The Japanese gaming giant is said to be following-up its two-year-old success story with a new model with “enhanced features”. A second, cheaper version is also claimed to be on the cards.
Here then is everything we know so far about the Nintendo Switch 2.
All new console(s)?
As we’re only two years into the existing Switch’s life cycle, a next-generation machine is not expected. Instead, the Nintendo Switch 2 is more likely to be Nintendo Switch 2019, with a tweaked upgrade rather than replacement.
Reports also suggest there will be a second, cheaper model, with fewer rather than additional features.
The Wall Street Journal spoke to “parts suppliers and software developers” who claimed that an enhanced version of the Switch, aimed at the more dedicated, hardcore gamer is on its way.
Alongside that will be a cheaper alternative with a couple of features suppressed, they said.
This latter model could be the oft-rumoured dockless Switch, with attached Joy-Con controllers, as shown in a cool concept render by LetsGoDigital.
That would effectively make it portable only – you won’t be able to remove the controls either side of the screen for two-player or motion gaming.
It will keep the cost down, it is claimed.
“Nintendo will launch a fully handheld version of the Switch at $199 (£151),” renowned analyst Michael Pachter told Games Industry at the start of 2019.
“I expect the device to have the same screen, but with Joy-Cons built into the body and no docking station. Since it can’t ‘switch’ from handheld to console, it’s hard to guess what they will call it, but let’s assume Game Boy (kidding).”
A few online rumours also point to two new Switch models.
According to Japanese game site Gamepedia, Switch 2 will have some bumps in internal specifications. That complies with the idea of an enhanced model.
Its RAM is said to be 8GB, double that in the current console, while the on-board storage will get a major hike to 128GB. The existing Switch only has 32GB of storage and nigh-on demands that you buy a microSD card if you want to store more than one game.
New processing will be adopted, it is claimed, with an all-new system-on-chip – not the Nvidia Tegra, then. It would have to be based on the exact same architecture mind, considering that the games will need to be completely compatible between machines.
Gamepedia says that the most likely benefits of the new SoC will be shorter loading times and possible higher frame rates.
Lastly, the more advanced of the two will support 4K output. It is unlikely that the cheaper of the two models will have this functionality though, considering there will be no dock and neither machine is likely to have a 4K display built in.
The more advanced one might have a 1080p display instead, rather than the 720p one on the current Switch.
Sharp is said to have got the nod to supply the LCD screens.
In terms of the cheaper of the two, it is said that, as well as built into the console, the Joy-Con controllers could ditch vibration. There’s not much point to them rumbling if they aren’t detachable, for starters.
All games for the new Nintendo Switch variants will be playable on the existing Switch too, and vice versa. These are just new models in the same way the New Nintendo 3DS plays last-gen 3DS games.
It’s unlikely that Metroid Prime 4 will be a launch title for either Nintendo Switch 2019 variant sadly. Nintendo itself admitted original development was scrapped and started again from scratch, by an alternative developer.
And while it followed that up with a suggestion that one of the new Switch consoles could be first announced at E3 in Los Angeles in June, Nintendo itself has debunked that claim.
Reported by Bloomberg after the company posted its end-of fiscal year financial report in April 2019, Nintendo’s president, Shuntaro Furukawa, confirmed that no new hardware will be shown at E3 2019: “As a general rule, we’re always working on new hardware and we will announce it when we are able to sell it. But we have no plans to announce that at this year’s E3 in June,” he said.