Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

New Nintendo Switch might have two displays

Published Apr 16th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
Nintendo Switch 2
Image: Wachiwit/Shutterstock

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

  • Nintendo might be working on a dual-screen Switch 2 console, according to code found in the latest firmware update.
  • Firmware 10.0.0 contains profiles for a new hardware model that would feature a second display of sorts.
  • It’s unclear how a dual-display Switch would work, and there’s no evidence to suggest that Nintendo is planning an upgrade anytime soon.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Microsoft and Sony are supposed to launch brand new consoles this year, assuming the novel coronavirus pandemic doesn’t delay the Xbox Series X and PS5. But there’s no indication that Nintendo is looking to launch a more powerful Switch successor to take on the two new devices. The Japanese gaming giant released a mild Switch refresh last year alongside a handheld-only version of the Switch and shot down all reports that said a more meaningful upgrade was in the works. After all, the Switch has been selling out recently, as the health crises impacted Nintendo’s supply chain. Nintendo’s extensive collection of games that aren’t available anywhere else is what makes the Switch so appealing, even though its hardware is hardly a match for the PS4 or Xbox One.

A new discovery in the latest Switch software update indicates that a Switch 2 might indeed be in the works, and the new console might have two displays.

Analyzing Switch firmware 10.0.0, Mike Heskin dug up information that indicates Nintendo has added “preliminary support” for a new hardware model. The code also includes “evidence of a secondary display of sorts being added exclusively on this model.”

Increasing display real estate has been a priority for smartphone makers in recent years. Phones got all sorts of all-screen display variations, and the first foldable and dual-screen handsets were launched last year. Microsoft wants to make dual-screen laptops, and it’s devising a special version of Windows 10 that would run on such form factors. That said, it’s strange to imagine a Switch variation rocking two displays. How would such a device look like? How would you even dock it?

Nintendo did make handhelds featuring two displays before, but those were something else. You can’t compare the Nintendo 2DS and 3DS with the Switch.

The Switch already gets a second display, and that’s the big-screen TV you can hook it up to. The Switch Lite, meanwhile, can’t be connected to a TV, and that’s the device that could use support for a bigger screen. But how would you go about adding a secondary display to a portable device that’s already bulky enough?

There’s no telling when a Switch 2 will be made, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic, and the code seen in firmware 10.0.0 isn’t enough to confirm that a dual-screen Switch is coming soon. Still, it’s a development we’ll certainly keep track of.

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.