A new Nintendo console has been tipped for a 2024 release date by a reasonably reliable analyst, Piers Harding-Rolls of Ampere Analysis.
Flagged by Video Games Chronicle, Harding-Rolls reckons Nintendo will have a new next-generation console ready in some tow years time, but whether this will be the Nintendo Switch 2 or a completely new console range isn't fully clear.
"Ampere is currently forecasting a next-gen Nintendo device to release in 2024," he said. "By the end of that year Switch is predicted to have sold through 146m units meaning it still has the potential to become the best-selling console ever by the end of its lifetime, selling over 158 million units and overtaking the PlayStation 2."
Nintendo said in 2021 that the Nintendo Switch, and by extension the Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch OLED, has four or five years left of life in it. And passing the 100 million units sold mark, would be an indication of that. As such, 2024 would likely be the earliest Nintendo would release a new console.
In a note to VGC, Harding-Rolls also mentions that he believes Switch sales will now inevitably decline until the platform holder reveals its next-generation console.
“Switch sales, setting aside the unexpectedly strong growth in 2020 due to the pandemic and Animal Crossing release, are following a traditional console lifecycle shape,” he said.
“Even with the release of the OLED model, sales were expected to decline from their peak as the Switch reaches year six of the cycle in 2022 and Nintendo’s latest shipment forecast reflects this."
We have no doubt that Nintendo is working on new console hardware, especially when the current Switch models only supports a 1080p output yet 4K TVs are now far more affordable and increasingly adapted; check out our best 4K TVs if you've yet to get one. But the continued popularity of the Switch, with upcoming game releases and Nintendo's generally sedate pace when it comes to releasing new hardware, we won't be expecting any official word on a new console anytime this year.
How likely is a Nintendo Switch 2?
The rumors around the Nintendo Switch 2 have been slow so far. Earlier this year, Nintendo did hint that a “next gen device” is on the way, which may be backwards compatible with the Switch’s existing library. But no solid information followed this up.
While we did get the Nintendo Switch OLED last year, that didn't go far enough in making changes to what we already had in the base Switch; it's the Switch model to get if you've yet to get one, but arguably not worth an upgrade from the standard Switch.
We can hope after the OLED display we get to see a 4K display on the Switch 2. We might also see a resolution bump as well. According to Bloomberg, a new Switch will use an advanced upscaling technique to achieve 4K resolution. Called Nvidia Deep Learning Super Sampling, or DLSS, this uses AI tech to effectively upmix graphics into high-resolution images without the performance demands of rendering them at, say, a native 4K. Alternatively a next-gen Switch could have the power for a full 4K output.
The Switch OLED came with an Ethernet port, but we'd hope for more ports on the Switch 2. We also hope for more storage and seamless Bluetooth connectivity to connect wireless headphones to a next-gen Switch out of the box, rather than wait for the connectivity to be enabled years later, as was the case with the current Switch.
Furthermore, Nintendo recently patented a unique health-tracking device, which would be able to track your sleep, monitor your mood via microphones and sensors, and even change the odor of a room. It's unclear whether this would be used as an accessory for the current or future Switch consoles or another device all together; such a device could be a good accompaniment for health-related games such as Ring Fit Adventure.
Having said all that, there's a chance that Nintendo might just make a completely new console, perhaps drawing inspiration from the Switch but not sharing its naming convention. After all, the GameCube was different to the N64, and the Wii U was only a pseudo successor to the Wii.
But then again, Nintendo released multiple generations, as well as upgraded and alternative versions, of the Game Boy and 3DS. So we see no reason why it couldn't do the same for the Switch, given that's now its only handheld console that it's actively selling.
In short, we'd not write off the potential for a Nintendo Switch 2, only we'd expect to wait another couple of years for it to arrive.