The Switch, Nintendo’s best-selling home system, is acclaimed for its huge game catalog, a big improvement over the lackluster Wii U. Over six years after the Switch was released, fans are eager for Nintendo’s next big thing. Luckily, it may be soon. According to rumors, a Switch sequel will be more powerful than the original while preserving its home console and portable features. Call it Nintendo Switch 2 for now.
According to reports, big game developers have seen the new hardware, suggesting a near-release. Here’s all we know about Nintendo’s forthcoming portable gaming device. Stay tuned for updates and perhaps formal announcements.
What is the Nintendo Switch 2?
Though nothing is official, leaks and claims from major newspapers suggest a more powerful, flexible gaming system. Nintendo’s Switch may be docked and played on a TV, while the Switch Lite is handheld only. Sharp was developing displays for a portable console, Bloomberg reported in May 2023.
Sharp has worked with Nintendo, and Nintendo is the biggest player still making portable video game players—although Sony’s PlayStation Portal can play games from a paired PlayStation 5, and Valve’s Steam Deck is popular among PC gamers. Nintendo is certainly planning ahead. In June 2023, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa replied to a fan query, “As for the transition from Nintendo Switch to the next-generation machine, we want to do as much as possible in order to smoothly transition our customers while utilizing the Nintendo Account.”
Nintendo seems willing to concentrate on the initial Switch and wait till the new hardware is available. Furukawa said at an earnings conference in November that “rumors are circulating mainly on the internet as if they were public information, but they are inaccurate.”
When will the Nintendo Switch 2 come out?
Nintendo has not announced a next-generation Switch, but sources suggest a late 2024 release, seven-and-a-half years after the original. VGC reported in July 2023 that Nintendo’s new hardware will launch in the second half of 2024, citing various sources. Nintendo wants to prevent hardware shortages like many previous console launches, and the Switch successor is sure to be popular given its popularity.
According to WCCF Tech, a leaker who has previously supplied credible information indicated in October 2023 that the next-generation Switch would be released on September 24, 2024, while Nintendo has also considered November 3, 2024. The leaker suggests the Switch 2 will cost $449 for the basic model and $400 for a cartridge-free digital version. The original Switch cost $300 in 2017, while the portable Switch Lite cost $200 in 2019. Nintendo Switch OLED cost $350 in 2021 with premium features such as a bigger, bolder screen.
The VGC story claims Nintendo may employ LCD displays instead of OLED panels to save costs, but it doesn’t say what price point its next system would be. For cost savings, Nintendo’s previous three consoles have ignored cutting-edge innovation. This time, will that hold? Furukawa said in an early October 2023 Nikkei interview (via VGC) that Nintendo would maintain the original Switch with fresh software until at least March 2025.
If the Switch 2 releases in late 2024, we’ll certainly see new Switch games for years. Nintendo may swiftly adopt the new hardware as third-party publishers continue to gamble on the Switch’s large following.
Nintendo Switch 2 Display
On the display, the Switch 2 uses an OLED screen like the Switch. But a refresh rate improvement, like from 60Hz to 120Hz, like the finest phones, would be nice. We hope this is true, but there are no rumors. Sharp, which produces Switch screens, is developing a new LCD panel for a “new gaming console”—possibly the Switch 2.
If so, the Switch 2 may have a less advanced screen than the Switch OLED, which might be disappointing. Sharp may be alluding to an unannounced console. However, the Switch 2 may not come with OLED screens. Recent rumors say the Switch 2 will arrive with an LCD panel to save costs, which raises our anxieties. Tipster NateTheHate’s latest rumor suggests the Nintendo Switch 2 may use an LCD display.
Nintendo Switch 2 features
There are little signs concerning Nintendo Switch 2’s characteristics, but we can estimate. If Switch 2 has the same control system as Switch, we’d want to see Joy-Cons with analog triggers for more accurate racing game control and less stick drifting. If Nintendo sticks to the Switch’s primary design, the Switch 2 might need some ergonomic improvements.
We’d like to see a bump in battery life since Breath of the Wild drains the Switch in a few hours. Larger batteries would make it a better gaming machine for lengthy overseas trips. Improved Nintendo Switch 2 WI-Fi connection is another feature we want. Better Wi-Fi may improve game streaming and download performance, even if it may not be the first thought.
Nintendo Switch 2 Games
Nintendo Switch 2 may get a new Mario game. According to reports, Unreal 4 will be used. A rumor that the system would arrive with a new 3D Mario game supports this leak. The system will also receive Mario Kart X in its second year. Think it’s the “most expensive game Nintendo has ever produced.” Reports say Final Fantasy 7 Remake “looks and runs” on Switch 2. The 2020 game might be a great launch showcase for the gadget and is too powerful for the Switch.
A new leak from Nash Weedle says the Bayonetta Trilogy will be on Switch 2. This compilation would include the three primary Bayonetta games and improve its graphics, performance, and HDR. This box would be chic. At the Gamescom 2023 trade event in Germany, Eurogamer reported that select developers saw the Nintendo Switch 2 behind closed doors.
The publication reports that Nintendo demoed a new version of Breath of the Wild to demonstrate the Switch 2’s potential, but it’s unclear whether the game will be published. The Switch 2 may have large first-party games like a new Zelda. And presumably a new Mario Kart. Other games are purely speculative at the time of writing.
Nintendo Switch 2 Backwards Compatibility
Given the PS5 and Xbox Series X’s appetite for backward compatibility, we hope the Nintendo Switch 2 will have it. Running older Switch games on newer hardware should improve performance and visual fidelity. Worse, a recent rumor suggests Switch 2 may not support backward compatibility.
A next-gen Switch without its older game catalog would be underwhelming and need a strong launch lineup. We also want backward compatibility for Switch Joy-Cons. If the Switch 2 doesn’t support backup Joy-Cons, which are pricey extras for the present Switch, that would be unfortunate. We also hope the Ring Fit Adventure and external controllers will work with the Switch 2.