Nintendo Switch OLED rumoured to support 4K output in the future

Better screens all round

Users of the new Nintendo Switch OLED console have been speculating whether it will support 4K resolution output in the future.

Speculation began when twitter user SciresM datamined the Switch OS back in January 2021. The new Switch model, which was then codenamed Aula, had firmware support for a Realtek chip advertised as “4K UHD multimedia SoC”. They also used this data to predict that the new console would feature an OLED screen.

Since the console was released on October 8 editor for Source Gaming, Kawlums, has been testing out the hardware. Opening his dock revealed the DP2HDMI chip, with the number on the chip confirming that it is the 4K Reaktek chip SciresM predicted through their datamine.

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Speaking with NME, Kawlums said “My theory is that Nintendo could add maybe a 4K output and/or HDR with a firmware update.”

“The Switch seemed to recently add an ‘Update Dock’ function that’s only for the new OLED dock but it’s not used for what I presumed [would] be a Day 1 update,” he also noted. “It does mean they plan to update the dock for whatever reason.”

Kawlums also revealed he tested the HDMI cable which came with the system by using it with their Xbox One X. This confirms that the cable is at least HDMI 2.0 compliant, significant as the original system only supports HDMI 1.4. This upgraded HDMI support would help the system output in 4K.

Finally, he spotted that the Nintendo Customer Support has added a page detailing how you can update the firmware on your dock. The original Nintendo Switch has not required users to do this to date. This suggests that much like how Bluetooth support was added to Switch consoles post-release, a 4K compatible output update could come to consoles in the future.

Contrary to this, Nintendo Japan tweeted in English on September 30, explicitly stating that they had not supplied developers with kits which support 4K output.

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So far it appears that the possibility to upgrade the new dock to output at 4K resolution is there, but that Nintendo have no plans to use this feature in the immediate future.

In other news, the retro console Evercade VS has been delayed until at least December 2021 following international shipping issues.

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