There’s no doubt that even though the Nintendo Switch has been a huge success, it’s showing its age. Speculation around a potential successor or Nintendo Switch 2 has been rife for years now, but there is a real sense that a release could come soon. A job listing for an upcoming game supports this theory.
First noticed by YouTuber Doctre8, a listing from developers Funcom for a game based on the sci-fi franchise Dune titled Dune Awakening lists the platforms for the game as “PC, PS5, XBS1, TBA”. What that TBA could be is what has us excited.
The open-world survival game was announced in August 2022, and while there is no official release date, a trailer released at The Game Awards 2022 featured in-engine footage and a chance to sign up for beta access (as yet unreleased), so development is clearly well underway. Assuming the title is aiming for a simultaneous release across all of these platforms (which makes sense for an MMO) we could be seeing the Switch 2 as early as late 2023.
As with all rumors, this one comes with caveats. The mystery console in the job listing could in fact be something else. The PlayStation 5 Pro is thought not to be far away or it could even be the supposed new Sony handheld. Dune Awakening may not even be coming to the Switch, but as Doctre8 points out, in a 2019 job listing at Funcom for a then-unnamed Dune project included a “Bonus points” section that cited “experience porting videogames between modern videogame platforms (for example Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch or PC)” suggesting Funcom do value Nintendo’s system.
It is worth remembering that this second listing was before the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, so plans may have changed. The TBA could also be just covering any possible eventualities if a new platform does become available for the game. MMO titles tend to be ongoing for several years, so this argument has some sense to it.
What could we expect from a Switch 2?
There's no doubt the Switch is underpowered compared to the other consoles on the market and particularly compared to its handheld rival, the Steam Deck. So an upgrade under the hood is needed. At one point it seemed likely that a co-processor chip would live in the dock of a Switch 2 to boost the console’s performance when docked, but rumors have gone quiet on that front.
At the top of our wishlist are 4K resolution, longer battery life, improved Wi-Fi and a cure to the dreaded Joy-Con drift. Other features such as backward compatibility are in doubt.