then they will utilize it. We will not be changing this fundamental approach moving forward," Furukawa told Nikkei.
Then again...Nintendo could use its Supplemental Computing Device and create a kind of external GPU enclosure box to boost current-gen Switch specs...