Yesterday, Wall Street Journal Japan came out saying that sources inside Nintendo claimed the console maker has not one, but two Switch revisions in development, both to revealed sometime around E3, and released mere months later. One is intended to be a budget model, while the other is meant to be an enthusiast model. The budget model was compared to the 3DS and/or 2DS and considered to be the actual successor of those handheld devices including the nickname “HDS.” The higher end enthusiast model on the other hand was only stated to be “not as powerful as the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X.” Anyone with common sense could guess that it wouldn’t reach that level of power as those are refreshes of the current generation and Switch is on tablet tech with some constraints due to its portability. However, the power of an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 wouldn’t necessarily be out of the question.
That being said, Eurogamer has now come out with their own information. Their sources corroborate much of what WSJJ said, that there will be two devices, one budget and one enthusiast, and that the budget one will be lacking some features in order to slash the price, such as rumble. The biggest difference however, is Eurogamer’s sources contradicting WSJJ’s sources on what the power of the Switch Pro is comparable too. WSJJ left the power open to interpretation, but implied it would at least match base current gen power. Eurogamer’s sources however equate the jump to 3DS vs. New 3DS. While New 3DS did receive games that it was highly recommended you try not to play on the OG 3DS(Though you were more than welcome to try.), implying at least a decent upgrade(The CPU was practically overhauled and more VRAM was given to the GPU even though the GPU itself remained untouched.).
While both reports are not entirely incompatible as far as the Switch Pro goes, neither of them really rule a significantly improved Switch. Maybe it won’t reach PS4 levels, but instead punch closer to Xbox One. That’s still just fine and still a big improvement over the base Switch which is only a bit more powerful than the Wii U which itself was only somewhat better than the Xbox 360 & PS3. Any upgrade is of course better, but if Nintendo hopes to continue courting third parties and maintain support and momentum when the next generation arrives, likely in 2020, they will need that power boost because eventually the OG Switch will no longer be enough no matter how much magic is worked.
Of course, that’s only one reason Nintendo is doing this. The other reason, as stated in the reports, is because Nintendo wants to hit as much of the market as they can. Hardcore gamers were not entirely happy with the Switch as it originally released, and 3DS gamers who prefer dedicated handhelds(and smaller ones at that.) aren’t entirely enthusiastic about the Switch. A handheld-focused budget model that strips out extraneous features, and an enthusiast model that appeals to those that are power hungry, in addition to the mid-range OG model, is a three-pronged strategy to get as many people as possible to adopt the Switch sooner rather than later.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention some details about some of the supposed sources. Wall Street Journal Japan claims they have sources both in the manufacturing sector, so the people putting these new Switch models together, and developers who currently have prototype dev kits. Eurogamer’s sources, on the other hand, do not have specified occupations and thus it’s hard to say just how close their sources are to the development of these SKU’s. That could potentially explain the discrepancies between the descriptions of the Switch Pro. Developers who are working directly with the new system would have a good idea of how powerful it is, and manufacturers know exactly what’s going into it. Eurogamer’s sources could work directly for Nintendo, and have knowledge of these new devices, but they may be lower on the totem pole and thus not have exact specs just general knowledge and some hearsay from up top. No way to really know.