Earlier this week, Bloomberg released a ground-breaking report that a new, more powerful Switch model (unofficially named the Switch Pro) is on the near horizon with production set to begin as early as June. Following this report, an alleged insider on ResetEra who goes by the handle “Nate Drake” has come forward stating that this alleged new model will have exclusive releases of its own.
“There will be some select exclusives, especially from third-party partners. May not be a big number of them, but I know of at least one.”
Of course, seeing that these words are from a cloaked “insider”, this should not be taken as undeniable truth. As a result, this news is being labeled as a rumor and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, speculating on its validity isn’t a bad idea.
Bar of entry
The chances of such a situation are basically 50-50. On one hand, we saw this very thing happen with the New Nintendo 3DS. That system had some exclusive titles of its own that were incompatible with the original 3DS hardware. Admittedly, only 15 such titles ever came about; the vast majority being ports of SNES games. So, assuming that this rumor could be true, perhaps there will not be an astounding number of Switch Pro-only games either.
Alternatively, Nintendo could take the route that Microsoft and Sony did with the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. While both systems proved to be considerably more powerful than the standard Xbox One and PS4, their respective companies mandated all developers that any game brought onto the platforms would need to run on both the regular and enhanced models. While devs were free to upgrade their games for better hardware however they could, the base systems would still need to be fully supported. Only now with the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S are developers able to decide if they want to have their games be cross-gen or next-gen only. But, this is a different situation since you’re dealing with two generations of hardware.
The question is, which decision is more likely for Nintendo?
Where to go?
Seeing that Nintendo has already set a precedent with the New 3DS, the first option for Switch Pro-only games is by no means impossible. But, might it be improbable?
There are about 80+ million Switch units out in the wild already, and that number isn’t growing at a slow rate either. So, if devs were to be allowed to release games only on the alleged Switch Pro, that would effectively alienate millions of customers. True, some of the existing users will upgrade, but if the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are anything to by, the number of transitions to the better hardware will still likely be in the minority.
That said, from a business perspective, it would be in any developers’ best interest to stick to keeping the games all three models of the Switch rather than just the Pro.
The alleged new Switch is said to have a larger 720p OLED screen, clocking in at a full 7″. This is nearly an inch larger than the existing 6.2″ LCD of the flagship Switch. On top of that, the new model is said to have thinner bezels and be capable of outputting a 4K resolution when docked.
Its supposed 4K capabilities does hint that it might have a slight boost in power, again similar to how the New 3DS was just a notch more powerful than the regular 3DS. But, all of these details are considered to be mere rumors until Nintendo comes forth and finally announces it. As of now, however, the company remains tight-lipped and simply states that it’s the existing Switch models that it’s currently focused on.