If the rumours are true and there is another Nintendo Switch in the works, it could mean the fall of the PlayStation 5 (and the Xbox). Let’s explore why the Nintendo Switch 2 could be a game-changer for the industry.
The most recent next-gen console came from both Sony and Microsoft in the forms of their PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S respectively. We have yet to see or hear anything about a next-gen Switch.
In 2018, we were graced with a Nintendo Switch OLED model that featured some upgrades and a 7-inch OLED screen and more vivid colours to boot, we are still waiting for a whole new Switch from Nintendo. Now that it’s nearing closer and closer to when Nintendo’s president mentioned that they would be ending the embargo on new hardware, data miner and insider alike are looking for anything they can about a new system. And thankfully, there have been a few leaks and rumours flying around regarding what we can expect from a new Nintendo Switch console.
What we Know About the Nintendo Switch 2
Let’s make one thing very clear while we are ahead: Everything that is known about the Nintendo Switch 2 at the moment is speculation and rumours. Unfortunately, nothing has been officially released regarding the next Nintendo Switch console, so everything you see in this article is based on the leaks that can be found on the Internet, and speculation from industry experts. With that being said, however, there has been a ton of speculation on what the new console will be like, so let’s dive straight into it.
The first thing we know is that the next console is highly unlikely to happen any time soon, this is explained later in this article, but Nintendo has mentioned that there will be no new hardware coming out until at least April of 2023, so we have to wait until then before we find anything else out.
The Nintendo Switch OLED arrived just last year, so while we might be overdue for an update about how long the original Nintendo came out, it’s not like we are extremely overdue for an updated model. Since the launch of the OLED model, there have been whispers of a Pro model on the market but nothing has been confirmed.
Is it going to be a Nintendo Switch 2 or a Nintendo Switch Pro? Some people are using the two terms pretty interchangeably but there are implications that they will be different models. When we look at other console brands, when Sony and Microsoft talk about a Pro edition/model, they are talking about a faster, more proficient and efficient model with features that are streamlined and optimized for pro gaming. This would make it different from just the run-of-the-mill next-gen version of the console. So which will it be?
Let’s start with the most obvious thing that worked for the Nintendo Switch. The fact that it had a handheld mode, as well as the capability to be docked and turn into a more traditional console, was one of its biggest selling points. When gamers think about a traditional console, they envision sitting on a couch playing their favourite video games on a nice big TV. The original Switch could do this as well as be a completely portable system, making it an excellent option for a home console that you can use anywhere.
Because of this, the joy-con system was a fun concept, but not everyone loved how small they were. Lots of fans enjoyed the fact that the Switch technically came already equipped with two mini controllers that made couch co-op multiplayer games a ton of fun and gave players more options for customizing the look of their Switch by purchasing an additional joy-con.
That being said, there was also the option of getting a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller from the Nintendo Store and other compatible controllers for those who don’t enjoy the native separate joy-con controllers of the hybrid console, which was more of a traditional console shape like what you would see with a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, but perhaps not as high-tech. The battery life of the original model was also improved, which was a massive boon for the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, and the OLED model.
Don’t forget about the nostalgia. The Nintendo Switch game with a ton of options like the Nintendo Switch Online Membership which gives you access to legacy games like older versions of Mario Kart and The Legend of Zelda, as well as giving players access to online play. The subscription itself is nothing to phone home about besides that it gives you access to certain games and features such as cloud saving. The subscription only really pays off at higher tiers of the subscription which give you benefits that make it a bit more worth it, but that being said, you don’t pay that much for a whole year’s worth of the subscription that gives you access to games from the Nintendo 64, Nintendo Entertainment System and more, so it’s still worth the investment.
Expandable storage is a must-have with a Nintendo Switch and something that Nintendo leans into fully. With branded MicroSD cards that you can get from the Nintendo Store, any MicroSD is usable, and for the time when the Switch was first launched, this worked perfectly. The MicroSD has capacities ranging from 16GB to 512GB, which is nothing to sneeze at with a full library of Nintendo Switch games, especially if you buy the online versions and not the cartridges.
These are all things that have been carried over to the OLED model of the switch, and we are hoping they will be carried further into future models.
There are a few improvements that we would love to see happening with a new version of the Nintendo Switch, some of them less conventional than others.
First of all, it would be awesome if the built-in display of the Nintendo Switch 2 could give us 1080p or 4K-quality gameplay. The current maximum is generally 720p for the current Switch models. Some phones these days are capable of 4K, 1080p or even higher, so this is attainable.
Now that more options are available for TVs and displays, it would be amazing if 4K output, while the switch is docked, was a capability of the new model. It makes sense that it isn’t a capability of the original when the console launched because back in 2017, 4K TVs were a luxury, but now that they have become more common, some changes need to be made.
One thing that fans are asking for is to be able to buy and keep, the older games on the Nintendo eShop (Nintendo’s online store for purchasing Nintendo games) without having to subscribe to the online service. While no one wants to get rid of the subscription model, lots of people don’t want it to be the only option when it comes to accessing the older, more nostalgic games.
Improved online features and multiplayer modes are something that we are hoping for in the new Switch console because the Nintendo Switch online app isn’t too fun to use. The fact that we have to rely on a smartphone workaround for things like friends lists, multiplayer parties and voice chats seems a little outdated, considering Microsoft and Sony already have those fully integrated into their systems. As long as players log into their Nintendo account, users should be able to do all these things directly on the console.
