Everything we know about Nintendo's next consoles, which may arrive as soon as this year


nintendo switch

  • Nintendo’s Switch is two years old, and it’s still an absurdly popular game console.
  • According to several reports, Nintendo is deep into work on the next versions of the Nintendo Switch.
  • Notably, the rumors point to two different versions of the Nintendo Switch in development.

A new console from Nintendo? Already? Yes and no.

It’s been just two years since Nintendo’s Switch arrived, and in those two years it’s become a major hit. And now, in 2019, it sounds like Nintendo is gearing up for a second version of its hit console — or maybe even two!

Here’s what we’re hearing about the next Nintendo Switch:

SEE ALSO: Here’s how to get a free year of Nintendo’s Netflix-like service for classic games if you’re an Amazon Prime member

Rumors first began circulating in late 2018, starting with a Wall Street Journal report.

Nintendo is expected to release at least one new iteration of the Nintendo Switch in 2019, according to a Wall Street Journal report from October 2018.

The report cites “suppliers and others with direct knowledge” of Nintendo’s plans. Nintendo didn’t comment on the report at the time, nor has it directly acknowledged work on a new version of the Switch.

The report noted that the specifics of that new version of the Switch were still in flux at the time — in so many words, it wasn’t clear what the new version of the Switch would be. Perhaps it would have a larger battery, or a better screen, or attached Joy-Con controllers, or all three! Or none! 

That remains unclear.

Analyst Serkan Toto predicted in January that the release of the new version of Switch, which he also expects to arrive this year, will lower the price of the existing Switch — or maybe even a “lite” version of the Switch will arrive alongside the new version.

“I also think Nintendo will offer a ‘Switch Lite’ (or just keep the current version at a lower price) to cover the lower end of the spectrum and offset sinking 3DS sales,” he told GamesIndustry.biz.

New rumors point to Nintendo working on two new versions of the Switch: a dedicated handheld model and a more powerful home version.

One is said to be a more powerful version of the current console, with “enhanced features targeted at avid videogamers,” according to a Wall Street Journal report. Despite the reported horsepower increase, this new Switch version is said to still lag behind Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft’s Xbox One X consoles.

The other version of the Switch, which was previously rumored, is said to be a portable-focused device. Nintendo didn’t respond to a request for comment on the report.

The rumor isn’t without precedent: Video game console makers, including Nintendo, are known for releasing new versions of existing consoles.

Similarly, in releasing a more powerful version of an existing console, console makers can bolster horsepower without having to release an entirely new platform.

In the case of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, for instance, both consoles offer sharper visuals and snappier load times, even though they’re only intended to play standard PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games.

Nintendo could reveal the new consoles as soon as this June at the annual E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles, the report says.

Various Xbox services, including Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass, are rumored to arrive on the Nintendo Switch.

Though it’s not dependent on new hardware from Nintendo, it looks like Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass services are headed to the Nintendo Switch.

The former was confirmed by Microsoft itself, which discussed the upcoming functionality in a panel at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this past March. The latter is still a rumor, though multiple sources have reported as much.

Each service offers its own benefits to Nintendo Switch owners.

Xbox Live brings all the benefits of Microsoft’s rich online service, like matchmaking, friends lists, messages, and more. There’s already a form of Xbox Live on the Nintendo Switch: cross-play gaming.

Xbox Game Pass is a Netflix-style game library that includes everything Microsoft publishes and a variety of third-party content. The long and short is this: Xbox Game Pass would bring Xbox One games to the Nintendo Switch, likely via Microsoft’s Project xCloud game streaming service (the Nintendo Switch can’t power Xbox One games itself).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider