New reports out this week suggest that the Nintendo Switch Pro might not be the package we first hoped for. Analysts had backed Nintendo to release an upgraded version of the current Switch console during the same year that Sony and Microsoft released the PS5 and Xbox Series X. This would make sense, considering that the power of the next-gen gaming devices would far outweigh that of the Switch.
Analysts, such as Dr. Serktan Toto, have backed the Switch Pro, or whatever it might be called, to include 4K settings and better storage space for games.
And since then, others have been looking at Nintendo’s technical stats, including why there might have been a decline in the company’s ordering parts from Nvidia.
Nvidia supplies the Nintendo Switch with its most important pieces of hardware, and so a flux in the inventory could signify changes are coming in 2020.
@PiranhaCapital, a Twitter account run by an anonymous fund manager, highlights how Nintendo could extend the life of the Switch brand by creating regular hardware updates, much like in the phone industry.
“Digitimes reported a new Switch this year with new SOC and magnesium alloy body,” the Piranha Capital account explains.
“I agree that a “Pro” model is coming this year given inventory/ordering pattern with Nvidia. Nintendo probably segments Switch into “good’ ([email protected]$199), “better” ([email protected]$299), and “best” (“Pro”@$399).”
Speaking about the changes inventory, the account adds: “After holidays 2017, Nintendo kept on building inventory to meet holiday 2018 demand. Nintendo’s inventory peaked right before holidays 2018.
“After holidays 2018, Tegra revenue had a significant seasonal decline before ramping up again to meet holidays 2019 demand with the Lite and OG v2. Nvidia guided to the same seasonal decline post-holidays 2019 as we saw last year.
“Same thing with Nintendo’s inventory. A significant seasonal decline and September 2019 inventory was 33% less than September 2018 (~$1 billion less). After the big holiday flush, Nintendo will have far fewer Switches in inventory than last year.
“Digitimes reported that Switch “Pro” will go into production at the end of Q1. This makes sense for a Nintendo that is running lean on OG and Lite inventory and looking to launch the “Pro” in summer/fall.
“The untapped market for the Switch family is the high-end enthusiast, so the demand surge would be for the “Pro” while OG and Lite maintain some baseline level of demand.
“As for the Nvidia SOC that could power the “Pro”, Nintendo has plenty of choice among ARM/Nvidia’s parts bin. A SOC with ARM A72 cores and Nvidia Volta GPU on TSMC’s 12nm process seems reasonable.
“This config would put at “Pro” at PS4/XB1 performance levels in the dock and current docked performance in handheld.
“In summary, $399 “Pro” with premium feel (magnesium), PS4/XB1 performance (1TFLOPs), bigger screen (IGZO with less bezel), and compatibility with the existing Switch ecosystem.”
It makes for interesting reading, especially when you consider that Nintendo will be facing the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X at the end of the year.
A recent report out of South Korea from Clien.net is that Nintendo is planning to use Volta architecture but won’t include 4K support.
There are also question marks over the current 2020 timeline, meaning the Nintendo Switch Pro could slip its original Summer release date.
And a delay in the launch of the Nintendo Switch Pro could prove to be a massive boost for Sony and Microsoft when it comes to the launch of the PS5 and Xbox One X in 2020.