We started the year with customary hangovers and the certainty that 2020 would bring two major new gaming hardware launches to the table. Next holiday season, Microsoft and Sony will go head to head once again with Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
Within days, however, the rumour mill seems to have homed in on a kind of consensus around yet another major hardware launch scheduled for the coming 12 months: a "Switch Pro" which will update the performance and aesthetics of Nintendo's current, all-conquering champion. In theory, this new device could update the internals of the Switch to Nvidia's latest Tegra chipset while giving the hardware itself a "premium" metal finish. It would turn the Switch line-up into a three-tier affair, from the entry-level Lite (which lacks TV docking functionality or detachable controllers) through the OG Switch in the mid-range to the new, high-end device.
Kantan Games' Serkan Toto, who is generally spot-on regarding all things Nintendo, reckons the device is definitely on the cards. He's backed up by a Digitimes report that claims the Pro will go into mass production in the middle of the year, though that publication has a rather more spotty track record on Nintendo revelations.
"Sooner or later there will be a device that looks very like the rumoured Switch Pro on the market"
Another point in favour of the Pro being real is that there was a pretty strong expectation of a device like this launching alongside the Switch Lite last year. In the event, we ended up with a slight update to the regular Switch hardware instead, but it's perfectly possible that the rumours of a major update were the result of mixed signals about an as-yet unreleased Pro device that would already have been in development at the time.