For the past year or so, we’ve discussed ad nauseum the potential announcement of a “Nintendo Switch Pro,” an upgraded version of the now 4-year-old hybrid console that would feature increased graphical power and a prettier display. After some heavy speculation, everything came to a head earlier today when Nintendo announced the Switch OLED out of the blue. With that announcement, many have come to the conclusion that any rumors surrounding the Switch Pro were in reference to the Switch OLED, and that a Pro model likely does not exist. However, that’s barely a cause for concern.
How the Switch is starting to resemble the DS
The Nintendo Switch OLED Model was announced on July 6, 2021. It’s the third iteration of the hybrid console (fourth if you count the improved battery life Switch that replaced the base model in 2019) and will launch on October 8. With three different versions of the console, it’s easy to start looking at Nintendo’s track record to indicate what could be coming for the Switch in the future.
In many ways, the Switch is starting to resemble the DS. Not in functionality, but in its continuous upgrades and iterations. From 2004 to 2009, Nintendo released 4 different versions of the Nintendo DS: the DS, DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL. The Nintendo 3DS, the DS’ successor, saw a very similar release pattern, with 6 different models released between 2011 and 2017: the 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, New 3DS, New 3DS XL, and New 2DS XL. These upgrades brought incremental upgrades to the family of handheld systems, including increased battery life, larger displays, and better screen resolution.
There have now been 3 official Switch models since its release just over 4 years ago in 2017. With the current slate of upcoming releases and a new model set to hit shelves this October, it’s unlikely we see a successor to the Switch for at least a couple more years. Because of that, we could very well see more iterations of the current generation Nintendo Switch in the relatively near future.
Why there may still be a Switch Pro in the future
We know that there won’t be a “Switch Pro” released this year, as the Switch OLED’s October release date pretty much squashes those hopes. However, there’s practically no reason to believe that Nintendo won’t drop the Switch Pro (or a similarly named iteration) next year. The Switch OLED offers just a minimal upgrade to the original hardware. Maintaining the same battery life and screen resolution. By the end of 2022, we could see Nintendo unveil a much beefier, sizable upgrade for Switch players.
I’m not saying that the chances of a Switch Pro have been bolstered by the fact that Nintendo has revealed the Switch OLED. Instead, I’m saying that those odds haven’t moved at all. Several credible sources around the industry have given credence to the rumor that Nintendo is working on a more powerful version of the Switch, and that may still be true.
The Switch OLED may not have been the reveal that fans were hoping for, but it’s far from confirmation that all of the Switch Pro talk was simply nonsense. A quick look at Nintendo’s track record and a glance at current patterns tells us that there’s still a solid chance that we could get a Switch Pro at some point in the future.