Nintendo has just marketed its Switch model OLED. Under the hood, the latter is basically identical to its big sister. And the Japanese manufacturer says to anyone who wants to hear it that no other Switch model is currently under study. It appears, however, that changes to the dock side of the console open up several doors.
The new dock that ships with the Nintendo Switch OLED would be able to stream content in 4K. This information was discovered by several users who dismantled this new version of the dock. As explained “kawlums“from the Source Gaming site on Twitter, the latter has new hardware on board.
The dock that accompanies the Nintendo Switch OLED has a new Realtek chip and uses the HDMI 2.0 standard. The HDMI cable in the console box is also HDMI 2.0. Technically, this makes the console compatible with 4K video streams. In addition, Nintendo has here added the possibility to update the firmware of the dock. What the original Switch didn’t allow.
Technically, this new feature associated with hardware changes could allow Nintendo to add 4K and / or HDR output to Switch via an update. Similar to the recent addition of compatibility with Bluetooth headsets. But if all these elements make certain developments possible, they do not guarantee them. And this for many reasons.
Among the possible justifications for this change in equipment are the reduction in production costs. Several years have passed since the creation of the original Nintendo Switch. It is therefore possible that it is now cheaper to install HDMI 2.0 ports and to offer HDMI 2.0 cables as well. FYI, the original Switch used the HDMI 1.4 standard.
A 4K compatible Switch dock, but what for?
As it stands, the OLED Switch is unable to properly run games in 4K. And that’s even though the Switch’s Tegra X1 processor is on paper 4K-60 fps compatible via HDMI. These different elements, however, suggest that Nintendo could for example allow the console menu to be displayed in 4K.
At the moment, nothing in the firmware of the Switch suggests an imminent arrival of 4K and / or HDR compatibility on the console. Some are already speculating that the new chip in the Switch OLED’s dock is only used to improve the sound of the console.
It is also not completely excluded that Nintendo is preparing for the future. The technology present in the OLED Switch dock could be used on a possible future model. As a reminder, a recent rumor claims that many studios have received new 4K compatible Switch development kits.
That said, it also seems important to clarify that the 2.0 standard is not the best when it comes to HDMI. The PS5 and Xbox Series X | S are on the other hand HDMI 2.1 compatible. On paper, however, HDMI 2.0 is capable of handling a 4K-60 fps display.
If the choices made in the Switch OLED dock are not only related to costs, we will have to wait to find out what Nintendo is up to.
What do you say about this information regarding the Nintendo Switch OLED dock? Do you think Nintendo is quietly preparing for 4K? Or do you think it’s just cheaper to offer HDMI 2.0 in 2021? Give us your opinion in the comments below.