Just as predicted, a new Nintendo Switch model is coming next year to help keep sales going strong. This is according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, which sources the information to suppliers and other people with "direct knowledge" of Nintendo's plans.
"Nintendo is still debating what new hardware and software features to include in the upgrade and weighing the cost of the features, people with knowledge of the discussions said," WSJ reported.
One possibility is that Nintendo will improve the Switch's display with the update, sources said. As WSJ points out, the display on the current edition of the Switch lacks some of the tech found in modern smartphones. A new display could make the tablet smaller and more energy efficient.
Sources told WSJ that the updated Switch model could launch as soon as summer 2019. It is expected and normal for platform holders to update their consoles over time in part due to new technology becoming viable and to drive interest and spur sales.
WSJ reported in March that Nintendo would wait until 2019 or later to release the first Switch hardware revision, with the company instead focusing on beefing up the Switch's online features. That is precisely what happened, as Nintendo recently launched its Nintendo Switch Online paid membership.
Importantly, the new Switch model does not appear to be a generational change like the one from Wii U to Switch, but instead a smaller-scale upgrade of components such as potentially the display and other elements. WSJ's report specifically states that the new Switch model will share "many features" with the original model and play existing games.
Back in January, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima teased that the Switch will have a longer lifecycle than previous Nintendo consoles. "Up until now, the hardware lifecycle has trended at around five or six years, but it would be very interesting if we could prolong that life cycle, and I think you should be looking forward to that," he said.