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Nintendo Switch 2: Report claims 2020 release date for new Switch

Expert Reviews Staff
9 Jan 2020
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Will we see a new model of the Switch launch this year?

A report suggests we may be seeing a new version of the Nintendo Switch by the summer.

Taiwan’s DigiTimes, citing unnamed sources from Nintendo’s supply chain, claims a new Switch is slated to enter mass production in the first quarter of the year ahead of a mid-2020 release date.

There’s been nothing in the way of official confirmation of this from Nintendo, although the Wall Street Journal’s Takashi Mochizuki did add weight to the report by tweeting it alongside a previous prediction he made - that Nintendo plans a further update the Switch, beyond the Switch Lite, to give it a longer lifecycle.

Whether or not this will result in a fully fledged Switch 2 remains to be seen. If the report is to be believed, it could instead mean that Nintendo intends to launch a new iteration in this console’s generation, as Mochizuki suggests.

DigiTimes doesn’t provide much information on this either way; only that mass production is about to begin on a new Switch.

READ NEXT: Nintendo Switch review: The Nintendo Switch is still worth it

With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X slated for release later this year, it would make sense for Nintendo to refresh its console lineup. The Switch is a very different prospect from Microsoft and Sony's offerings, however, so it's unclear how Nintendo will decide to position itself against those powerful, next-gen machines.

Read on for everything you could possibly, feasibly need to know about the Nintendo Switch 2.

Nintendo Switch 2: Release date

The aforementioned DigiTimes report claims that Nintendo is looking to release the new Switch in the latter half of 2020. 

As for any concrete release dates, Nintendo has given us nothing so far. Company president Shuntaro Furukawa told The Sankei News in 2019 that "[Nintendo is] not considering a successor or a price cut at this time."

Perhaps this is the nail in the optimist's coffin; we're certainly not sure he could have been any clearer. Don't panic just yet, though: this news doesn't mean there won't ever be a Switch 2. Just don't hold your breath.

Normally, the biggest manufacturers release a new console every five or six years, so we’d expect to have to wait until 2022/23 to see a Nintendo Switch 2 proper.

Nintendo Switch 2: Design

As it’s early days for the Nintendo Switch 2 – prehistoric days, in the context of its yet-non-existent lifespan – the internet is not yet teeming with rumours about the Switch 2’s redesign.

We would, however, be inclined to expect a considerable redesign to the existing Switch model. Think of it like Microsoft updating the Xbox One to the Xbox One S or Xbox One X. This idea is further supported by Nintendo themselves, who were very clear on the matter of their best-selling console.

Nintendo Switch 2: Features and specs

In essence, while we may not be seeing a Switch 2 for a while, there's still hope for mid-generation upgrade. According to the WSJ report from before, Nintendo is looking to improve the quality of the Switch's main touchscreen. Dr. Serkan Toto, industry analyst and employee of Kantan Games, recently expanded upon the report in an interview with Games Industry by suggesting that Nintendo will be looking to produce a 'Switch Pro' rather than a fully-fledged Switch 2.

This is good news, though, because when it was released in 2017, the Nintendo Switch was one of the most exciting consoles we’d seen for a long time. We labelled it “an essential purchase for anyone who claims to enjoy gaming” that might only suffer from a lack of strong releases.

Well, it seems that Nintendo itself isn’t yet sure what the Switch 2 revamp will look like. A WSJ report states that the legendary Japanese gaming company “is still debating what new hardware and software features to include in the upgrade.”

Updated Joy-Cons

Nintendo has presumably set a new design in motion for the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons that may come with the Switch 2. A patent application that Nintendo filed in Japan in February 2018 hinted at structural changes to the Joy-Cons for the Switch consoles. Geared towards extra grip and added comfort, the new slottable controllers feature a hinge that allows the top third of each Joy-Con to rotate backwards. An alternative design depicts a more curved Joy-Con altogether, although there appears to be no changes to the functionality of the controllers.

The news comes in the wake of the Nintendo Switch's much speculated design limitations, with the company's concerns that the controller may not be flexible enough. The potential replacement of the current more rigid controllers will be a significant move to improve the ergonomics of the gaming console. While there is no certainty that these designs will go ahead, it's evident that Nintendo is active in finding ways to improve the Joy-Con gaming experience. 

There could be an improvement to the Switch’s display, according to “people with knowledge of the discussions”. The current Switch uses a 720p liquid-crystal display; technology that falls behind that found in most modern smartphones. A new display “would make the Switch brighter, thinner and more energy efficient”, and would certainly be a welcome addition.

If the rumours reported by the Wall Street Journal (and fleshed out by analyst Dr. Serkan Toto) are true, then the Switch 2 could well feature a 1080p OLED screen. The effects of this would be significant: OLED screens are brighter and more vibrant than their LCD counterparts, and are more energy efficient to boot. The Switch already outputs 1080p resolution when attached to a TV, so this would not be a particularly challenging task for the console to handle.

As for software upgrades, however, we’re pretty much in the dark. We can be almost certain that the updated Switch will share many features with the previous version and be backwards compatible with existing games. Two years would be a remarkably short amount of time for a complete overhaul to take place.

We’ll be updating this page as and when we know more about the hypothetical Switch 2, so be sure to check back in.

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