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Switch Pro Will Have OLED Screen, Dataminer Claims

It looks like the rumors of a Switch Pro may be inching towards reality.


According to known dataminer SciresM, Nintendo's latest firmware update contains mention of an upgraded Switch console code named Aula, as reported by VGC. This lends additional credence to the theory that Nintendo has a Switch Pro model in its plans for the near future. It has been rumored for months, but Nintendo has thus far given no indication to its existence. [Update: Following E3, Nintendo finally confirmed a new Switch OLED model that releases on October 8.]

Aula allegedly uses the same Mariko (Tegra X1+) SoC chip that was implemented with the Switch Lite and updated 2019 regular model Switches. While this alone doesn't necessarily indicate improved performance, ScriesM claims that it's likely the chips will be pushed to higher clock speeds. SciresM also claims that the firmware mentions support for a Realtek chip, which has been advertised as a "4K UHD multimedia SoC." Bloomberg's report on Nintendo's upgraded console from August mentioned that the new system would likely support 4K graphics, so this chip may be how Nintendo is looking to do that.

Vita fans will be excited to know that hardware wise, the next Switch console will supposedly have an upgraded display in the form of an OLED screen. However, ScriesM noted that the display will likely not be a higher resolution when in handheld mode, and that the 4K chip may be located in the dock instead of the tablet itself, meaning you would only be able to play in 4K when your Switch is docked. A screen of that resolution would not provide much benefit at the Switch's size, so this would make sense.

For those who enjoy playing in handheld mode, Aula will allegedly also feature "substantially" better battery life and cooling. The upgraded original Switch currently has the most battery life of the lineup, with the Switch Lite coming in second and the launch Switch in third. None of them provide a drastically long battery life.

Despite the information out there on an imminent upgrade for the Switch, Nintendo has continued to downplay any plans on its part. In an interview with Polygon in December, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser remained firm that the company would be focusing on its current hardware and software lineups. Nintendo has not typically offered very many hardware revisions over its systems' lifetimes. The Wii did eventually receive a smaller version that was missing certain features, but only Nintendo's handhelds have typically seen several versions.

"The momentum on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite in the fourth year is strong," Bowser told Polygon. "And we believe we’re changing the trajectory of another typical console life cycle. And we will continue, for the foreseeable future, to really lean into both of those platforms and the content that comes with it, because it’s the symbiotic relationship that makes the real difference. And it’s why Nintendo Switch is so differentiated."

The Switch's lifespan is still up in the air, but with or without a Pro model, the console has seen tremendous sales with over 68 million units sold as of September 2020.

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