Switch almost had its own mid-cycle PS4 Pro-like upgrade, but it was cancelled

Nintendo was reportedly working on a mid-cycle generational Switch upgrade, but that device may have been cancelled to make way for a next-gen Switch.

2 minutes & 39 seconds read time

Nintendo was reportedly working on a mid-gen Switch upgrade with boosted specs, but the device may have been cancelled for a fully-fledged next-gen Switch model.

Switch almost had its own mid-cycle PS4 Pro-like upgrade, but it was cancelled 4

We've been reporting on an upgraded Switch for years now--all the way back when Nintendo patented that curious Supplemental Computing Device (SCD) add-on. Throughout that time we've seen lots of rumors pop up regarding a new enhanced Nintendo Switch, including mention of a DLSS-enabled Switch found in an NVIDIA leak and that the new Switch could tap the new T239 Tegra chip built on the 8nm Orin SoC. Sources have also told Bloomberg that new Switch devkits have been released.

Now we have another interesting report on Nintendo's plans for its next Switch. According to Digital Foundry's John Linneman, Nintendo originally had tentative plans to create an upgraded Switch but the model was abandoned (possibly due to significant chip supply issues from COVID-19). Game developer sources told Linneman that Nintendo wanted to create a mid-cycle Switch upgrade--supposedly similar in comparative power as a PS4 Pro is to a PS4--but the project was cancelled so that Nintendo could focus a new next-generation Switch model instead.

Read Also: Analyst: Next-gen Switch Pro 4K model coming in 2024, not in 2022

This would have rounded the Switch family out to include four SKUs, including the original launch Switch (2017), the Switch Lite (2019), the newer Switch OLED model (2021), and the now-cancelled Switch Pro model.

Switch almost had its own mid-cycle PS4 Pro-like upgrade, but it was cancelled 460

Read Also: Switch OLED dock's ARM CPU doesn't enable 4K upscaling

It should be noted that the new next-gen Switch could indeed still be part of the Switch family of hardware. The Switch OLED model, for instance, features an upgraded dock that is future-proofed for a new model.

The dock itself can output 4K 60FPS video signals but the current Tegra X1-powered Switch OLED cannot output that kind of graphical fidelity.

It's possible that a new next-gen Switch outfitted with an 8nm Orin T239 chip could output at 4K 60FPS with the help of DLSS, however.

We've already noted that any next-generation Switch must prioritize backwards compatibility to help bridge the inter-generational gap between the two devices, not unlike the leap from PS4 to PS5 or the impressive multi-generational support of the Xbox Series X/S consoles.

Nintendo also cannot go back to a dual-device strategy. The company has consolidated its console and handheld game and software environment development teams into one unit, so future hardware will indeed follow the current handheld-console hybrid model that the Switch so successfully capitalized on over the last few years.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. 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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