Nintendo’s scrappy little hybrid system, the Nintendo Switch, is getting a bit long in the tooth. It was underpowered upon its release in 2017, a concession to both the expense required to manufacture it and the system’s need to work as a handheld gaming device on its own battery life.
Five years after its launch, though, it’s becoming obvious that the Switch struggles to run games that Nintendo itself makes for the console. The latest Pokemon entries, Scarlet and Violet, for instance, are experiencing performance hiccups on the company’s own hardware. So, should you hold off on getting an OLED Switch and just wait for the inevitable Switch Pro?
Nintendo is famously tight-lipped about upcoming products. Indeed, there’s no guarantee that there will even be a “Switch Pro”: such a device is just a rumor and something of a fan pipe dream at the moment. Many fans have been clamoring for a more powerful iteration of the popular hybrid console, one with a stronger processor, capable of putting out 4K images in docked mode and 1080p in handheld.
Such a device might never materialize, though. Nintendo might surprise everyone by having its next console be a strictly home system, and announce a successor to the Nintendo 3DS as a dedicated handheld console. Such a move would be unwise, from a business standpoint, but it’s not out of the question for a company as unpredictable and strange as Nintendo.
Assuming Nintendo actually wants to create a more powerful hybrid system as the successor to the Switch, it would likely release the follow-up system within a time frame comparable to its prior console generation lengths. On average, Nintendo releases a new system every five to seven years.
That means we’re already in the time frame that one would expect to hear some news about an upcoming successor–after all, the original Switch hit store shelves in 2017. At the latest, we’d expect to hear some news about a Switch successor sometime in late 2023, with the latest realistic release date for the holidays in 2024.
In short, if the Switch Pro is real, it could be around two years before it comes out. That means that if there are any upcoming releases on the Switch you’re excited about and you don’t have one yet, now is as good a time as any to grab an OLED Switch. However, if you’re content to wait two years before trying out titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey, then just hang tight.