One thing that a new model could stand to improve from is a new process for saving data transfer. Currently, cloud saves are a privilege that is reserved only for folks with the Nintendo Switch Online Membership, and even then, syncing your data between multiple Switches is an enormous pain, but not many people need to do this anyway. Also, some Switch games don’t allow for cloud saves at all. Hopefully, this is something that will eventually be changed.
Lastly, we are hoping that the onboard storage system in the Nintendo Switch 2 will change from the microSD system that it’s currently using, and move on to SSD storage. There are more and more tiny SSDs that can store terabytes of data and loads files much faster, which would reduce loading times for games by a ton. All of the current-gen consoles are making use of SSDs now, so it isn’t an outrageous expectation. Any of these upgrades would make a vast improvement to the new Nintendo Switch.
In my opinion, the Nintendo Switch 2 should go digital with its games. As it is, I don’t know a single person who is willing to invest in the physical copies of game cartridges, as it usually requires a shipping process which ends up costing way more than just getting the game straight off the Nintendo eShop. Not sure if many people will agree with me here, but I don’t see a point in physical copies for the Nintendo Switch 2. With something so compact and portable, I would much rather shuffle my games around in my storage with a bit of an internet connection than have to tote around the cartridges for the games that I want to play. It just feels a little outdated, and maybe for some players, the nostalgia is worth it.
There have been several leaks that have sparked rumours of the next Nintendo Switch model, some regarding the chips that are going to be used, the company that will supply the chips, and more. The first of the many rumours are about the Nvidia chips that are said to be used in the Nintendo Switch 2 leaked on the Gaming Leaks and Rumors subreddit. Something similar was mentioned in an email from an Nvidia employee. The email seemingly confirmed the existence of the Tegra239 SoC (system on chip) which will have an 8-core CPU as well. If this rumour is true, it would make the next Nintendo model about as powerful as the PlayStation 4.
There was another on social networks in the form of Twitter by kopite7kimi, claiming that the next switch would feature a ‘customized’ Tegra234 SoC, but claimed that it would include a 12-core CPU. While the cores might be conflicting, they could be referring to the same chip, but that is the difficult thing when it comes to leaks and rumours, when they all say something a little different, it’s difficult to say which one might be the truth.
Another leak in March also referred to the Tegra239 chip, and also made references to NVN2, a suspected follow-up to the current Nintendo Switch’s NVN graphics API. The API seems to contain references to Nvidia’s upscaling technology, DLSS 2.2 and their raytracing support. So while there’s been no confirmation of an updated console, the leaks and the signs are pointing towards it happening.
So, to summarize, it looks like we can expect a custom Nvidia Tegra X processor, 64 BG of internal storage in the form of an SSD, 4K video support, and double the USB-C port selection. Alternate rumours are suggesting that the next Nintendo could be a TV-only machine, but that seems highly unlikely considering one of the Nintendo Switch’s biggest selling points is that it can be both TV mode and handheld.
Expected Release Date
While everything is limited to speculation at the moment, we know for sure that we won’t be seeing anything anytime soon. Nintendo has officially mentioned that there won’t be any new hardware until the end of their financial year which is April 2023. It’s because of this that we can speculate for some news or an announcement in late 2023 at the earliest, but more likely sometime in 2024.
Insiders have noticed a significant increase in Nintendo’s spending on raw materials at the moment, which some people are translating as a sign that there is another console (possibly the Switch 2) in development at Nintendo and might be arriving sooner than we thought.
Speculated Retail Price
There is a ton of speculation flying around at the moment about the price of the Nintendo Switch 2, waiting for the day that it will finally be announced. When the OLED was still in production and wasn’t officially released yet, specialists had suggested the price would be $349, which turned out to be correct. Now they are suggesting that the next Nintendo Switch model will be $100 more than the latest current model. Some have said “$349.99 will increase the value proposition of the device, but I still think Nintendo can drive strong demand even at $399.99” and others agree that $399 will most likely be the price of the next console.
While chatting about these prices, they seem to use the term Nintendo Switch Pro and Nintendo Switch 2 interchangeably, so if that is the case then we can expect $399 to be the price of the newest primary console. If the pro version is referring to a different, higher-spec version, then the Switch 2 might cost even less than that.
Sony and the PlayStation 5 have been plagued by the global chip shortage basically since the next-gen console was released. This means that it is almost impossible to get your hands on one, and PlayStation loyal gamers are still stuck with their PlayStation 4, waiting to get their hands on a PS5 whenever it becomes available again.
If the rumours are true and the Nintendo Switch 2 is on the way and will have the hardware that it is speculated to have, it would mean that it could put the PS5 out of business. Think about it, a handheld to TV mode console that is as strong as the PS5, with an SSD for faster load times, and wouldn’t be dumb enough to use the chips that are in a current shortage meaning that availability would be much less of a problem? I would much rather put money into something I know is going to be available and work for me rather than wait for a machine that no one can get their hands on.
Sure, a PS5 is awesome, the DualShock technology of the new controllers is cutting edge and the console can output to 4K, but (apart from the controller) if the Nintendo Switch 2 lives up to the hype, it will be able to do all that and more and will be available to the average consumer. If the rumours are true, Sony better watch its back.
Whether or not the Nintendo Switch 2 will even happen is still up for debate, let alone what capabilities the console will have, but the consensus is that it will be bigger and better than the original, and could be a contender to join the console war that is currently going on between Microsoft and Sony. Considering it already sounds more appealing than having to wait in line or on an order list for a PS5 and it doesn’t even exist yet, the prospect is good.
Better graphics, a bigger screen, new 4K games that make the most of the new hardware, next-gen gameplay and more portable features are all the Nintendo Switch 2 needs to defeat current-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X and PS5. And it’s not impossible.