Nintendo Switch Pro: what we want to see from a new Switch console

Rumors have been circling for a while now that a Nintendo Switch Pro is in the works. However, contrary to belief, a Switch Pro certainly won't be releasing this year as Nintendo has officially confirmed that a new Switch isn't coming in 2020.

But that's not to say we won't see a new Nintendo Switch in the future.

While we technically seen two new Switch devices release in 2019 – the Switch with longer battery and the handheld Nintendo Switch Lite – we're still expecting Nintendo to have another, more premium, Switch up its sleeve. 

This new Switch (or Switch Pro) would boast upgraded hardware in comparison to the original Nintendo Switch, potentially offering better graphics and processing power, among other improved features – although it's been suggested this upgrade won't be as extensive as we'd like to see.

With Nintendo not even confirming the existence of a Switch Pro, and the company ruling out a 2020 release for any new Switch, when would be a likely release window? And, if the rumors are true, what features would this new Switch likely offer? While we wait for more definitive answers, let's run through the likely (and unlikely) possibilities below.

Switch Pro

Image credit: Nintendo

Last year, Nintendo released two new Switch devices: the Switch Lite and the Nintendo Switch with improved battery life. However, we're still expecting the House of Mario to have yet another new Nintendo Switch up its sleeve.

A Wall Street Journal report has suggested that – in addition to these new devices – there's also a premium Nintendo Switch console on the way: potentially a Switch Pro. While we're treating these rumors with caution, the report did correctly predict the release of the Switch Lite, adding more weight to this speculation. But when could we see this new Switch?

Several reports claimed that we would be seeing a new Switch this year, however Nintendo has officially shut down these rumors. Nintendo's CEO Shuntaro Furukawa has said that there are "no plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch model during 2020."

That means we're pretty much in the dark about when a Switch Pro will arrive but we're hoping for a release date sometime next year.

Switch Pro

Image credit: Nintendo

Obviously redesigns cost money, and redesigns with improved hardware doubly so. We're fully expecting the Switch Pro, with its updated hardware, to cost considerably more than the current Switch's £279/ $ 299/AU$ 469 pricing. 

In addition, the Switch Lite isn't exactly cheap. The handheld Switch costs $ 199.99/£199.99/AU$ 329.95, which isn't too far off the original's price – and that's with less features than the original.

Dr Toto suggested a price tag of $ 399, which seems a good estimate. After all, the PS4 Pro is $ 100 more than the PS4. The price mark up takes into account the improved hardware without being prohibitive. However, this is Nintendo we're talking about, and we wouldn't be surprised to see a Switch Pro cost a tad more than that.

Switch Pro

Nintendo may not have officially announced the Switch Pro, but we've gathered all the biggest news and rumors surrounding the new Nintendo Switch right here for your perusal.

No 4K or performance upgrades? – Debunked
On Korean site Clién's community forums (via Wccftech), a poster named Cathedral Knight claimed that the Switch Pro will launch in Q4 2020 but will not boast 4K and upgraded performance as expected.

Instead of moving to an upgraded version of Tegrax1 +GPU, the post claims Nintendo will work with Nvidia to create a custom processor based on Volta. In other words, not much will actually improve with the Switch Pro, it may just be a little faster.

However, Nintendo has since shut down rumors that a new Switch will release in 2020 – meaning we can probably assume the claims about performance are also untrue.

Production rumored to start as soon as April – Debunked
A report by Taiwan newspaper DigiTimes claimed that mass production on a new Switch will start "at the end of first-quarter 2020"- with the console itself releasing in mid-2020. However, as we've pointed out, Nintendo has ruled out a 2020 release date.

No Switch Pro in 2019
At a press briefing for the announcement of the Switch Lite, Nintendo president Doug Bowser revealed that we wouldn't be seeing another new Switch model in 2019, according to CNET.

"[The Nintendo Switch Lite will] be the only new Nintendo Switch hardware this holiday, as Bowser says the larger Switch won't get an upgrade right now," CNET wrote.

However, Bowser's comments suggested an upgraded Switch model is on the way, perhaps a Switch Pro?

Switch pro

Image credit: Nintendo

Two new Nintendo Switch devices
A Wall Street Journal report suggests that Nintendo is working on two individual Switch variants that, rather than making the current Nintendo Switch obsolete, would put it in the middle of a range growing to suit all budgets.

According the publication's sources, the first of these new devices will be aimed at budget gamers, and will see the Switch presented in a more traditional handheld-first format. It'll replace removable Joy-Cons with fixed ones, and ditch their HD Rumble feature in order to bring costs down. This was confirmed with the announcement of the Nintendo Switch Lite.

The second new version of the Nintendo Switch, going by the rumor, is a little harder to pin down, but would be a premium version of the console with "enhanced features targeted at avid videogamers." That's not to suggest it would be aiming for 4K or HDR visuals, but would more likely have features and services baked in that would accommodate the modern obsession with streaming to platforms like Twitch. 

The confirmation of the Switch Lite adds some weight to this report and could mean we will see another new premium Switch console at a future date.

The 5.0 firmware dig
Though the Nintendo Switch’s 5.0 firmware update wasn’t up to much on the surface, hackers on Switchbrew dug into the upgrade in 2019 and found evidence which suggests a hardware refresh is in the works. 

Switchbrew discovered references to a new T214 chip (which would be a small improvement on the current T210) as well as an updated printed circuit board and 8GB of RAM instead of the current 4GB. This T214 is likely what was used in the Switch Lite and improved battery Switch, but we're expecting the Switch Pro to have even further hardware improvements that will push the devices overall performance.

