Nintendo will apparently release the Nintendo Switch 2 console later on this year. And if that wasn’t enough, rumors suggest there’ll be two models launched – a “Pro” model and a “Lite” model.
UPDATE: Nintendo Switch Lite Launches!
Salacious stuff, to be sure. But these rumours, at least partly, are based on pretty solid leads via The Wall Street Journal. According to said report, the WSJ spoke with “parts suppliers” and those “in the know” who claimed Nintendo is indeed working on an enhanced version of the Switch (AKA: the Switch 2) for release later on this year.
Can You Trust Rumors Though?
In a word: NO – at least not until we have some proper rock-solid leaks. Mere speculation on the part of supply-side people could hardly be considered confirmation that we’ll see a new Nintendo Switch in 2019.
Why’s that? Simple: Nintendo has basically officially confirmed that it is 100% committed to the current-generation Switch. Speaking at E3 2019, Nintendo’s US boss, Doug Bowser, said that the company was focussed on “thinking about what we have right now” – meaning its not prepping a new console for 2019.
The Nintendo Switch is currently the #1 selling console in the US; Nintendo has shifted 34 million Nintendo Switch consoles to date. And since its launch in 2017, the company has been rapidly evolving the ecosystem that surrounds it, adding in things like Nintendo Switch Online.
“We don’t necessarily see E3 as a need to have a debut of something,” said Bowser, in a quote to IGN. “It’s more of sharing content with consumers throughout the year so they see what’s coming and they can get excited about it.”
He added: “You know Nintendo well enough to know that we always have done things our own way. And for us, we have just found that type of communication cadence to be the most effective for our content that we’re bringing to market. We continue to look at the content that’s available, where it is in its development, and then we’ll schedule our communication to our fans and to players when it’s right.”
OK, But What Are The Nintendo Switch 2 Rumors?
As you’d expect, they’re pretty juicy. According to multiple reports, Nintendo is apparently working on two new consoles – consoles that will be branded the Nintendo Switch 2 Pro and Nintendo Switch 2 Lite.
The idea here, or so the theory goes, is that the Nintendo Switch 2 Pro would be aimed at hardcore gamers that demand high-end graphics and 4K gameplay, whereas the Nintendo Switch 2 Lite would be a cheaper, solely hand-held affair. Kind of like the Nintendo DS…
The Nintendo Switch Lite, according to one report, will retail for $199. Furthermore, the analyst behind the claim says the Switch Lite will have no docking station and the Joy-Cons will be built directly into its chassis. Or so goes the speculation…
The Nintendo Switch Lite Might Be Called The Nintendo Switch Mini…
Adding even more fuel to the fire, leaks from China – specifically a case-maker – have shown some pretty detailed mock-ups of something it is calling the Nintendo Switch Mini, which you can see below…
As you can see, the Nintendo Switch Mini has non-removable JoyCon controllers, just as the rumors suggested, and it is noticeably smaller than the current Nintendo Switch.
Other notable changes see the a repositioning of the thumb sticks; one the Nintendo Switch Mini the thumb sticks are positioned in a parallel fashion, whereas on the Switch they’re not. And the reason? I guess because the Nintendo Switch Mini is designed for hand-held ONLY gameplay.
According to industry chatter, Nintendo is keen on making the Nintendo Switch Mini a successor brand to its long-standing 3DS and 2DS systems. As noted constantly, though, none of this is official just yet. And we all know how case-makers like to use leaks of “upcoming” products to promote their brands. As always: take this with a pinch of salt, guys…
Adding further weight to the evidence for a Nintendo Switch Mini console, case maker Big Ben has just “leaked” some new designs for its incoming cases for the smaller Switch console.
The silicone glove, designed a protective sheath for the Nintendo Switch Mini, shows off the new button placement and confirms that the JoyCons will not be detachable on the Nintendo Switch Mini.
Furthermore, GAME recently listed nine new items for the Nintendo Switch Mini on its site, leading to speculation that the Nintendo Switch Mini launch is drawing ever closer.
Right now, all roads point to a launch of the Nintendo Switch Mini, possibly, during the summer. The larger and arguably more interesting Nintendo Switch 2 console (AKA the Nintendo Switch Pro) is likely to come later – perhaps inside Q4 in the run up to Christmas.
Given the nature of the Nintendo Switch Mini, its release will be an easier undertaking for Nintendo, as the specs and features will be similar to the current generation Switch console. The Switch PRO, however, will feature a slew of updates, and updates take time, hence the later release. At least, this is the theory we’re working off anyway…
Rumored Nintendo Switch 2 Specs
According to the latest round of rumors there are several key spec updates for the Nintendo Switch 2 consoles. And they are as follows:
- More RAM – According to the leaks, the Nintendo Switch 2 (the Pro model, we’re assuming) will feature double the RAM of the current Nintendo Switch console. That’s 8GB versus 4GB, so a pretty hefty bump…
- A New Processor – The next-generation console will also feature a new system-on-chip processor (and all-in-one solution, basically) which means NVIDIA’s Tegra CPU will not be returning. However, the new CPU will have to be similar to the old one in order to run older titles from the current Nintendo Switch.
- 4K Game Play – And last but not least, the Nintendo Switch 2 will apparently support 4K gameplay. If there are two Nintendo Switch 2 consoles released, it stands to reason that only the Pro model would get 4K.
Does any of this make sense given Nintendo’s most recent statements? Yes and no. Nintendo WILL be working on a follow-up to the Switch, that much is certain. But the idea of it coming in 2019, right now, is kind of laughable – we’d have heard/seen something by now…
Plus, if a new console were coming, would Nintendo really be talking the idea of a Switch 2 down at a global gaming event? I think not. Still, the rumored specs do make for some pretty interesting reading, though they do create more problems than the appear to solve when you think about it. For instance:
- How would 4K gaming work? The current Nintendo Switch is 720p… I agree it needs to be bumped to at least 1080p, but I don’t see how it could leap-frog to 4K without causing problems to the ecosystem on a macro-scale.
- Different processors? Again, this is tricky as the current generation runs on Tegra. Switching to an entirely new platform would create issues for existing and legacy titles.
- More RAM makes sense; all this would do is speed up performance help games run smoother, and let you do more with the console at the same time. How Nintendo got away with just 4GB of RAM the first time around is kind of bonkers, especially when you consider most modern phones carry more than this nowadays.
What About The Nintendo Switch 2 Release Date?
Simple: there isn’t one just yet – only vague speculations about the console, maybe, getting official at some unknown point in 2019. But this is all just internet chatter, nothing is official – and nothing looks like it will become official for a good long while.
My 2¢? Nintendo is killing it with the current-generation Switch right now. And while I am sure it is R&Ding the crap out of new hardware right this second, the likelihood of us seeing a “new” Switch 2 console inside the next 12 months is basically ZERO, simply because Nintendo feels the current model has plenty of life-cycle left in it.
And with 34 million+ sold so far, who can blame them? I love my Nintendo Switch – it’s affordable and the games are brilliantly involving. Of course I’d love to see a new one launched, and I could definitely go for a 1080p display, but right now I’m still perfectly happy with the current hardware…