That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg, with cites “outside game developers” familiar with Nintendo’s plans.
It’s recently been claimed by two publications including Bloomberg that Nintendo is planning to launch a ‘Switch Pro’ model in early 2021. It’s claimed that the updated console hardware is yet to have its specifications finalised, but that it could feature upgraded computing power and support for 4K resolution graphics.
Bloomberg’s latest story suggests that the new Switch will indeed be capable of 4K gameplay, potentially via Nvidia’s DLSS AI upscaling techniques found in more recent versions of its Shield mobile device.
DLSS is a technique which uses AI to upscale games to much higher resolutions, with minimal performance penalties.
According to the report, Nintendo has asked its manufacturing partners to increase Switch production again, raising its goal to 30 million units for this fiscal year.
It had reportedly previously raised its production orders to 25 million in August, as it continued to struggle with consumer demand for Switch following the coronavirus pandemic and huge success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
A Nintendo spokesman declined to comment on today’s story.
According to an earlier Bloomberg report, the expected ‘Switch Pro’ launch in 2021 will be coupled with a number of new first-party games, which it said could partly explain Nintendo’s relative release drought so far in 2020.
Previously Taipei-based newspaper Economic Daily News was the first to claim that a new Nintendo Switch model would release in 2021. According to the publication, the new Switch model features upgraded “interactivity” and improved display quality.
Over the past year, several other media reports have claimed that Nintendo has been planning a third Switch model, in addition to the flagship console and the Switch Lite.
Citing sources from the related supply chain, Taiwanese website DigiTimes reported in January that new Switch hardware would enter mass production in the first quarter of this year and launch soon after.
The Wall Street Journal also claimed in 2019 that Nintendo was planning a more powerful Nintendo Switch hardware revision, with “enhanced features targeted at avid gamers.”
And in April a Nintendo Switch firmware update reportedly referenced a new, unannounced hardware model.
Any existing hardware plans will likely have been significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nintendo resumed shipping Switch consoles in Japan in April after a brief hiatus, following a surge in demand for the hardware that has continued through the summer.
In the three months ending June 30, Nintendo Switch hardware cleared 5.5m units sold for the quarter, which represents a year-on-year sales increase of more than 160%.
Analysts have suggested that Nintendo Switch may have a longer than expected life cycle during which it surpasses Wii’s sales total of 102.63 million units. Switch launched in March 2017 and has sold some 61 million units as of June 30, 2020.