The Switch 2 is coming
But the Switch is still going
The successor to the Nintendo Switch is well under development, with reports this week suggesting that the successor to Nintendo's hugely popular hybrid system will be released in late 2024.
VGC, which has a very solid track record with this sort of thing, cites "multiple people with knowledge of Nintendo’s next-gen console plans" who gave the following details:
Developer kits for the new console are in the hands of certain studios
The system will have a portable mode like the current Switch
It may launch with an LCD screen rather than OLED
It will still have a card slot for physical games
Eurogamer followed up with a report corroborating the return of the handheld design and that the launch window is expected to be in the second half of next year.
Multicore has also heard through multiple sources familiar with the matter that developer kits have indeed been distributed to select Nintendo partners. The rollout seems to be at a relatively early stage, however, with some studios still waiting on access.
All in all, it's sounding like the Switch 2, Super Switch, New Nintendo Switch — or whatever overwrought name Nintendo decides to give it — won't be here for a while. I had previously expected it to land in the first half of next year, but I now think it's more likely that Nintendo will announce the system’s existence within that timeframe, perhaps around whatever E3-esque event is going on in June. That would lay the groundwork for a holiday launch.
I don't have much useful insight into the console's physical form right now. I would be extremely surprised, however, if it didn't have both a card slot and a portable design, in line with VGC's reporting. The screen technology could well change this far out from launch, and developer kits wouldn't necessarily have a bearing on whether the final system will use LCD or OLED panels. That will ultimately be a product marketing decision; it's possible Nintendo could sell multiple versions, as it does today with the Switch.
Removing the OLED option altogether would be an odd decision unless there's something more to it. I don't think it'd be purely about cost — margins add up, of course, but the OLED Switch's screen is a small fraction of the $50 markup on that model. I wonder if it might suggest an increased resolution; if Nintendo wanted to move to 1080p, for example, it actually would be quite tricky to get a custom OLED panel. A high-quality 1080p LCD wouldn't be a downgrade across the board and could be a good fit for the long-rumoured adoption of Nvidia's DLSS upscaling tech.
Late 2024 would be a long time to wait. The Switch is more than six years old and was underpowered even on release because of its optionally portable nature. However, Nintendo may not be in as much of a hurry to release the new system as might have been assumed. The company released its Q1 earnings today, and the report shows the Switch has some life in it yet.
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