While far from official, the Nintendo Switch 2 rumors are starting to pick up pace. Given the Nintendo Switch is six years old and based on aging hardware, it's likely that the Japanese gaming giant is working on a replacement console.
And that console is likely to be the Switch 2. While Nintendo tends to introduce wholly new consoles for home use that build upon the features and power of their successors. Or go for something completely new (see the N64 to GameCube years), it has been more iterative with its handheld machines. As such, we’d be rather confident that the next big games machine from Nintendo will be the Switch 2, even if that isn’t the given name.
We’re hoping to see big improvements in power, an OLED display as standard, and the ability to output in 4K to keep up with the best TVs you can buy right now.
So with that in mind, here’s what we think we know so far about the Nintendo Switch 2, as well as what we’d like to see.
Nintendo Switch 2 latest news (Updated Sept. 13)
- A new Nintendo Direct has been announced for this week but we don't expect to see the Switch 2 here.
- Eurogamer reports that the Nintendo Switch 2 was showcased to developers at Gamescom, including a new version of Breath of the Wild
- The Switch 2 launch date has been tipped in a new analyst report, and it's earlier than we perhaps expected.
- A fresh leak via Reddit has suggested the Switch 2 will see a huge performance boost, and Final Fantasy VII Remake could be a launch title.
- An industry insider reports the Nintendo Switch 2 will include a camera, and the console may have been shown to select members of the press.
Nintendo Switch 2 potential release date and price
Given a pair of recent rumors have popped up hinting at and teasing the existence of a Switch 2, we would cautiously suggest a second-generation Switch could arrive over the next 12 months; it's apparently set to be released around the same time as the PS5 Pro.
While we had originally hoped Nintendo's latest hardware could arrive in 2023, during the company's annual financial report president Shuntaro Furukawa confirmed there are no plans to release any hardware during the next fiscal year. This means we should not expect the Switch 2 until sometime after March 2024.
A release in the first quarter of 2024 was given some weight by a report from Chinese investment site MoneyDJ, which when outlining the production outlook at Hongzhun, a metal cases manufacturer and subsidiary of Hon Hai Technology Group, expects the company to benefit from the launch of the Switch 2, presumably by manufacturing parts of the console. The same publication then reported that sources from a CMOS sensor provider, which has Nintendo as a customer, noted that a new "Japanese game console" is due to launch in early 2024. We take that to be referring to the Nintendo Switch 2.
The majority of reports suggest that a launch in 2024 is being targeted, but sources with "knowledge of Nintendo's next-gen console plans" (via VGC) suggest Nintendo is planning for a release date in the second half of next year. However, a new analyst report has gone against the grain and indicated that a release in March or April 2024 could be on the cards as this would help Nintendo counter the current sales momentum of the PS5.
As for price, the Nintendo Switch OLED comes in at $349 / £309 / AU$539. So we would hazard a guess and say a next-gen Switch would sit around that price point, especially if it does indeed make use of an OLED display.
However, a recent leak from a tipster with a fluctuating reputation for accurate information has claimed the Nintendo Switch 2 wll cost $399. That's $50 more than the Switch OLED, but would also make sense at a time when the cost of hardware tends to be trending upward.
Nintendo Switch 2 specs
We can expect Nintendo to stick with a system-on-a-chip from Nvidia, likely some next-generation take on the aged Tegra X1 chip found in the current Switch. We’d not be surprised if Nintendo got a custom chipset from Nvidia as well, given the success and scope of the Switch.
But advancements by AMD, as seen with the Valve Stream Deck, could put Team Red with an outside chance of providing the silicon for a next-generation Switch. But we’d still err on the side of Nvidia.
In fact, after a chaotic rumor tipping a Tegra chip based on Samsubg's 5-nanometer process node, which was then refuted by the tipster it originated from, we feel that the Nintendo Switch 2 will definitely have some form of Nvidia chip at its heart.
It would be difficult to guess at potential power or clock speeds. But we’d like to hope that Nintendo taps into enough CPU and GPU power to deliver a next-gen gaming experience.
There were murmurs of a potential co-processor chip to live in the dock of a Switch 2 or the once-rumored Nintendo Switch Pro. This extra chip would be used to boost the console's power and video output when docked and connected to a 4K TV. Such a feature would be neat, but rumors around it have fallen quiet.
