A new 4K-ready Switch model will release in 2021 with a refreshed OLED panel and 4K output for UHDTVs, sources tell Bloomberg. The system will also feature a dock upgrade.
Nintendo will release a new higher-end Switch handheld-console model this year to round out the billion-dollar platform family, production sources tell Bloomberg's Takashi Mochizuki. The new Switch will have three major improvements: Screen, resolution output, and a new dock.
The Switch will be upgraded from its current 6.2-inch LCD panel to a bigger 7-inch OLED screen, similar to the PlayStation Vita PCH 1000 series released by Sony. The new Switch's panel won't have a resolution upgrade and will stay at 720p as to preserve pixel density and maintain lower thermals.
Nintendo plans to use Samsung's OLED screens as a low-cost, high-performance solution. More smartphone-makers are pushing towards flexible OLED panels for updated devices, driving down demand and pricing for rigid displays. The switch to OLED will offer more vibrant colors and improve on-the-go battery life thanks to the efficiency of OLED screens, which can completely shut off black pixels. The Switch's glare will also be significantly reduced while playing in daylight.
The current 2017/2019 Switch has significant glare when used in daylight. An OLED panel will help reduce this reflective glare.
The so-called Switch Pro will also output 4K video signals for UHDTVs. It's unclear how this will work--whether it be a new chip with NVIDIA DLSS and AI-based upscaling, an upgraded dock, or both--but we do know the enhanced model will get a new dock.
Read more: Switch 4K gaming could be added with new dock chip swap, AI upscaling
The current Switch dock only supports 1080p output. The Switch uses DisplayPort Alternate mode over USB Type-C for video output, which is facilitated via a special converter chip, the Megachips STDP2550 Mobility DisplayPort (MyDP) to HDMI Converter.
To output at 4K, the Switch will need to use the newer Megachips MCDP2900 DisplayPort 1.4a-to-HDMI 2.0b Converter, which allows for 4K resolution at 60Hz.
The new Switch could also sport a newer internal chip. We're not sure if NVIDIA and Nintendo have created a new low-cost Tegra SoC based on the 12nm Xavier chip (Volta architecture). However, both the Tegra X1 (base 2017 Switch) and 16nm Tegra X1+ (newer 2019 revision) both support AI-based DLSS upscaling, so it's possible Nintendo could use existing Switch chips for the new model.
Nintendo has yet to announce the new upgraded 4K Switch, and we should see more information surface throughout 2021.