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- Nintendo’s Switch is two years old, and it’s still an absurdly popular game console.
- According to several reports, Nintendo is deep into work on the next versions of the Nintendo Switch.
- The new Switch we’re most likely to see in 2019 is a smaller, handheld-focused version — the Nintendo Switch Mini.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A new console from Nintendo? Already? Yes and no.
It’s been just over two years since Nintendo’s Switch arrived, and in that time it’s become a major hit. And now, in 2019, it sounds like Nintendo is gearing up for a second version of its hit console — and it looks like we’ll see it sooner than later!
Here’s what we’re hearing about the next Nintendo Switch:
Rumors first began circulating in late 2018, starting with a Wall Street Journal report.
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Nintendo
Nintendo is expected to release at least one new iteration of the Nintendo Switch in 2019, according to a Wall Street Journal report from October 2018.
The report cites "suppliers and others with direct knowledge" of Nintendo’s plans. Nintendo didn’t comment on the report at the time, nor has it directly acknowledged work on a new version of the Switch.
The report noted that the specifics of that new version of the Switch were still in flux at the time — in so many words, it wasn’t clear what the new version of the Switch would be. Perhaps it would have a larger battery, or a better screen, or attached Joy-Con controllers, or all three! Or none!
That remains unclear.
Analyst Serkan Toto predicted in January that the release of the new version of Switch, which he also expects to arrive this year, will lower the price of the existing Switch — or maybe even a "lite" version of the Switch will arrive alongside the new version.
"I also think Nintendo will offer a ‘Switch Lite’ (or just keep the current version at a lower price) to cover the lower end of the spectrum and offset sinking 3DS sales," he told GamesIndustry.biz.
Then in March, rumors pointed to Nintendo working on two new versions of the Switch: a dedicated handheld model and a more powerful home version.
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One was said to be a more powerful version of the current console, with "enhanced features targeted at avid videogamers," according to a Wall Street Journal report. Despite the reported horsepower increase, this new Switch version is said to still lag behind Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft’s Xbox One X consoles.
The other version of the Switch, which was previously rumored, is said to be a portable-focused device. Nintendo didn’t respond to a request for comment on the report.
The rumor isn’t without precedent: Video game console makers, including Nintendo, are known for releasing new versions of existing consoles.
The idea is simple: new versions of existing consoles could re-energize sales, and at the same time, can potentially reduce hardware production costs.
Similarly, in releasing a more powerful version of an existing console, console makers can bolster horsepower without having to release an entirely new platform.
In the case of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, for instance, both consoles offer sharper visuals and snappier load times, even though they’re only intended to play standard PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games.
Nintendo could’ve revealed the new consoles this past June at the annual E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles, the report said, but E3 came and went without a peep.
Then, in April, new rumors pointed to just one new version of the Switch arriving this year, and a revised version of the existing Switch.
Two reports in April — one from Nikkei and another from Bloomberg — pointed to a change in Nintendo’s plans: One new version of Switch, focused on portability, could arrive this year, and the second, more powerful device is either delayed or outright canceled in favor of a revision to the existing Switch.
The Nikkei report says that Nintendo will release a smaller, less expensive Nintendo Switch that focuses on its handheld gaming mode this fall.
That lines up with previous rumors about a Nintendo Switch hardware iteration, which pointed to two new versions of the Nintendo Switch: a smaller, less expensive one, and a more powerful new version.
The latter device is reportedly delayed, according to Nikkei, which cites development challenges.
Bloomberg, however, said that the more portable version of the Switch could have arrived as soon as this June, and that the more powerful Switch will just be an update to the existing hardware (rather than a design revision).
Nintendo isn’t commenting on either.
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