Nintendo is discreetly updating the chip of its Nintendo switch, but it is not the Nintendo Switch Pro. It is more of a measure to reduce costs (and possibly to fight against piracy). But that could also bring improvements in terms of performance and battery life, but one thing is certain: Nintendo will only offer one Switch model, entirely new, this year, and this is not enough. is not Switch Pro.
Nintendo Switch must compete with the new generation
Everyone is talking about the Sony PS5, with its extremely fast charging times and claims for 8K support. The next Xbox, currently known only as Project Scarlett, also promises 8K graphics and virtually no load times. When it comes to PC gaming, for a long time the leader in graphics performance, the new AMD RTX graphics cards and next-generation graphics processors are delivering an extraordinary amount of power to our gaming PCs.
It is unrealistic to expect 8K support from the brave Nintendo Switch, but something must happen. Anyone with a switch is the owner for portability, hybrid design, and game library, but the graphical service will soon leave them unprepared.
How a Pro switch could work
Moore's law basically says that computing power doubles almost every two years. Since the first release of Switch, we have witnessed the introduction of a whole new range of more powerful graphics cards from Nvidia in its RTX range. Then, Nvidia began to cram its GPUs into laptops. Thus, a modified and more powerful version of the Tegra chip in the current culture of Switches is no longer at hand to get an upgrade.
There are also other tricks that Nintendo could use to improve Switch's performance: it could increase CPU power and RAM, as it did for the new Nintendo 3DS lineup, and do it more dramatically than recent FCC filings.
Or maybe, just maybe, it could release a dock designed to enhance external graphics performance. Such devices already exist in the Alienware graphics amplifier and in the Razer CoreX eGPU. These two external solutions work with existing laptops to give them the graphic power of a desktop PC.
The CoreX uses a Thunderbolt 3 connection, which is a type of USB-C cable that can transfer data up to 40 Gbps. The Nintendo switch uses USB-C for video output (and to recharge its batteries). There is already a port for transferring video data when you are in stationary mode. Why not reroute this data and give a little more pepper to the graphics before they reach the television? The Nintendo Switch Pro is nothing more than an external graphics processor socket that handles some of the toughest tasks. I would agree with that. It would also be a good place for Nintendo to add a cartridge port for 3DS / DS games. I would definitely agree with that. I also appreciate the comments / suggestions explaining why this might or might not work.
Why I think we get a Switch Pro
Nintendo said the Nintendo Switch Lite
is going to be the only hardware revision of the switch we're getting this year. At least, it was kind enough to include a Pokemon Switch Lite special edition. But I have my own personal theory, a prediction I'm ready to confirm: The announcement of The Witcher 3 for Nintendo Switch was a secret hint: we are going to get a more powerful switch. Yes, CD Projeckt Red has confirmed that the entire game, including DLC, arrives at the Switch version, but with a significant loss of graphics fidelity. In pocket mode, it will operate at 540p. My crazy theory is that The Witcher 3 will be the first game to take advantage of the power booster performance of a hypothetical Nintendo Switch Pro when it will be available.
When Pokemon Sword and Shield was revealed, I predicted that Nintendo would release a cheaper version of the Switch to encourage more people to buy a Nintendo console, and I was right. You can ask anyone at IGN, because I will not keep quiet about it. I feel deep in my heart my assumption about Nintendo Switch Pro is correct, but when you're right 52% of the time, you're wrong 48% of the time.
Seth Macy is the technology and commerce publisher at IGN and just wants to be your friend. Find it on Twitter @sethmacy.