Industry analysts are bringing in the new year with a list of predictions, and, once again, Nintendo Switch Pro counts as a popular prediction; some analysts even believe it may even outsell Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S this year. At the start of 2020, there were analyst makingguesses about the potential release of a Pro model for Switch. Clearly, 2020 came and went with no such device hitting the market, but that’s not stopping some from being optimistic.
Speculation about a hypothetical Nintendo Switch Pro especially picked up steam in the back half of last year, as reports suggested that developers were told by Nintendo to make their games 4K-ready. Even rumors regarding a supposed upgrade to a mini-LED screen made the rounds for a time, but all Switch Pro-related rumors were recently debunked the President of Nintendo of America, Doug Bowser. Evidently, though, Bowser’s insistence that the company is focusing its efforts on the standard and Switch Lite models hasn’t deterred some analysts from holding out hope that a more powerful device is in the works.
GamesIndustry.biz recently gathered 2021 predictions from a handful of industry analysts – of course, not everyone’s predictions line up perfectly. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella doesn’t seem to believe Nintendo plans to release a “new iterative [Switch] model” in 2021. Meanwhile, Katan Games’ Dr. Serkan Toto thinks 2021 will constitute the right time for a hardware refresh; so, too, does Piers Harding-Rolls of Ampere Analysis. However, all three predict Nintendo Switch will once again come out on top as the bestselling home console, regardless of whether sales are driven by new hardware, software, or a mixture of both. While Switch is expected to move the most units this year, Toto and Harding-Rolls anticipate that PlayStation 5 will continue to outsell Xbox Series X/S.
A potential Nintendo Switch Pro doesn’t sound too farfetched, even in 2021. However, in addition to the aforementioned statement from Doug Bowser, precedent suggests the hardware manufacturer has no interest in such a device. After all, Nintendo last two home consoles, the Wii and Wii U, never received mid-generation refreshes of the “Pro” variety. With Switch selling like hotcakes in 2020 despite the rollout of higher-end devices from Microsoft and Sony, it’s clear Nintendo doesn’t need a 4K-capable machine with ray tracing capabilities to compete.
Switch Pro or no, Nintendo has a big year planned for its hybrid console in terms of software. Well over 100 games are confirmed to release on the console during this calendar year, meaning Switch owners will have no shortage of options at their disposal, even if they’ll only be on their regular Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite devices.
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