New Switch coming early 2021 with higher-end display

Nintendo plans to release a new upgraded Switch model in early 2021, sources say, but don't expect next-gen gaming performance.

Published Mon, Aug 24 2020 10:41 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:42 AM CST

Nintendo plans to release a new Switch model in early 2021, sources tell Taiwanese newspaper Economic Daily News.

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Nintendo is ramping up internal production on a new Switch SKU, sources say, and Macronix will supply the internal flash memory. There's no concrete information on the device, but based on the reports, it seems like the new Switch isn't meant to be a next-gen contender with 4K support and higher-end specifications.

Instead it should be an upgrade over existing models with a better display and more enhanced interactive features, which indicates better built-in haptics, sensors, and possibly new-and-improved JoyCon controllers. There's been no real indications on a next-gen custom Tegra SoC solution being developed alongside NVIDIA to power a higher-end Switch+ or Switch Pro model, and Nintendo has said it cares more about fun than powerful hardware.

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa has also said the Switch is currently in the middle of its lifecycle and reiterates that it has no plans to fracture the ecosystem with SKU-exclusive games. All Switch games will be compatible with the new version.

"Nintendo Switch has just entered the middle of its life cycle, and there are two system versions in the family - Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite - so we have not changed our view that it is possible to aim for growth that is unlike the life cycle of any other hardware to date,"Mr. Furukawa said in recent Q1 earnings reports.

"We also see this as an environment where we can continue to release software by focusing resources on software development for Nintendo Switch."

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Conversely, analysts have predicted a new Switch Pro model that plays games at 4K resolution would come in 2020 to help counter the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

The Nintendo Switch just sold a record 5.67 million consoles in Q1, bringing total console sales to 61.44 million. The Switch is now the seventh best-selling Nintendo hardware of all time.

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Nintendo also reported its strongest earnings surge yet. Q1'20 profits were up an astronomical 541% on the heels of strong software and hardware sales, generating $989 million in Q1 profits on the back of $3.3 billion in net sales.

The company still plans to sell 19 million units in FY2021. There's been no confirmation or mention of this new Switch hardware, which is expected to release in the FY2021 timeline. Nintendo has yet to adjust its Switch sales forecast to reflect the rumored system.


Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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