Sources claim that the oft-rumored “Nintendo Switch Pro” may launch September or October 2021, with an announcement prior to E3 2021.
Bloomberg report citing “people familiar with the matter” that it could be announced of their E3 2021 conference; to enable new games to be shown during the showcase. Eurogamer also reports this claim according to their own sources.
“This is to ensure third-parties working on games which support the upgraded Switch are free to announce these projects at E3,” Eurogamer explains, “and before Nintendo’s own digital showcase later in that week.”
While announcing a new console and games to go with it may seem to make a bigger impact, it could be certain games that will be compatible with the new Nintendo Switch will be announced before Nintendo’s own conference.
Eurogamer also claim that Nintendo are “currently set to slot in after other publishers towards the end of E3, though of course dates can still shift.” They also note this will enable them to focus on games exclusive to their consoles; such as Metroid Prime 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel.
Bloomberg claim the new console will be sold alongside the Switch Lite, while the standard model is phased out over time. While assemblers will allegedly begin shipping in July, it will ramp up to meet the October to December quarter; in spite of widespread semiconductor shortages. Reportedly, Nintendo’s production lines are better prepared for the new demand, and the parts have less competition.
Bloomberg also note that the console will likely be more expensive, with “suppliers expecting per-unit revenue from business with Nintendo to increase.” They also note Nintendo’s shares rose over the prior six days in expectation of this announcement.
We previously reported on rumors (including from Bloomberg) of a more powerful Nintendo Switch being in production, a so-called “Nintendo Switch Pro” model. This new model will allegedly support 4K graphics (via a new NVidia graphics chip and 7″ screen), and would allegedly launch early 2021. A patent for a rail-less Joy-Con further fueled speculation.
Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa later denied these claims, amid Nintendo’s best financial quarter since 2018. Nintendo’s recent successes have no doubt been thanks to the Nintendo Switch.
It sold over 85 million units as of May 2021; fueled by the increased interest in gaming thanks to the coronavirus pandemic quarantine lockdowns, along with the cheaper price and greater availability compared to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
While selling a new version of something that is already selling well would seem illogical (especially when a scarcity of parts has caused issues for PlayStation and Microsoft), Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda claims that new hardware would be key for Nintendo in 2021. For example, new hardware could tempt those who had not yet bought a Nintendo Switch.
He cited the success of the Game Boy, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo DS; while the Wii and PlayStation 4 had no or practically no variations, and experienced a sharp drops in sales in the latter half of their respective launch years. Yasuda also claimed Nintendo has an “oligopoly” in Japan, while PlayStation game sales have been practically “eradicated.“