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Nintendo Switch 2: Everything we know so far and what we want to see
Update, May 30, 2023 (05:03 PM ET): We’ve updated this Nintendo Switch 2 rumor hub with possible information about the display.
Original article: Even if you love it and still use it daily, there’s no denying that the Nintendo Switch is getting old. Launched in 2017, the hybrid console celebrated its sixth birthday in March 2023, which means it’s getting close to retirement. With this in mind, one can’t help but wonder: where is the sequel, presumably called the Nintendo Switch 2?
Thankfully, there have been some rumors surrounding the sequel to Nintendo’s best-selling home console. We’ve rounded up the most trustworthy of them here. Towards the end of the article, we also have a few wishlist items — things we hope to see, but don’t have any evidence for quite yet.
Will there be a Nintendo Switch 2?
The Nintendo Switch is the company’s best-selling home console ever, with over 125 million units shipped to date. The only hardware Nintendo has released that has done better than the Switch is the Nintendo DS, which sold 154 million units. When you take this popularity into account, you can be relatively assured there will be a Nintendo Switch 2.
However, good luck finding any confirmation from Nintendo that that is, in fact, the case. On March 13, 2023, Nintendo’s head for the United States, Doug Bowser, discussed the success of the Switch and its possible sequel with the Associated Press. Here’s what he had to say:
As we enter the seventh year for the Nintendo Switch, sales are still strong. I think we still have a very, very strong lineup coming. As [Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa] said recently, we’re entering uncharted territory with the platform. It’s exciting to see that demand is still there. So nothing to announce on any future console or device, but we are still feeling very bullish about Nintendo Switch. I should be careful about what I personally would like to see [in a new Switch]. But what I can share is that one of the reasons that even going into year seven we feel very confident that the Switch can have a strong performance over the next few years is that it is still truly that unique device that you can play in a variety of ways, at home, on the go.
Bowser makes it very clear that the company is still hyper-focused on the original Switch. Remember, though, that this doesn’t necessarily negate the idea of a Nintendo Switch 2. The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 have simultaneous support, a strategy that Nintendo could adopt, too (it’s done this before many times). In other words, it could simultaneously release games for the Switch and the Switch 2, with some games/features only working on the latest hardware. Eventually, it would phase out the original Switch and solely focus on the sequel.
Either way, however likely it might be that a Switch 2 will happen, there’s no confirmation from Nintendo yet.
Will it be called ‘Nintendo Switch 2’ or something else?
Sony sticks to a reliable naming scheme for its consoles. The first PlayStation was followed up by a PlayStation 2. After that, we saw a PS3 and a PS4. Even today, the newest console is the Sony PlayStation 5. It’s all very logical and reliable.
Nintendo doesn’t go this route. In fact, since the launch of the original Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983, there has never been a “2” in a Nintendo console’s name. That includes handheld consoles as well. So the likelihood of a sequel to the Switch landing with the official name of Nintendo Switch 2 is relatively low.
However, the Nintendo Switch is unlike anything the company has done before. Its ability to act as both a home console and a handheld sets it apart from Nintendo’s historical roster, and its runaway success has created some serious brand recognition for the word “Switch.” It’s possible the company could keep things simple and call the sequel a Switch 2. We think this won’t happen, though, and Nintendo will do something else. Some possible names could be Super Nintendo Switch, New Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Pro, or something really off the beaten path.
What is the Nintendo Switch 2 release date?
So, when is the Nintendo Switch 2 coming out? Nintendo hasn’t confirmed that a Switch 2 is even in the planning stages. As such, it’s impossible to determine when it could launch a sequel to the original Switch.
The original Switch launched on March 3, 2017. About 2.5 years later, the Nintendo Switch Lite launched on September 20, 2019. Less than two years after that, the Nintendo Switch OLED Model launched on July 6, 2021. Clearly, Nintendo is launching Switch hardware every two years, give or take. One would assume that 2023 would be the next big year.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. During an earnings call discussing the fiscal year ending March 2023, executives confirmed there would be no new Switch hardware in the next fiscal year. That means Nintendo will not launch a Switch 2 until after March 2024. Of course, Nintendo is incredibly secretive, so this could be deflection. It wouldn’t be the first time the company said it would/wouldn’t do something and then went back on that statement.
What about Nintendo Live 2023, the in-person celebration Nintendo is throwing in September 2023? While this would seem to be a logical time to announce new Switch hardware, the company has confirmed that Nintendo Live 2023 will not see any new product launches. In other words, if Nintendo does launch a new Switch this year — which it says it won’t do — the Nintendo Live 2023 event is the one time we can be assured we won’t see it.
What features and specs will the Nintendo Switch 2 have?
We don’t expect Nintendo to reinvent the wheel with a Switch sequel. The original Switch is a massive hit and a cultural touchstone. Nintendo hopefully won’t mess with this success. As with the jump from the Nintendo DS to the Nintendo 3DS, we expect the company to keep the core of what the Switch is and make it better rather than wildly revamping things as it tried to do from the Wii to the Wii U.
Inevitably, though, the Nintendo Switch 2 would need to be more powerful than the original. The need for better CPU/GPU performance is painfully evident for Switch games like Pokémon Scarlet/Violet and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Both titles sap so much from the Switch’s meager processor that dropped frames, glitches, and even outright crashes are common.