Onboard storage has been tipped at 512GB, which would be a significant upgrade over the 32GB and 64GB of the original Switch and Switch OLED respectively.
Nintendo Switch 2 display
On the display side, we can see the Switch 2 going for an OLED panel, much like that of the Switch OLED. But hopefully, a boost in refresh rates would be good, say taking the 60Hz display and boosting it to 120Hz; as seen in the best phones. There are no rumors to support this, but we’ve got our fingers crossed.
However, Sharp, which makes the current Switch displays, has said it's working on a new LCD panel for a "new gaming console" — that could be the Switch 2. If that is the case then it could be disappointing as the Switch 2 may come with more dated screen tech than the Switch OLED. There's a chance Sharp could be referring to another as-yet-unannounced console. But we're a little concerned the Switch 2 might not use OLED panels as standard.
Our fears have been further increased by a recent rumor suggesting the Switch 2 will launch with an LCD display in order to keep production costs down. And a new rumor from tipster NateTheHate further adds fuel to the rumor that the Nintendo Switch 2 could have an LCD display.
Nintendo Switch 2 features
There’s precious little in the way of hints about Nintendo Switch 2's features, but we can apply some educated guesswork.
If the Switch 2 sticks to the same control scheme as the Switch, we’d like to see it improve the Joy-Cons so they suffer less from potential stick drifting and have analog triggers for more precise control in the likes of racing games. Some tweaks to the ergonomics — if Nintendo does indeed stick with the Switch’s core design — would also be appreciated with the Switch 2.
And we’d like to see a boost in battery life, as the Switch tends to run out of juice in a handful of hours when running games like Breath of the Wild. A bigger battery would certainly help make it a more viable gaming machine for things like long international flights.
One other feature we'd like to see is improved WI-Fi connectivity for the Nintendo Switch 2. It might not be the first upgrade that springs to mind, but better Wi-Fi can be a dramatic upgrade when it comes to things like game streaming or simply downloading games at speed.
Nintendo Switch 2 games
A new Mario game has been tipped for the Nintendo Switch 2. And it'll apparently be based on the established Unreal 4 engine. Plus, there are also reports that Final Fantasy 7 Remake "looks and runs" like a PS5 game on the Switch 2. The 2020 game could be a pretty excellent showcase of the device's power at launch.
A recent Eurogamer report claims that select developers were given a behind-closed-doors look at the Nintendo Switch 2 at the Gamescom 2023 trade show in Germany. The website's sources suggest that Nintendo demoed a new version of Breath of the Wild to show off the Switch 2's power, but it's unknown if a refreshed port of the game will ever be released to the public or if it was just for demoing purposes.
We can likely expect to see big first-party games come to the Switch 2, say a new Zelda game at some point. And likely a new version of Mario Kart. But potential other games exist only in the realms of speculation and imagination at the time of writing.
Nintendo Switch 2 backwards compatibility
One feature we really hope to see in the Nintendo Switch 2 is backwards compatibility, especially given the appetite we’ve seen for such capabilities on the PS5 and Xbox Series X; hopefully, running older Switch games on newer hardware would result in a performance boost and improved visual fidelity.
Rather worrying, is a new rumor has claimed that backwards compatibility for Switch games might not happen for the Switch 2. That would be a bit disappointing and would need Nintendo to have a stellar launch lineup for a next-gen Switch if it won't rely on its older and established game library.
We have also argued that backwards compatibility will need to extend to the Switch Joy-Cons as well. Backup Joy-Cons can be an expensive extra for the current Switch, so if they are rendered moot with the Switch 2, that could be rather disappointing, And we’d hope other existing Switch accessories like the Ring Fit Adventure and external controllers would also be usable with the Switch 2.
Nintendo Switch 2 outlook
As explained, it's still early days on these Switch 2 rumors, with not a lot of hard and fast information floating around. Nintendo is famously tight-lipped about what it’s working on, so we can’t expect to see a myriad of leaks anytime soon.
But the time is arguably nigh for a new and more powerful Switch or overall Nintendo console. And the Nintendo Switch 2 could be the answer.