It appears that the heavily rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro may not have a 2019 release date. According to Nintendo of America President, the Nintendo Switch Lite is the only new console from the company this year. In a recent interview, Bowser claimed that the Nintendo Switch Lite is the only new Nintendo Switch hardware this holiday with the flagship, original Switch not getting an upgrade right now.
Interestingly, the interview, which was conducted by CNET, didn’t have a quote from Bowser. And with Nintendo courting the press extensively for the Nintendo Switch Lite launch, it’s odd that no other outlet has a quote from a company representative regarding this.
Then again, this wouldn’t be the first time Nintendo has purposely obfuscated its plans. In the past it claimed the GameBoy brand would exist alongside the DS lineup and it vociferously defended the existence of the Wii Vitality Sensor before quietly canceling it.
According to a spate of findings compiled on popular gaming forum ResetEra, it is possible that the Nintendo Switch Pro and the Nintendo Switch Lite would use a new die shrunk Tegra X1 chip with better thermals and slightly faster clock speeds. Outside of these incremental improvements, there doesn’t appear to be much else that’s new at this juncture. This improved Tegra X1 chip is expected to be in the yet to be announced Nvidia Shield TV which popped up on the Google Play Developer Console Device Catalog over the weekend.
Coupled with Nintendo Switch firmware 5.0 hinting at support for new hardware that’s codenamed as ‘mariko’ and we could be inching towards an inevitable announcement of the Nintendo Switch Pro. What’s unknown at this juncture is if both Pro and Lite would use the same chip.
According to a report from the ever-reliable Wall Street Journal, the Kyoto-based company is already manufacturing these two new Nintendo Switch consoles. If true, it means Nintendo will have three different versions of its hybrid console on the store shelves just like it does with the 3DS, which has the 2DS, New 3DS XL, and New 3DS.
“The Wall Street Journal reported in March that Nintendo planned to update the Switch this year with two new models. One is set to look similar to the current model with beefed-up components, while the other is expected to be a less-expensive model with a new look,” writes The Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki before expanding on the existence of these versions and a potential announcement in the near future.
“People involved in the supply chain said production in Southeast Asia has started for the Switch, including the current type and the two new models, suggesting Nintendo is getting ready to introduce them soon. They didn’t give specific volume figures but said Nintendo wanted to have enough units to sell in the U.S., the largest market for videogame consoles, when the new products go on the market.”