The newly announced Nintendo Switch OLED was never designed to support 4K outputs but it turns out that its dock can.
According to a teardown by YouTuber Nintendo Prime earlier today, the Nintendo Switch OLED dock comes with an HDMI 2.0 port which is required for 4K output, and in addition, its packaged cable is also capable of supporting 4K outputs.
In comparison, the original Nintendo Switch dock was launched with an HDMI 1.4 port and an HDMI 1.4 cable which can only support 1080p at best.
The new Nintendo Switch OLED can hence achieve 60 frames per second at 4K resolution, at least in theory because the upcoming OLED model still uses the same processor and the same amount of RAM as the current Switch model.
The teardown furthermore points out that in addition to the limiting hardware, the Nintendo Switch OLED dock is not capable enough to upscale games to 4K. The only way possible would be for the console itself to receive a hardware upgrade.
So why would Nintendo give its OLED model the ability to support 4K outputs without adding the required hardware? The suggestion here is that the OLED model will be launching with a “future-proofed” dock. Hence, another Switch model launching after the OLED model will technically be able to utilize the same dock for 4K gaming.
Nintendo was highly rumored to be working on a new Switch Pro console designed for 4K outputs, which was why fans were disappointed in hearing about the OLED model. Nintendo has already made it clear that the OLED model has no performance gains and is only for players interested in its larger and crispier display. That however has still not stopped reports from claiming a 4K-abled Switch console still in the pipelines.
The Nintendo Switch OLED model will launch on October 8, 2021. Nintendo is already taking pre-orders, at least while stocks last, and interested buyers can choose from two colors: one with white Joy-Con controllers and a white dock, and a second with red-and-blue Joy-Con controllers and a black dock.