Rumors surrounding new iterations of the Nintendo Switch began as early as last year. This eventually culminated in the reveal and release of the Switch Lite back in the summer of 2019. However, that only covered one of the new models. With the Switch Lite being a shrunken, stripped down variant, the other alleged new model has always been described to be more powerful than the current “flagship” Nintendo Switch. The rumors around this alleged “Switch Pro” of sorts have once again spiked up.
Japanese publication Digitimes has reported that Nintendo has allegedly initiated mass production of a new Nintendo Switch model; supposedly the illusive Switch Pro. This new model is reportedly set to release summer 2020—about a year after the Lite.
Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki linked to Digitimes’ story, quoting himself from last year when he declared that Nintendo would be releasing two new models of the Switch (one of which turned out to be the Lite) in the company’s effort to extend the life of the Switch platform.
I reported in Aug 2019: "Nintendo has ideas for further updates to the Switch lineup after those two models to make the platform’s lifecycle long"
DigiTimes on Jan 6: "Nintendo is reportedly planning to release in mid-2020 a new model of Switch"https://t.co/giypufcW4A
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) January 6, 2020
Additionally, popular analyst Dr. Serkan Toto has added some further context from the same story by Digitimes with claims that this alleged new model will use improved materials and have a more powerful CPU.
The plot thickens
While this entire situation is still being classified as a rumor by Nintendo Enthusiast, there are some key details to take note of.
Going back to Mochizuki’s note about Nintendo releasing multiple Switch versions to ensure the platform has a long lifespan, former Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima stated in 2018 that the Switch would do just so. That said, either Mochizuki was casually referring to this when he mentioned it last year, or Kimishima was simply hiding the method Nintendo intends to use to ensure that the Switch does live a long life.
Secondly, we have the recent stock shortages of the flagship Switch. Since December, it has become increasingly more difficult to track one down in both the US and UK regions. This could be attributed to the massive shopping season. However, the cheaper Switch Lite has managed to go on just fine without facing the same issue. Perhaps the flagship Switch has been in higher demand, but it does seem odd that all of a sudden the console is facing stock issues like it first did in the weeks after its launch back in 2017. This could potentially hint that Nintendo is reducing stock ahead of time, and perhaps will just drip feed new units out to retailers as 2020 matures.
This is all merely a theory; only time will ultimately tell to see how stock levels fluctuate. Keep in mind that Nintendo did release an improved version of the Switch last year, right after the Lite. So, it would be strange to introduce a new model only to diminish it a few months later.
The last (and most controversial) point to take into account is that rumors surrounding the Switch Pro have been swirling around long enough. Remember that both the original Switch and Lite were both basically leaked almost in their entirety before launch. Enough people have been talking about the existence of the Pro to indicate that at least something is looming in the shadows. Regardless, of course, Nintendo has yet to say anything. And it likely won’t budge until a formal announcement comes around, just like how it didn’t budge before.