KEY POINTS

  • Nintendo has not yet confirmed that a new Switch model is in development
  • Last year, the company said that it will be with the current Switch for a few more years
  • A new set of leaks reveals references to 4K, the new dock and the rumored codename of the Switch Pro

While Nintendo has been firm on its non-admission that a new Switch model or Switch Pro is coming soon, a recent firmware update could be hiding pieces of evidence about the rumored hardware at plain sight.

Nintendo released the 12.0.0 firmware update for the Switch recently and it appears that it contains some references to the heavily rumored new Switch model. These references were discovered by Switchbrew.org and shared on Twitter by Switch dataminer OutmealDome. According to the dataminer, the latest gaming console system patch enables the Switch dock to be internally updated with new firmware. 

The firmware, reportedly mentions "CrdA," which stands for Cradle for Aula. Cradle is the internal name of the Switch Dock, according to SwitchBrew, the term Aula is apparently the codename for the new Switch model. Aula was also datamined from previous console updates and was mentioned several times in the January 2021 update of the handheld hybrid console.

Nintendo said it was working to fix a network problem that prevented people from connecting to its online games Nintendo said it was working to fix a network problem that prevented people from connecting to its online games Photo: AFP / Frederic J. BROWN

The dataminer claimed that "the Dock itself only contains USB chips, a MyDP -> HDMI converter, and flash memory to store its firmware." While there is a possibility that it is for the Switch's existing dock, the current dock has never received any update since it was released four years ago. This is the first time that the hybrid console received an update to its dock.

The firmware update also introduced a new internal setting to the hybrid console's platform “4kdp_preferred_over_usb30.” This means 4K output through USB 3.0. Many believe that this could be a reference to the 4K capabilities of the rumored Switch Pro considering the previous rumors about the device. While these discoveries are interesting, these do not confirm that Nintendo is releasing a new model anytime soon. 

In December 2020, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser said that the company will be with the current Switch model for a few more years. Nintendo will be at this year's E3 digital event. Rumors have it that the company might unveil the new Switch model or the Switch Pro at the upcoming event. 

This just, of course, speculation. While the details revealed from the datamine are interesting, fans should temper their expectations and take this information with a pinch of salt.