Nintendo is supposedly working on a ‘next-generation’ replacement for the Switch, as well as a smaller, more portable model.
Earlier this week Microsoft announced the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, a new model that’s even cheaper (in theory) than the standard Xbox One S because it doesn’t have a disc drive.
It’s common for smaller, cheaper models of consoles to be released towards the end of their lifespans and while the Switch isn’t in that position yet apparently there is a new model coming.
There have been rumours of a portable-only Switch for months and according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, as translated by Gematsu, it will be out this autumn.
According to Nikkei the new model will still be able to dock and run on a TV screen, but is primarily designed for portable use – and presumably as a replacement for the aging 3DS.
Previously, most reports have stated that Nintendo is planning two new models: a portable-focused console and a more powerful one, perhaps in the style of the New 3DS.
The Nikkei report doesn’t mention an upgraded Switch but it does state that a ‘next-generation device that is a full model change of the current hardware’ is also in development.
The vagaries of both Japanese-to-English translation and newspaper reporting gives cause to be suspicious of the phrase ‘next-generation’, but apparently Nintendo is trying out changes to operability, the operating system, and ‘video expression improvements’.
Nintendo has previously stated that it expects the Switch to have a longer than normal shelf life but either way every company always starts working on a console’s successor as soon as the last one is out – and the Nikkei report gives no indication of when the ‘next-generation’ model might be released.
It does talk about the Quality of Life project once championed by former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata though, which was not game-related and designed to improve sleep quality. Although it’s become obvious in recent years, Nikkei states the project has been officially cancelled for not being ‘a Nintendo-esque product’.
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