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Nintendo's 2021 Switch upgrade could support 4K

There would also be a string of games to take advantage of the new console.

Published onAugust 25, 2020

PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch 12
  • Nintendo’s rumored 2021 Switch upgrade could have an improved processor with 4K support.
  • The company would also launch “major” games alongside the new console.
  • It would help Nintendo fend off competition from the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

More details are emerging for Nintendo’s rumored 2021 Switch upgrade.

Bloomberg tipsters claim the console maker hasn’t nailed down the specifications for the system, but it’s looking at a faster processor with 4K graphics support.

The company would also release a flood of “major” games to accompany the new model, including in-house titles as well as third-party releases. The oddly quiet Switch release schedule for 2020 — which has largely revolved around Animal Crossing: New Horizons and the upcoming Pikmin 3 Deluxe — is reportedly a reflection of Nintendo’s focus on its 2021 game lineup.

See also: The best exclusive Nintendo Switch games

Nintendo declined to comment on the claims. UDN had originally broken word of the upgrade but had only talked about generic upgrades to “picture quality” and interactivity.

Nintendo Switch with 4K: What could it mean?

A performance upgrade would be the easiest for Nintendo to make, and could also make the most sense. While the Switch still wouldn’t compete with the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X in sheer visual detail, 4K support could close some of the gaps. More people have 4K TVs than in 2017, too, and they could be more likely to buy the Switch knowing that it would take better advantage of their higher-resolution screen.

A souped-up Switch would also borrow a familiar strategy from Microsoft and Sony: keeping sales up by introducing a mid-cycle upgrade. Much like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, the 2021 Switch could maintain demand at a time when it might sink.

Nintendo isn’t hurting at the moment. Switch sales have been very strong since launch, and the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in demand so large that Nintendo grappled with shortages. A 2021 refresh could prevent sales from tanking as the pandemic eases, though, and may keep the system relevant until Nintendo is ready for a full-fledged replacement.

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