Nintendo is insisting to the public, please believe us when we say we aren’t making the Switch Pro of your dreams. Following a report in Bloomberg that Nintendo was pushing developers to build 4K resolution games for a “Switch Pro” handheld, the company sent out a categorical denial.
“A news report... falsely claims that Nintendo is supplying tools to drive game development for a Nintendo Switch with 4K support,” reads a tweet. “We want to clarify that this report is not true. We also want to restate that... we have no plans for any new model other than Nintendo Switch — OLED Model.”
Reading the tea leaves — Bloomberg’s reporting cites anonymous employees at eleven different game companies all having said they received a 4K Switch development kit. That makes it hard to believe that Nintendo hasn’t been working on another console with 4K support, something many gamers have pleaded for as the Switch shows its age and faces a new competitor in the Steam Deck.
If we want to give Bloomberg the benefit of the doubt, it’s possible that Nintendo is simply lying as it prepares to launch the Switch OLED model on October 8, and doesn’t want to cannibalize those sales. Even if the company is working on a new console it would probably want to refute such an idea in the meantime. Global shortages could slow down production of a new console.
There could be some wiggle room in Nintendo’s statement, too. Maybe it’s no longer supplying tools to developers, or perhaps it was planning a Switch with 4K capabilities but nixed the idea. Or maybe it’s developing something that won’t carry the Switch name at all? Surely Nintendo is prototyping something, as all console makers do.
Switch sales — Either way, it’s a puzzling situation to interpret who might be right or wrong. But if we’re being honest, the Switch continues to sell like hot cakes, so Nintendo really doesn’t need to make a 4K-capable handheld anyway. The company has never succeeded by producing “realistic” graphics. It’s the franchises that bring in players. A more powerful console would be appreciated by a certain subset of players, but using dated hardware like a low-resolution screen is good for profit margins and consumers don’t seem to care.
If we’re following Nintendo’s normal console progression, it will likely iterate on the Switch for some time to come like it did with the DS and the GameBoy before that. But maybe it won’t ever get 4K support.