Switch Pro

Nintendo Switch Lite (Image credit: Nintendo)

AR and VR support
VR and AR support for the Switch never looked likely, with the MD of Nintendo France citing a lack of mainstream appeal for the technology back in 2018, but the Labo VR Kit shows Nintendo has changed its mind about the viability of VR.

The Switch doesn't have the high resolution of most VR gaming rigs, so we could see an advanced model with 2K or 4K resolution to improve those close-up VR experiences. However, given the VR Kit is still focused mainly on children, we'd be surprised to see a visual overhaul simply for this one peripheral.

What about 3D?
Another Nintendo patent came to light in early 2019: this time for a 3D sensor array that sits above your television, and creates a stereoscopic image in a similar way to the 3DS, meaning you wouldn't even need glasses.

3D visuals felt like a passing gimmick even with Nintendo's handheld consoles – and the troubled Microsoft Kinect camera will no doubt keep it wary of unnecessary TV peripherals. But getting convincing 3D imaging on standard 2D TVs may the step needed to bring 3D gaming mainstream.

Could it support 4K?
While Sony and Microsoft push at the 4K market, there isn’t really any big reason for Nintendo, the company that staunchly sets itself apart from other hardware producers, to follow suit. 

In the same interview where he dismissed VR, Nintendo France General Manager Philippe Lavoué also brushed off 4K saying that the technology has “not been adopted by the majority” and it would, therefore, be too early for Nintendo to jump in. 

Nintendo didn’t enter the HD console market until 2012 when it released the Wii U. This was around four years after Sony and Microsoft and at the point when more than 75% of US households actually had HD displays in their home. 

Miyamoto however has said he wished Nintendo had done the jump to HD sooner than this, saying that the display technology became popular around three years before Nintendo expected it to. It's expected that by 2020, 50% of US households will have adopted 4K technology and it might be at this point that Nintendo decides to join the 4K fray, rather than waiting until the 75% market saturation of before. 

  • Looking forward to the next generation of gaming? Read more about the Xbox Series X and PS5

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What is AWS Console?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) includes over 175 different products and services, all of them geared to help you run your cloud computing environment. It’s quite an extensive catalog, including tools to help you manage, deploy, and maintain compute, online storage, cloud databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning, Internet of Things, security, VR and AR, media, and application development, and mobile apps — to name but a few.

AWS Console is the primary point of control for all of the services you use, and it has the power to help you scale and manage your cloud computing environment. It’s a “one-stop-shop” that even provides access to the AWS Marketplace for finding and deploying more services and a way to view your services and any associated costs for using those services. And yet the console itself is easy to use and not overly complicated for new users.

As a way to cover what this tool and do for your business, this overview will start by explaining AWS itself and then the main core functions of the AWS Console.

AWS is actually a company and a product at the same time. A subsidiary of Amazon, the company started in 2006 and provides a host of services for cloud computing. In fact, AWS includes 175 different services, including 60 that are free to try and deploy in a real-world setting. The most popular services include Amazon Simple Storage Service (or S3) for object storage in the cloud and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for virtual server access.

It would over-simplify AWS to say it’s just for apps, storage and servers. Companies use AWS for a wide variety of cloud computing functions, including code deployments, Big Data analytics, reliably running popular mobile apps, operating vast data lake projects and for data warehousing, and media streaming. If you name a random company, like Netflix or Uber, and wonder if they use AWS for their cloud computing needs, it’s a good bet they already do.

That’s why it’s interesting that AWS Console even exists because it should be far more complicated. Any company can sign up for AWS Console in a few minutes, then select the services to deploy and have them up and running a few moments later. This might explain the vast popularity of AWS and AWS Console — that there is all of this power and flexibility, a way to scale the computing performance of a company, and yet getting started is so straightforward. With competing cloud computing services, the on-ramp is much more complex.

AWS Console provides access to all of your users, service usage, cloud computing health, and monthly billing. When you need assistance with any service, you can generate a support ticket right from the app. AWS Console also allows you to deploy an API (Application Programming Interface) and keep track of the revisions and code deployments for apps.

Benefits of using AWS Console

The key benefit here is having one point of management and control for all of these services, in a way that almost seems unlikely in the age of technical complexity in the cloud. To say there is one interface you can use for adding and removing services, for seeing a deployment map for your IT infrastructure, for reviewing the costs for all services in one place almost seems impossible. The fact that AWS Console is so extensive and accessible to anyone to get started with cloud computing is a major advantage to using the product.

AWS Console provides a great degree of flexibility as well. You can choose the operating system you want to use, the services you want to deploy, and the level of security needed for your apps and data. AWS Console is designed for any company and removes much of the initial complexity, configuration requirements, and up-front costs associated with the cloud.

Once you dive into AWS Console, it’s also worth noting that there is extensive online support for every service, including a vast array of tech support material. Because AWS has become so popular with so many companies, there is a wealth of case study information, practical guidance, and advice for anyone who wants to deploy multiple services in the cloud.

Another interesting perk to using AWS Console is that it’s the same tool Amazon uses to run, which is a multi-billion dollar e-commerce operation. This means it’s reliable, secure, and operationally sound enough for one of the most-used web portals today.

What this all means for any business is that the compute power you need is accessible, available, and affordable to get started, and then allows you to scale up your services and take advantage of more and more AWS products as your needs evolve. In the end, any company can experiment with cloud services without the usual complexity and high costs.

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