The Nintendo Switch’s new OLED model is launching globally in less than a week, giving players access to a slightly improved version of the hybrid console after four years of the original version on the market.
But according to a new Bloomberg report, at least 11 development companies, including Zynga, were working on 4K projects after being given access by Nintendo to a 4K development kit for the Switch.
The OLED model of the Switch does not support 4K visuals and Nintendo has yet to reveal a “Switch Pro” that might take advantage of some previously reported high-fidelity visuals and serious hardware upgrades. That alleged upgraded model was originally noted to contain Nvidia system-on-chip GPU utilizing DLSS, which would allow for 4K output and higher framerate when the system was docked.
Bloomberg’s report states that Nintendo was planning for stronger hardware to launch sooner, but the ongoing component shortages impacting consoles and technology around the world forced the company to pivot. This led to some companies being given 4K devkits before the Switch OLED’s reveal, which could have led to developers working on projects at a resolution that is not supported by the current or soon-to-be-released Switch models.
When Bloomberg reached out to Nintendo with a list of questions, Nintendo simply responded by saying the publication’s reporting was “inaccurate” and declined to comment further.
Zynga being named might seem a bit odd since the company is best known for developing mobile and browser titles like Words with Friends and FarmVille. But the developer is currently working on Star Wars Hunters, a free-to-play title that will release on mobile and Switch, which would explain why Nintendo reportedly provided them a newer devkit.
And while it is unlikely Star Wars Hunters will be heavily impacted by being potentially developed for a higher resolution since it is also being released on mobile, Bloomberg did note that this could saddle some devs with “the burden of converting their projects to support lesser hardware.”
With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S being much stronger than the Switch and supporting 4K or higher resolutions, developers are slowly going to face more challenges when bringing bigger games to all available platforms. If Nintendo doesn’t plan on releasing a more powerful Switch variant, the console will begin to fall behind in terms of which games are released for its users outside of Nintendo-supported titles.
Update Sept. 29 8pm CT: Following Bloomberg’s report, Nintendo released a statement saying the claim that the company was supplying developers with supplies in order to “drive game development for a Nintendo Switch with 4K support” is false.
This statement was made to “ensure correct understanding among our investors and customers.” Nintendo said it has no plans for a new model other than the Switch OLED.