(Pocket-lint) - Nintendo is expected to launch its upgraded version of the Switch console to help it reach record sales this year.

The Nintendo Switch Pro has been heavily rumoured to be announced later in 2021. Now "allies" at suppliers, game publishers and retailers have allegedly confirmed this, claiming that its launch will help Nintendo maintain and even exceed the last 12 months' sales performance.

According to Bloomberg, analysts previously painted bleak picture for the Nintendo Switch this coming year, in comparison with the last 12 months anyway. They predicted that console and games sales would suffer a decline - especially as there's no Animal Crossing to massively bump it up this time around.

However, the news site writes that a 4K Nintendo Switch Pro could change all that. It could help drive game sales up to 250 million a year, it is hoped.

The forecast is based on reported briefings with suppliers, but Nintendo is yet to officially comment.

Last week, it was rumoured that the new Switch Pro could get original, exclusive games as well as be backward compatible with the thousands of existing and future standard Nintendo Switch titles.

However, we hope it ends up more like the Xbox Series X/S, where games have added resolution or features for Switch Pro but are still playable on Switch and Switch Lite. We shall see in time.

Steelseries celebrates its 20th anniversary, a legacy of glory

Writing by Rik Henderson.