We could be getting an upgraded version of the Switch as early as this year, Bloomberg reported late last night. Sources told Bloomberg that a new, more powerful version of the Switch could be announced before E3 starts in June, and could hit the market in September or October. It would replace the current standard Switch model, coexisting alongside the Switch Lite, the article reports.
Nintendo has not responded to the report.
Since the Switch came out in early 2017, Sony and Microsoft have both released the latest iterations of the PlayStation and the Xbox. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S both boast 4K graphics capabilities, a feature the Switch lacks; those newer consoles are also more powerful across the board, with more advanced CPUs, GPUs, and pretty much everything else you’ll find under the hood of a gaming console. A new Switch model would level that playing field at least a little bit, with 4K reportedly being possible when the new Switch is docked to a TV.
Bloomberg also speculates that, due to the advanced technology and limited supply of the chips necessary to create it, that any new Switch model would see an increase in the system’s current $299 asking price. It also cautions readers to expect limited supply at first, similar to how both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S are still hard to find, over six months after release.
If this report is accurate, we should hear something concrete from Nintendo in the next few weeks. If an upgraded Switch launches this fall, it will arrive about four and a half years after the original. Given the massive success of the Switch, and its relative youth, it’s no surprise that Nintendo would be looking at an upgrade instead of a replacement. There’s always the risk of confusing the marketplace, though, when you’re dealing with hardware revisions that represent half-steps between console generations. Will all games play on both versions of the Switch, or will some games require the more powerful tech of the new update? Will the average Switch owner feel compelled to upgrade to something that’s more powerful but not necessarily a significant jump forward from the previous system? Will this be a genuinely worthwhile advance that prolongs the Switch’s lifetime, or merely a stopgap before a new console arrives in two years or so? These are questions that Nintendo has no doubt researched over the last several months, and ones we might get to watch play out in real time over the next year.