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Feature Article

A New Nintendo Switch Revision Is Coming Next Year, Report Says

A new model of the popular console is on the way, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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.

As of June 30, Nintendo has sold 19.67 million Switch units and 86.93 million games worldwide.

One of the Switch's next big games is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which launches in early December and is sure to be a big-time system-seller.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Eddie Makuch

Bring back the Whalers.
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Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

I personally don't view the Switch as a console. I view it as a handheld with a tv hookup, which it primarily is.

Have they released the Switch with the 31 different flavors of color yet? Because when things slow down, out come all of the crazy color models..

It's not my type of console by any stretch, but I get that a lot of people like it. I just don't understand why Nintendo is almost against having nice graphics. Their last console was a complete flop, but their handhelds were always booming. So they made a nicer handheld, which would obviously sell, and let it plug into the tv. But why not put some muscle in the tv dock to make it more powerful on a big screen? It's like they're fighting the natural progression of things.

Avatar image for BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

"Up until now, the hardware lifecycle has trended at around five or six years..."

The original NES was supported for roughly 10 years, and Nintendo waited for more than just a couple of years to release a newer model. It would be interesting to see a modern gaming console have new games coming out for it that long again.

...

I almost forgot about the PS1 and PS2, both of which had a rather long lifespan.

Avatar image for nintendians
nintendians

a smaller "switch"? i want a "switch" the overall size of a wii u's gamepad, bigger screen and joy-cons. if nintendo is doing all the new specs. then a 4k dock with a nvidia geforce gtx 10 series gpu with 6 or 8 core with 16 gb of ram with a 1 tb harddrive for the 4k assets (like 3d models and textures) and release about in 3 to 4 years from now.

Avatar image for DeltaCobra
DeltaCobra

Glad I bought my switch. Played Zelda and Mario at launch and could not be happier.

The money is a non issue for a working gamer.

Avatar image for mbrogz3000
mbrogz3000

Not expecting much of an upgrade. Nicer quality display would be great and ‘more powerful’ processor with undisclosed specs (similar to what they did with New 3DS). Longer battery would be great too.

Glad I waited.

Avatar image for batusai4ever
Batusai4Ever

Nintendo just wants a new revision to stop the piracy...simple. They cannot do it with the current revision.

Avatar image for BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

@batusai4ever: Then I guess gamers who are into piracy (or at least emulation and "homebrew" software) should act soon. I don't understand why a simple hardware modification for future shipments of the current model can't disable piracy, but then I don't know much advanced tech stuff.

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

That surprises no one.

Will be interesting to see how or if it's upgraded.

I'd hold off on a second one until the revision comes out.

And I wouldn't mind longer generations. Last gen stuff still seems more limited by budget and talent than hardware, Switch included. And with X and Pro out, why do I need anything better anytime remotely soon?

Avatar image for dpopetkov
DpoPetkov

THIS IF FUNNY. I KNEW this would definitely happen so thats why i never bought a switch, especially at $300 no thank you. Hope it has better stuff and is $250 then i may buy it.

Also to anyone pissed or surprised:

First off, the switch came out March, 2017 mind that.

The Wii came out in 2011 and they made a revision 2 years later(funny enough it was worse, but still its a hardware revision) so why is it so weird for the switch?

NOW, the switch is also considered a handheld by many.

The DS came out in 2004, 2 years later the DS lite came out, 2 years later AGAIN, the DSi came out and 1 year later the DSi XL came out.

WAIT THERES MORE, the 3DS came out in 2011, 3DS XL in 2012, 2DS in 2013, NEW 3DS in 2014, and NEW 2DS in 2017.

SOOOOO, this is nothing new and NO ONE should be shocked, sony and xbox have always made slim models dating back the PS1 so no one should be pissed or weirded out.

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

@dpopetkov: I agree, though Wii was 2006 and it's revision was worse and not widely distributed, and Wii U was 2012 and never got a revision.

Avatar image for dpopetkov
DpoPetkov

@wolfpup7: why does it matter the wii was 2006? the ps3 was 2006 and had 2 revisions as well. I dont get your point. Also it was widely distributed, the Wii Mini was canada exclusivive i think and was even worse that might be the one you are thinking of. also the wii u didnt get a revision for obvious reasons, no need to even mention a console whos already been outsold by the switch by 6 million units.

Avatar image for felmaloney
FelMaloney

This should be tagged as a rumor. The WSJ is not Nintendo's official spokesperson. This is clickbait at it's best.

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

@felmaloney: Well obviously it's a rumor, but we all know a revision will hit certainly by at least the next 3 years.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@felmaloney: right... because nintendo isn't notorious for its hardware revisions... a switch revision in 2019 should come as a surprise to no one. for a fanboy, you certainly don't know nintendo very well.

Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

@Xristophoros:

It isn’t confirmed though, so it is a rumor. Regardless of whether it’s a likely or not.

Avatar image for Sorrow_316
Sorrow_316

I won’t upgrade, but would consider it next upgrade cycle!

Avatar image for croxus
Croxus

Swich was my first Nintendo console and if they make a new console right now, it will be my last!

