Nintendo Switch 2 could launch much sooner than you think

Nintendo Switch 2
(Image credit: Future)

The Nintendo Switch 2 rumor mill has been quiet for quite a while, but we just might have gotten a better idea of when it may launch. According to a new report out of Taipei, a new version of Nintendo's hugely popular games machine could release by early 2021. 

According to The Edge Markets, Taipei's Economic Daily News reports that Nintendo is planning to release new Switch hardware early next year. The outlet cites unidentified supply chain sources, though doesn't provide any further details.

A 2021 release for a new Nintendo Switch doesn't seem completely out of the question. Back in January, Nintendo confirmed in a financial note that it has no new hardware in the pipeline to launch in 2020. But given the continued red-hot success of the Switch — especially during the pandemic — it's possible that Nintendo could capitalize on this interest with a new, revised model.

It's unclear whether the next Nintendo Switch will be a massively reworked console, or a subtle spec bump with some small quality-of-life changes. Some reports peg the Nintendo Switch 2 getting a large boost to an Nvidia Tegra Xavier processor, a 64GB SSD and 4K support, while others seem to indicate that the next Switch will have a slightly improved version of the Tegra CPU found in current models.

One of the more tantalizing rumors is that the Switch 2 could be a dual-screen device, as some eagle-eyed fans discovered a series of code in a recent Switch firmware update that hinted at dual-display support for Nintendo's machine.

Nintendo has released two revisions of the Switch since its initial March 2017 launch. An August 2019 refresh of the console delivered slightly better battery life, while the Nintendo Switch Lite that released a month later offers a more compact, handheld-only version of the console. But with the PS5 and Xbox Series X arriving this fall, it's possible that Nintendo wants to offer a more powerful option of the Switch for folks concerned with performance.

Reliable games tipster Jeff Grubb (via VGC) recently claimed on a livestream that the next major Nintendo Direct livestream is set to take place by the end of August. While this event will likely be focused on games, it's possible that we get a tease of the next Nintendo Switch — especially if this supply chain report is accurate. 

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.