Nintendo had a big hit on its hands last year with the holiday release of the cheaper Switch Lite. Now signs point to a forthcoming higher-end version of the Switch that may bring back a second screen reminiscent of the Nintendo 3DS (via Metro).
Rumors of a more powerful version of the Switch have been swirling for some time, but the latest comes from a reference to a new hardware model found in the recent Nintendo Switch firmware update.
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The hardware model was identified in the firmware update as "nx-abcd," which aligns with previous development codenames for Switch models. While there isn't an abundance of details regarding the device, the one piece of info that sticks out is support for a secondary display.
Firmware 10.0.0 adds preliminary support for a new hardware model: "nx-abcd".3 of the 5 new DRAM profiles are for this new hardware type and there's evidence of a secondary display of sorts being added exclusively on this model. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)April 14, 2020
There is no indication as to what form that second screen will take. Given Nintendo's history, we imagine a clamshell-style dual-screen device like the Nintendo DS and 3DS. However, making a second screen such a prominent feature of a single higher-end variant of the console would seem like an odd rift to create for Switch game developers.
It's possible this could be a smaller secondary display that simply supports offloading some content, like item management or menus (think Wii U). And keep in mind, this is a minor piece of code in a firmware update so it's possible the final hardware won't have a second screen at all.
Nintendo has officially denied that a new Switch will be coming this year, so whatever the final form for this new Switch ends up being, we don't expect to see it until 2021.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.