Nintendo plans to release two new Switch systems aimed at different consumer segments: a beefier Switch Pro with expanded hardware and upgraded specs, and a cheaper Switch Lite that should replace the 3DS. Now reports say the Switch Pro model has been delayed due to technical difficulties.
Nintendo’s new enthusiast Switch, dubbed the Switch Pro, isn’t just an iterative refresh like Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro. Sources say it’s a big jump over the existing Switch handheld-console hybrid, and will be a true next-gen variant of the transformable system. Past reports said the Switch Pro would get a new Tegra SoC for boosted processing power and double system memory at 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM.
But according to Japanese publication Nikkei, this hardware leap is causing problems. The system is drawing too much power, which could affect thermals. Nintendo can’t get power consumption right with the new hardware–something it struggled with while developing the first Switch. The Switch Pro’s components may get too hot while in handheld mode or docked for home use. Nintendo has also had issues getting the OS to run on the latest iteration. This setback has led to a delay past 2019, sources tell the website.
Given the Switch’s power discrepancies in handheld and docked modes, we’re betting the Switch Pro is belting out too much heat while docked for dedicated console play. Remember the current Switch is more powerful when docked and the internal Tegra X1 processor is unlocked thanks to the extra power, whereas it’s stunted in handheld mode. It’s possible the Switch Pro will deliver consistent 1080p 60FPS gaming while in handheld mode, and maybe even upscaled 4K gaming when docked.
Nikkei says the Switch Lite variant, a cheaper model aimed at pushing out the flagging 3DS, is still set for a release this Fall.
Nintendo could announce the new systems during its E3 2019 press event in a few months.