Switch firmware hints at future dual-screen model
Will we see a clamshell-style console?By Rob Thubron 7 comments
Rumor mill: It's unclear when another Switch will arrive, but when it does, there's a chance it'll feature two screens. References to a new model of the console were discovered in the Switch's latest firmware update, which also mentions its secondary display.
The discovery was made by vulnerability researcher Mike Heskin, who searched through the Switch’s 10.0.0 firmware update and tweeted the highlights of his findings.
The 10.0.0 update introduces several new features, including the ability to transfer games from the internal memory to an SD card. It also adds button remapping, News bookmarks, new avatars, and more.
Heskin notes that the firmware brings “preliminary support” for a new model of Switch, codenamed nx-abcd, which lines up with similar codenames used for other Switch machines, including the original (nx-abca) and Switch Lite (nx-abcb).
Heskin tweeted that “there's evidence of a secondary display of sorts being added exclusively on this model.” Whether this would be for a clamshell-style design resembling the 3DS/2DS or something totally different is a mystery, but it certainly sounds interesting.
Firmware 10.0.0 adds preliminary support for a new hardware model: "nx-abcd".— Mike Heskin (@hexkyz) April 14, 2020
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 ͡°)
At the start of the year, an industry analyst said he was convinced Nintendo would launch a Switch Pro this year, which would support 4K resolutions, use bigger cartridges, and feature more powerful components. A Digitimes report appeared to support this belief, claiming Nintendo would start volume production on a new Switch in Q1. But Nintendo later disappointed fans when president Shuntaro Furukawa said: "Please note that we have no plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch model during 2020."
While it wouldn’t be the first time a company lied about a product, it does appear that Nintendo is being honest here. We’re even less likely to see a 2020 model given Covid-19 disruption is causing shortages of the current Switch.
There undoubtedly will be another version of the Switch; it’ll just take a long time to get here. We’ll have to wait until then to see if it has one screen or two.