Early in 2020, rumors about the so-called “mid-generation refresh” of the Nintendo Switch, called “Switch Pro,” started to spread. The first leak of information suggested that the console would have a custom processor based on NVIDIA’s Volta architecture. Bloomberg sources said that the Nintendo Switch Pro could support 4K resolution and have the right amount of extra computing power later in 2020.
From then on, the rumors got even crazier. Reports said that in 2021, the handheld mode would be better and NVIDIA DLSS would be supported. The resolution and performance of older games might also be improved, and there might be a bigger dock with an Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports, among other things. But Nintendo didn’t say anything, so fans were left to guess for a long time. A Chinese company that makes accessories for the Switch gave people new hope that a Nintendo Switch Pro would come out in 2022, but that obviously didn’t happen either.
Still, as the saying goes, you can’t smoke without fire.
John Linneman said that the Switch Pro was a real project in the most recent episode of the Digital Foundry podcast. But in the end, Nintendo decided not to release the console.
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I think at one point internally, from what I can understand from talking to different developers, is that there was some sort of mid-generation Switch update planned at one point, and that seems to be no longer happening. And thus, it’s pretty clear that whatever they do next is going to be the actual next-generation hardware.
Later, he said that Nintendo would instead make a proper successor to the Switch, which would likely come out in 2024 instead of 2023, but this is just a guess. This fits with the latest rumors that an NVIDIA Tegra239 SoC with an eight-core CPU, NVIDIA DLSS, and support for ray tracing is being made, which points to a Nintendo Switch 2 instead of a Switch Pro.
But this also means that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which is set to come out on May 12, 2023, won’t come out at the same time as the new Switch. Nintendo fans were hoping for another game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which came out on both the Nintendo WiiU and the Nintendo Switch at the same time in March 2017.
There’s also a chance that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom won’t come out until 2024, but Nintendo fans aren’t ready to think about that possibility right now.
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