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✨ Good morning! A bunch of interesting news today, not least of all the Throwback!
March 4, 2021
Switch: 4K, OLED, 2021
ps5 xbox series x series s nintendo switch consoles 3
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

Here we go, finally?

A new Nintendo Switch Pro looks set for a late 2021 release, with Bloomberg’s consistent reporting on this now saying it’s a new 7-inch OLED version, will be capable of 4K graphics — and it should arrive in time for the holidays.

720p handheld, 4K docked

  • So, while we have heard about a Switch Pro many times in the past, this does track with the last time we reported on this back in August 2020, when Bloomberg suggested a 2021 Pro edition of the Switch.
  • The current Switch is 6.2-inches, the Switch Lite is 5.5-inches in size.
  • The Pro model will stick with the current 720p resolution despite the larger 7-inch size. 
  • Which is somewhat controversial — it will be useful for extended battery life, but many hope a jump up to 1080p would provide a crisper gaming experience.
  • But while docked, the Switch Pro will output a full 4K resolution, which should see much more crisp gaming on the bigger TV sets everyone is buying.
  • Will the OLED panel hold out? I don’t think burn-in is such a concern on latest panels, and the Switch naturally lends itself to different games. …But if you play 400 hours straight of the next Breath Of The Wild, which is now on the horizon, could you expect some issues?
  • Per Bloomberg, Samsung Display will reportedly mass-produce the new panel, with an initial monthly target of just under a million units. Production starts in June.
  • It seems most of the reporting here is out of Samsung Display information, so the focus there is on that company shipping the panels from July, allowing stock to be built up ahead of shipping dates towards November/December.

The real questions:

  • Will Nintendo bump up the current $300 price for the Switch Pro? That seems likely.
  • Will it keep selling the older Switch? 
  • Will enough be made? The early pandemic times in 2020 saw a real paucity of devices — I had friends struggling just as hard as people are struggling to buy a PS5 or new Xbox at the moment.
  • But, in theory, with vaccine rollouts, we may not be as stuck inside… in theory.
  • And, will the joy-cons be better? Few people have been able to avoid drift problems with the joy-con controllers, so this is a chance for Nintendo to get it right.
  • Other wishlist items that may clash with the Nintendo ethos which is part kid-friendly-first even if it annoys adults: Better online communication such as audio chat (probably not, given the kid-friendly-first aspect?)
  • And one I don’t think we’ll get: Bluetooth support for headphones.
Roundup

🍪 In a surprising move, Google announced it will stop ad-tracking via third-party browser cookies. There’s a lot to this story, and Google won’t stop tracking via first-party cookies from its own Gmail/YouTube/Maps/etc properties. But it does signal that Google, which makes almost every single dollar of its profits from ads, is giving up some of the more creepier tracking for both privacy, and its public image. (More on this from me in the Weekly Authority on Sunday) (Android Authority).

👉 The Realme GT is now official: A 6.4-inch Snapdragon 888, 120Hz phone for under $450 (Android Authority).

🕙 The super-popular Redmi Note series reaches 10: the new Redmi Note 10 in India now has OLED screens, a new Pro Max model, and more (Android Authority).

🤔 Leak: OnePlus Nord 2 set for flagship-level chipset from …MediaTek? A first MediaTek chipset for OnePlus — that would surprise me (Android Authority).

📸 Samsung announces ISOCELL 2.0: A key weapon for future 100MP+ cameras (Android Authority).

👋 You can now make WhatsApp voice and video calls from your desktop in the latest desktop apps (Android Authority).

📊 Where China is investing in semiconductors, in charts. You can see an explosion exactly when Trump blacklisted Huawei (TechNode).

📦 Peak Design has absolutely called out Amazon after the company’s AmazonBasics division ruthlessly copied PD’s Everyday Sling design …but made it worse (YouTube).

📺 On that note: Netflix has a TikTok clone, to get you watching more Netflix (The Verge).

🚀 The latest SpaceX Starship test flight with the SN10 managed a successful landing for the first time in three attempts, but then spectacularly blew up (RUD’ing) a few minutes after landing (nasaspaceflight.com). Here’s the SpaceX replay which doesn’t feature the later explosion, and the much more excited unofficial version which shows the er, second launch and later explosion. It looks as though the landing legs failing to deploy? In any case, the main objective was to test aerodynamic flaps that steer final descent (YouTube)

🛰 In better news, SpaceX launched another 60 Starlink satellites, landed successfully (Twitter).

🧊 Here’s an animation of the mega-iceberg breaking off from the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica (Twitter).

💵 “YSK: The FCC just approved a $50 a month subsidy for low-income households to get high-speed internet, plus a $100 discount on a computer.” Starts “within 60 days” (r/YouShouldKnow)

🎶 “ELI5: Why are there only seven musical notes? Was it decided to divide sounds like that or are there no more in nature?” (r/explainlikeimfive). Super fun explanation here.

Throwback Thursday
PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller PS Button and Analog Triggers
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

On this day back in the year 2000, the Sony PlayStation 2 launched in Japan, later heading to North America on October 26, 2000.

  • It was a pretty weird launch. Sony had problems exporting the device out of Japan, with the government worried the chips could be used for weapons guidance. (Which, was largely considered nonsense by military experts… but Japan)
  • And when it finally hit North America 7 months later, it only had 29 titles at launch in the US, many of them Japanese curiosities, and basically none of them high-powered system sellers. 
  • It took until late 2001, and the release of Grand Theft Auto III (October 22, 2001), Final Fantasy X, Devil May Cry, and Metal Gear Solid 2, to really bring must-play games to the platform.
  • My colleague, Hadlee Simons, read this, and said: “How dare you downplay launch titles like Fantavision, which I actually own… and it was basically a fireworks simulator.”

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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