Nintendo has a history of releasing revisions of its game systems, particularly its handhelds. It appears that Nintendo Switch will be no exception to that, and there could be as many as two new models of Switch releasing as soon as later this year.
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo will launch not one but two new Nintendo Switch models in 2019. One of these would feature improved hardware, while the other would be a pared-down version intended to sell at a cheaper price point.
One of these new Switch models will sport “enhanced” features, and it’s designed for “avid” gamers. However, its specs won’t match that of Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, WSJ said. The other system is described as a “cheaper option for casual gamers that Nintendo sees as a successor to its aging hand-held 3DS device…”
According to WSJ, Nintendo is planning to announce the new Switch consoles at E3 2019 in June, and then launch them “a few months later,” in time for the holiday season. A Nintendo representative declined to comment when approached by WSJ.
A source explained to WSJ that the new consoles might not be what you expect. “You would be wrong to think the enhanced version is similar to what Sony did with PS4 Pro and the other is just a cheap alternative that looks very similar to some past hand-held machines, say, Sony’s PlayStation Vita,” the source said.
Intriguingly, the report goes on to claim that the lower-cost Switch model is doing away with things like controller vibration in an effort to cut costs. The report doesn’t include any mention of price points for either console. The existing Switch is currently priced at $300 in the US.
And in another change, WSJ reports that Nintendo is working with Sharp on the displays for the new Switch models. The company reportedly bid to make the displays for the original Switch consoles but lost out.
As you may recall, WSJ was the first to initially report that Nintendo would release a new Switch revision in 2019. At the time, there was only talk about a single revision, and it was unclear exactly what form it would take. One thing that has remained consistent that this would be a mid-generation refresh that plays the same games, rather than a new generation of hardware.
Given E3 is now just a few months away, you can expect even more reports, rumours, and speculation about new hardware to continue to ramp up. And, perhaps not so coincidentally, Nintendo’s share price has spiked since markets opened on Monday, following the report’s release.
The Switch has been a big success for Nintendo. It sold more than 32 million consoles worldwide in under two years, which is more than double the lifetime sales figure of the Wii U.
Microsoft is also expected to announce new hardware at E3 2019, while Sony’s rumored PlayStation 5 is likely set for a reveal at some point soon as well.
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