The Switch sequel needs a better processor.
As such, we are confident Nintendo would include an upgraded processor with a Switch sequel. The system on a chip (SoC) in the Switch is based on the Tegra X1, which NVIDIA launched in 2015. We’d expect Nintendo to repeat this strategy for the Switch 2 and base its next-gen SoC on another, newer NVIDIA product. Keeping hardware similar would make backward compatibility easier and prevent third-party developers from needing to learn a whole new architecture. This was another mistake Nintendo made with the Wii U, which had dismal software support — and became the company’s worst-selling home console.
Outside of the SoC, we’d expect the Switch 2 to come with most of the upgrades present on the Switch OLED Model. That would include an OLED display (naturally), a dock with an Ethernet port, and at least 64GB of internal storage. However, it’s completely possible Nintendo would skip these features on the Switch 2 and save them for a Switch 2 OLED Model to launch later on down the road.
In fact, there is some evidence that Google could go this route. According to Bloomberg, Sharp is working on LCD panels for an upcoming “gaming console.” Sharp makes the LCD panels for the current Switch and Switch Lite, so it’s very possible these LCDs are for a Switch 2. If so, the Switch 2 could be more like the original Switch than the Switch OLED. Of course, Sharp could be working on a wholly different gaming console, so this one is up in the air.
Unfortunately, with zero confirmation from Nintendo that a Switch 2 is even in the pipeline, we don’t have many other rumored features to discuss. Head down further into this article for our wishlist features.
What will the Nintendo Switch 2 price be?
One reason for the runaway success of the original Switch is its price. At $299, it is significantly less expensive than a PlayStation 5 and the same price as an Xbox Series S. However, that does not mean the Switch 2 would be priced similarly.
If Nintendo does keep the original Switch in production when it launches a follow-up console — which is very possible considering Nintendo’s official statements on its continuing support for the original Switch — it could easily justify charging more for the Switch 2. For example, Nintendo could price a Switch 2 at $399. That’s still $100 less than an Xbox Series X and the same price as the digital-only version of the PlayStation 5. The success of the Switch has perhaps earned Nintendo the right to charge more, especially if it sees a ton of spec upgrades.
Great game library
Huge game selection
4.8-star Amazon rating
Dock with Ethernet
Double the internal storage
If you think about it, that hypothetical $399 price would make a lot of sense. On the low end, you’d have the Switch Lite at $199. The original Switch would remain at $299, and the Switch OLED Model would be an upsell at its current price of $349. The Switch 2 could top the list as the newest and best model. Of course, Nintendo could make the Switch 2 feel more premium by eliminating the original Switch and dropping the Switch OLED Model to $299, too.
Regardless, we do not expect the Switch 2 to cost the same as the original at launch since both products will likely exist simultaneously. We might see price drops for existing Switch models, but the Switch 2 is going to be better and more powerful, so there’s a good chance it will be more expensive.
Nintendo Switch 2: What we want to see
A performance-boosting dock
The Switch’s dock is incredibly simplistic. Really, it’s just a plastic box with an HDMI adapter attached. The Switch OLED model slightly increases complexity by incorporating an Ethernet port, but it’s still just an adapter box. We’d love to see the Nintendo Switch 2 have a dock that also increases the power of the Switch itself.
The dock could act the same way as an eGPU, boosting the graphical abilities of the Switch when it’s connected. This could allow for higher refresh rates, higher resolutions (4K please!), better audio, etc., when playing the Switch 2 on your television. When you take it out of the dock to use it in handheld mode, the performance would drop — but it wouldn’t matter on that tiny screen. Obviously, this would increase the cost of the Switch 2 significantly, but it would make the console so much better. Even if this is a “Dock Pro” that’s sold separately, we’d love to see Nintendo do this.
Support for higher refresh rates
Whether playing on your TV or in handheld mode, all three current Switch models are capped at 60Hz. The Xbox Series X/S and the PlayStation 5 — both two years old at this point — support higher refresh rates. Even budget Android smartphones have 90Hz displays nowadays, so Nintendo needs to get with the times. We’d love to see 90Hz in handheld mode and 120Hz when docked. This would make the Switch 2 more of a modern console and would make it more future-proof. It would also help differentiate the Switch 2 and the original Switch models, as well as give it a leg up over Valve’s 60Hz-capped Steam Deck when not docked.
Without a doubt, the weakest aspect of the original Switch is the Joy-Con controllers. The rumble tech is cool and the multiple control options are neat, but the stubby sticks, questionable ergonomics, and cheap, tiny buttons leave much to be desired when using the Switch on the go. Nintendo probably isn’t going to reinvent the wheel with a Switch 2, so the sequel console will probably have Joy-Con that are very similar in design to the originals. But there’s a ton of room for improvement there. Besides, Nintendo would need to avoid the “Joy-Con drift” debacle that still pervades to this day with Switch hardware. Once again, this could also be a simple differentiator for why the Switch 2 is more expensive than other Switch models.
Have any Nintendo Switch 2 leaks to share with us? Send us a tip, and we’ll check it out.