Nintendo Switch 2 — the best and worst rumors so far

New Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Future)

The Nintendo Switch 2 has yet to be officially announced, but the rumor mill keeps chugging along steadily. All signs indicate the Japanese gaming giant is working on a follow-up to the ever-popular Nintendo Switch, though everything from its release date to its name remains the subject of speculation for now. 

We hope to see big improvements in power, an OLED display and the ability to output in 4K to keep up with the best TVs. However, the latest rumors have hinted at some pretty disappointing specs, meaning we may not be in for quite the upgrade we'd hoped. With that in mind, we thought it was the perfect time to round up the best and worst rumors we've seen so far regarding the Switch 2 (or whatever Nintendo ends up calling it).

The best Switch 2 rumors: New Mario games, more storage, and comparable price

A screenshot of Elephant Mario in Super Mario Bros. Wonder

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Starting off with the positive, we may not have long to wait for a second-generation Switch. The bulk of reports suggest a targeted launch window of 2024, but sources with "knowledge of Nintendo's next-gen console plans" (via VGC) indicate Nintendo is planning for a release date in the second half of the year

However, a new rumor claims that a launch as early as late Summer could be in the cards. Yet another analyst report suggests that a release in March or April could be possible as this would help Nintendo counter the current sales momentum of the PS5. Word is the Switch 2 is set to be released around the same time as the PS5 Pro.

Whenever it hits shelves, the Switch 2 is said to launch with a new 3D Mario, and it could see the biggest Mario Kart game to date later in its life cycle. A reputable insider claimed in August that Nintendo is developing the Mario game using the Unreal 4 game engine. This initial leak was given further credibility by a report claiming the system will launch with a new 3D Mario title. Looking even further ahead, the Switch 2 will get a new Mario Kart game, called Mario Kart X, in the second year of its lifecycle, according to a November report from Zippo, a leaker with a reasonable track record of accurate information. It's believed to be the most "expensive game Nintendo has ever produced." 

In terms of promising spec upgrades, onboard storage has been tipped at 512GB, which would be a significant boost over the 32GB and 64GB of the original Switch and Switch OLED respectively. Previously speculations circulated about a potential co-processor chip that would live in the Switch 2's dock to boost the console's power and video output when docked and connected to a 4K TV. While a neat upgrade, rumors around it have fallen quiet, so we're not holding our breath. 

Zippo claimed over the summer that the Nintendo Switch 2 will cost $399. That's $50 more than the premium Switch OLED, putting the Switch 2's price on par with the Xbox Series S, but on track with the rising cost of hardware. An industry analyst later echoed the $399 price point in an interview with GamesIndustryBiz.

The worst Switch 2 rumors: LCD display, underpowered specs, no backward compatibility

Over the last few console generations, Nintendo's hardware has consistently trailed behind its competitors in terms of raw power, and a new leak suggests the Switch 2 won't be any different. 

According to RedGamingTech, the Nintendo Switch 2 will pack an eight-core Cortex-A78AE processor, 10 streaming multiprocessors (SMs) and 8GB of RAM. While that's an improvement over the current Switch, it's still miles behind the kind of power you see on the PS5 or Xbox Series X

To make matters worse, Sharp, the manufacturer behind the current Switch displays, has said it's working on a new LCD panel for a "new gaming console" — believed to be the Switch 2. Later reports from VGC and tipster NateTheHate added fuel to the rumor that the Nintendo Switch 2 could pack an LCD display to keep production costs down. That would be a disappointing step in the wrong direction for Nintendo. The Switch 2 going back to an interior display after its predecessor, the Switch OLED, could be a dealbreaker for many players.

Similarly concerning is another rumor claiming that backward compatibility for Switch games might not happen for the Switch 2. Granted, Nintendo has bungled the issue in the past, keeping its older games behind paid subscription services like Nintendo Switch Online or shuttering online storefronts on aging consoles. That doesn't make it any less disheartening, and Nintendo would need to have a stellar launch lineup for a next-gen Switch if it doesn't plan to lean on its older and established game library.

More from Tom's Guide

Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.