Update 4/24: A new report indicates that Nintendo will launch a new, cheaper version of Nintendo Switch by the end of June, with a “modest” upgrade to the existing model allegedly coming later this year.
In a financial report by Bloomberg, a small excerpt suggests the cheaper Switch model is coming very soon. An outright “more powerful version” is allegedly not in the works, though details on this claim are sparse. Whether this alludes to a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X-like hardware boost, or simply a series of hardware redesigns akin to the DS Lite remains to be seen. The report is based on claims from two unnamed sources.
These claims partially line up with earlier reports below, which suggested Nintendo is planning on launching two new versions of Nintendo Switch this year. The cheaper model described in the Bloomberg report appears to be an attempt to boost sales growth, and could very well remove things like vibration features to cut costs.
The description of the modest upgrade sounds less like an all-around new model, though it’s possible it could still act as an enhanced version of the baseline hardware targeted at video game enthusiasts.
The original article follows.
Nintendo is allegedly planning to launch two new versions of the Switch console, potentially as early as this summer.
A report by The Wall Street Journal claims that Nintendo has an “enhanced” variant of the Switch in development, bolstered with features “targeted at avid videogamers”. This will be joined by a cheaper option of the console for casual gamers, with the intent of it acting as a successor to the 3DS.
The enhanced version reportedly won’t be as powerful as the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, which is unsurprising considering Nintendo’s history of hardware choices. The more casual-focused console will drop functions from the standard Switch, such as controller vibration, in order to cut costs.
“The company judged the new Switch models won’t need the vibration feature because there wouldn’t be many games released using the full benefit of it,” claims one of The Wall Street Journal’s sources.
The story cites unnamed parts suppliers and software developers as sources, stating that the developers have access to a prototype. It also notes that Nintendo has declined to offer comment.
These unnamed sources point to a summer release date, with the story suggesting an announcement at E3 in June, followed by a retail release a few months later.
The consoles will allegedly have new designs, rather than being just higher or lower-performance hardware housed in similar-looking cases.
Refreshed consoles are not an oddity in the world of games. While Sony and Microsoft are the most familiar with the strategy, having offered slimmer and more powerful options of their hardware a few years into the console’s lifecycle, Nintendo has also had success with revisions of the DS and 3DS.
While a series of unnamed sources mean that the story cannot be confirmed, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Nintendo announce new Switch hardware. Whether or not that will be at E3 this year, we can only wait and see.
Matt Purslow is IGN UK’s News and Entertainment Writer, and hasn’t left home without his Switch since 2017. You can follow him on Twitter.
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