There have been plenty of rumors surrounding the next-gen Nintendo Switch – whether it's called the Nintendo Switch Pro, New Nintendo Switch, or something else entirely. But the latest chatter around Nintendo's mainline Switch successor suggests we might be seeing a Mini LED display replace its current LCD screen.
Taiwan's Economic Daily News has reported that the Switch Pro model will opt for Mini LED screens supplied by Innolux, a well-known manufacturer in the field.
While we've heard much about the possibilities of 4K games on the rumored console, this is the first time we've heard something substantial about the screen technology powering those 8 million pixels.
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Why does this matter? Well, the current Switch and Switch Lite use an HD (720p) LCD screen. We expect 4K capability would extend to docked mode, with the console showing off a slightly-boosted Full HD (1080p) display in handheld. This would certainly up the level of detail on show, but an upgrade to Mini LED would ensure all those pixels looks far better than before.
Mini LED displays replaces the usual clusters of backlit LEDs with thousands of tiny backlights in the glass substrate of the panel, each of which can be individually controlled. The end result is a wider contrast ratio, better brightness control, and deeper blacks – for a richer and more impactful picture across the board. For making Breath of the Wild 2 looking better than its predecessor, Mini LED sounds like the way to go.
It's widely touted by TCL as an equivalent picture to that on OLED TVs, just with a smaller price tag. We're seeing it deployed on the TCL 6 Series 2020 QLED and TCL 8 Series 2020 QLED, and found a huge jump in color vibrance as well as a reduction in blooming or halos around bright light sources. Overall brightness is a bit lower compared to some other QLEDs, but the advancements in color and contrast more than make up for it.
We've heard that a next-gen iPad Pro 12.9 with Mini LED tech is on its way in 2021 too, so it seems to be a technology that's gaining traction across today's display market.
Talk of the Nintendo Switch Pro is understandably getting buried underneath the sheer amount of hype around the PS5 and Xbox Series X / Xbox Series S, the next-gen consoles being launched by Sony and Microsoft in mid-November.
Certainly, the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles are going to offer massive boosts in processing power, alongside a host of new features like Smart Delivery, improved haptic feedback, and Quick Resume.
But we need to remember that Nintendo does far more to innovate in the medium, as it did with the 2017 launch of the Nintendo Switch, which brought a hybrid portable-home console to the masses, and has been a bestseller ever since.
Not all of Nintendo's hardware quirks end up being widely used, of course – as with the microphone in the Nintendo DS – but we have hopes that an upgraded Nintendo Switch will have some tricks up its sleeve.
If you've held out on buying a Switch so far, though, we don't have a firm idea of what this reported model will release, other than our own guess (2021, a bit after hype around incoming console launches has died down). Check out the Nintendo Switch prices below to see if any of them take your fancy.
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