Can a Switch with a slightly bigger screen be called "Pro"?
A new version of Nintendo's megahit is coming at some point, but taming expectations might be wise
Bloomberg's sources are usually trustworthy and that is the only reason why a two-year-old rumor deserves revisiting: the publication reports that not only is a Switch successor indeed in the works (most of us assumed as much anyway), but it likely targetting this year's holiday season. Nintendo has repeatedly stated, even in February, that "it has no plans to announce a new Switch version any time soon" but, if Bloomberg's sources are accurate, it will do exactly that in the next few months.
Tech specs of the Switch/Switch Lite successor were not mentioned, other than the ones related to its screen: according to the report it will be a slightly larger one (a diagonal of 7 inches compared to the 6.2 and 5.5 of the original and Lite models) and offer the same 720p resolution, but it will be based on OLED technology (both current Switch models sport LCD screens) and manufactured by Samsung Display. An OLED screen would offer much better contrast and wider viewing angles while needing less power and thus increasing battery life.
This is where Bloomberg's report becomes somewhat less clear: it mentions that this Switch successor would offer 4K output when docked. This would imply either seriously upgraded internals - while the rumored "Switched Pro" was always thought to be based on the Tegra X1+ chipset that the Switch Lite uses - or a seriously capable upscaler, if one expects game graphics that aren't a smeared mess on a 4K screen.
Upgrading the screen, RAM or storage capacity of a Switch is one thing. Asking of it to output games in 4K is quite another, as it would imply the use of a more powerful GPU - which could, in turn, affect this model's compatibility with current Switch games. How a new Switch would be able to output 4K graphics without breaking backward compatibility gets technical and/or steps in rumor territory quickly, so it's best to avoid that. For now, it's more than certain that Nintendo is working on a Switch successor and it would make sense to release it in 2021 so as to sustain sales momentum and refresh its lineup to last for another 3-4 years (even if sales-wise the current versions do more than great).
One has to wonder, though, whether a new Switch with just a slightly bigger screen - even if it is of better display quality - can be considered such an upgrade as to be called "Pro", "Max" or something along those lines when it gets released eventually. A "2" would be really pushing it, after all. It's true that Nintendo relies on strong software far more than on tech specs when marketing its entertainment systems, but products like the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will be hard to ignore by Christmas 2021. Does the Japanese company have an ace up in its sleeve nobody's talked about yet? Let us hope so!