In a recent interview between CNET and Doug Bowser, President of Nintendo of North America, it was revealed that there currently are no plans to release a more powerful, upgraded Nintendo Switch console to replace the current iteration.
Instead, the focus appears to be on the newly announced Switch Lite, which will be priced roughly one third less than the original console. With that in mind, we wonder why Nintendo has decided not to announce a newer version of the current Switch. Similar to the upgraded PS4 Pro, there are significant benefits that could be gained from releasing such an upgrade.
Perhaps the release of one and not the other is a business strategy. Nintendo might believe that by announcing and releasing two new versions of the console at the same time, they would cannibalize existing sales of the current Switch, as well as sales of both the Lite and what we are tentatively calling a Nintendo Switch Pro.
In this way, it makes sense to announce the Switch Lite for this year and have the holiday season to pump up sales, while a Pro or upgraded version would likely sell well the following year, perhaps before the release or in direct competition with Sony and Microsoft’s next generation consoles in the holiday season of 2020.
There is strong reason to believe that despite Bowser’s words, a Pro version of the Switch is already well into a development phase. On March 25, Takashi Mochizuki of The Wall Street Journal reported that two new consoles were inbound, one being what is now called the Lite, and the other being an upgraded version of the original console. It seems perfectly reasonable to assume that since the first piece of information was correct, the second from the same source must have some merit to it, even if the release date is not as soon as we may have expected.
However, we should also consider that there may be less benefit to an upgraded Switch than there was to something like the PS4 Pro, which offers games in a higher resolution from the original console (1080p to 4K), has High Dynamic Range (HDR), and overall produces better looking textures. The Nintendo Switch is not marketed as a strong choice for the best graphics, so these changes may not sell the console like they did for the PS4 Pro.
Since graphics are not the strong point of Nintendo Consoles, what could an upgraded version offer? Perhaps a stronger processor for faster load times, and an improved battery, but past that it is hard to imagine there being too great a difference between the two consoles.
Still, this is speculation for now, and time will tell what, if anything, an upgraded Switch looks like compared to the original.
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