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Nintendo denies that the Switch 4K everyone wants is in the works

Published Sep 30th, 2021 5:34PM EDT
Nintendo Switch 4K
Image: Nintendo

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After years of denying reports that an upgraded Switch console was in the making, Nintendo finally unveiled the Switch OLED model that was rumored earlier this year. However, the console only feature a single notable upgrade, which is the OLED display. It might not be enough to satisfy the needs of some more demanding customers. This isn’t the more powerful Switch Pro console that would support 4K games. And 4K gaming is a standard feature on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.

Despite underwhelming hardware, the original Switch has been a massive success with gamers. It’s likely the Switch OLED will continue to see massive sales with customers in the coming months. But with days to go until the new console is supposed to hit stores, a report came out claiming that nearly a dozen companies have Switch 4K development kits from Nintendo. In a rare move, the Japanese company came out to vehemently deny the report.

The blunt denial might indicate that the report is accurate. Nintendo might currently be developing the mythical Switch Pro internally. But the company wants the Switch OLED to be another huge success. Or, the report is dead wrong, and Nintendo isn’t making a 4K console.

The Nintendo Switch 4K dev kit


talked to employees at 11 game companies working on Switch titles. These people claimed their teams had Nintendo Switch 4K development kits. The companies span the globe, the report notes. Among them, there’s a company that has never made console games before, Zynga.

The people said that the Switch 4K console might not launch until late next year at the earliest. The Switch OLED model goes on sale on October 8th for $350. It will be Nintendo’s only weapon against the $500 Xbox Series X and PS5. The 2020 Microsoft and Sony consoles are still sold out, with stock evaporating as soon as it’s refreshed. These consoles offer superior hardware compared to the Switch models. Then again, even the previous Xbox and Sony consoles supported 4K gaming.

According to Bloomberg, the Switch OLED doesn’t feature an upgraded Nvidia chip capable of 4K gaming is the ongoing component shortages. By the time Nintendo unveiled the Switch OLED in July, the game developers already had 4K kits on hand.

The Switch 4K dev kits came with extra memory and additional ports. These would support debugging and connections to computers during game development. But otherwise, the dev kit had similar capabilities to a commercial version of it.

Nintendo’s vehement denial

Nintendo reacted quickly, posting a two-part denial on Twitter where it says the Bloomberg report “falsely claims that Nintendo is supplying tools to drive game development for a Nintendo Switch with 4K support.”

The company added that the report is not true. Also, Nintendo has no plans for any other model than the Switch OLED version that comes out in a few days.

Nintendo’s strong wording is certainly puzzling. It seems unlikely that 11 separate entities feed the same lie to Bloomberg, that they have Switch 4K development consoles on hand.

Before the story came out, Nintendo told the paper the report was inaccurate, declining to specify the inaccuracies.

After Bloomberg published its story, a Zynga spokesperson told the paper that “Zynga does not have a 4K developer kit from Nintendo.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.