A new OLED Switch model with a 7″ 720p screen is coming later in 2021. The report comes from anonymous sources claiming familiarity with the matter, via a new report from Bloomberg. Representatives for Nintendo and Samsung Display declined to comment. The report says that the new console variant will enter production this June as screens are made from Samsung. Nintendo will then ship them to assemblers by July.
The rumors of a new Switch model with improvements to visual quality have been around for a long time. Almost as soon as the console was on the market, users were revving up the rumor mill about a Switch Pro. As of last year, there was very little news about such a model. The expectation among fans was that a Switch Pro would be released to better compete with the PS5 and XSX, but that’s not happened yet. At the time the rumor mill was running, Nintendo said that fans should not expect a Switch pro “anytime soon.”
OLED offers both better efficiency in terms of power consumption, as well as improved visual quality. “The OLED panel will consume less battery, offer higher contrast and possibly faster response time when compared to the Switch’s current liquid-crystal display,” said Yoshio Tamura, co-founder of display consultancy DSCC.
There’s also something to be said about the timing of this deal, as Samsung has been dealing with a glut of excess OLED panels, and finding a buyer has been difficult. Having Nintendo step in and order millions of units will help them deal with that, while giving Nintendo a good deal on the new units. It will be interesting to see how prices for the new console shift, if they do at all. So far, pricing for the new console version has not been announced.
The Switch and Switch Lite feature screens that are 6.2 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively. The new OLED console will get an even better playtime than the V2 console, which already offered a pretty significant improvement to console battery life when it was released. The Switch has a strong library of games as well, lending to its success.
Nintendo has been having a banger of a year in 2020 and beyond. Thanks to the power of the lineup of games on the platform, Nintendo has made a solid market for itself. The console has cemented its place as a hot item, selling tens of millions of units. Nintendo estimates that at least another 24m units of the basic and Lite console will be sold in 2021.