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

@croxus: Dude, it's not a new system, this is just talking about a new revision. All successful systems get them.

Avatar image for dpopetkov
DpoPetkov

@croxus: No it wont be your last buddy. First off, the switch came out March, 2017 mind that.

The Wii came out in 2011 and they made a revision 2 years later(funny enough it was worse, but still its a hardware revision) so why is it so weird for the switch?

NOW, the switch is also considered a handheld by many.

The DS came out in 2004, 2 years later the DS lite came out, 2 years later AGAIN, the DSi came out and 1 year later the DSi XL came out.

WAIT THERES MORE, the 3DS came out in 2011, 3DS XL in 2012, 2DS in 2013, NEW 3DS in 2014, and NEW 2DS in 2017.

SOOOOO, this is nothing new and NO ONE should be shocked, sony and xbox have always made slim models dating back the PS1 so no one should be pissed or weirded out.

Avatar image for mjac28
Mjac28

@dpopetkov: l am by your reply

Avatar image for obnice
OBNice

indie titles will look slightly better now? nice!

Avatar image for Spartan_418
Spartan_418

A bit more graphics power, perhaps a 900p mobile display and ability to smoothly run 1080p when docked, and tweak the ergonomics so it's better suited to large adult-size hands, and I'll consider getting one.

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl
Flyin3lvl

they set out the prototypes not expecting it to take off. so they ran out. sent out a new batch of the prototypes and was astounded. so now comes the true version of the console. #not true

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl
Flyin3lvl

@engropose66: #very true

Avatar image for RJS86
RJS86

I wonder if they intend to make a low budget version as well as they did with introducing 2ds, maybe handheld only or TV only.

I wouldn't buy another switch just because they make a new one and if by chance they make any game for the switch 2.0 that doesn't run on my current switch I'll stop buying Nintendo products altogether.

Avatar image for mbrogz3000
mbrogz3000

Guess I’ll hold now. Dragon Warrior and lots of other RPGs have my interest right now. I can hold off on Octopath until the new hardware comes out.

Avatar image for redviperofdorne
redviperofdorne

Saw that coming from a mile away. The sales have kind of capped off so in typical Nintendo fashion, You're gonna see a new Switch almost immediately and I expect to see at least one or two more after that. But unless the hardware is better, It's not gonna be worth buying, Not that it was really worth buying in the first place :)

Avatar image for NorseLax09
NorseLax09

@redviperofdorne: The Switch is just about where the Wii was in terms of sales during the same length of time. I wouldn't say they have capped off at all yet, seeing as they haven't trended down. Sales have been consistently good month after month. Once Smash comes out expect to see another jump in console sales. All indications point to the Switch being one of the best selling consoles in Nintendo's history.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

if they make the display better, ie higher resolution, they need to beef up the hardware to make up for the increased performance requirements. i think it is a given that switch 2.0 will be slightly more powerful than the first revision. we also need a price drop because there is no way i am pay $400 for a switch. what else... the dock should be better designed and an official joycon from nintendo with a control pad is desperately needed.

Avatar image for felmaloney
FelMaloney

@Xristophoros: More resolution? It's already 1280x720p in a 6.2 inch touchscreen. The only difference you'd notice is the battery life would probably be halved.

And yeah, bring the price down on a more advanced and powerful version of what already is the cheapest home console on the market. Great strategic thinking. "Guys, there is no way Xristophoros will buy our console for 400$, we should quit" --Nintendo execs, probably, never

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@felmaloney: base ps4 msrp is cheaper than the switch, so no idea what you are talking about. here in canada, we often have $50 off sales on top of that, bringing the ps4 price down to $330. The switch is $380 msrp and rarely are there any sales on it. there is no sense of value when one needs to spend close to $500CAN for a switch and game (with taxes). for a console that is severely under powered and struggles to maintain even 30fps, while ps4 is doing 60fps (doom), what does that tell you? it tells me the price of the switch should have been $300 since launch -- nintendo doesn't understand simple economics and always overvalues its products.

yes, you would see a major difference with a 1080p bump -- most cell phones over 5.0-5.5" range have 1080p resolutions in case you have been living under a rock.

Avatar image for flatovercrest
flatovercrest

@Xristophoros: their 299 or less when onsale here in the US. The problem isn't the switch, its your taxes and the fact that your currency exchange rate sucks. Not Nintendos fault.

They could pretty easily drop in Nvidias newer SoC for the same or less money on the new console and that would dramatically improve performance. More then enough to push 1080p in handheld mode, and probably with a longer battery life as well.

Its unlikely the new system will be enough to convince current owners to upgrade unless the screen is a big improvement and they play it mobile a lot. But it would probably boost sales to new owners or as second units for current owners who want/need 2.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@flatovercrest: fair points, but the entire world pays more for just about everything. america is the only country that is immune to this, for reasons i don't understand. i have to assume it is partly because the min wage is so low across the country. the switch is definitely overpriced in its current form no matter where one lives in my opinion. i won't consider getting one until it is sub $300 in my country and it gets some notable improvements. maybe boxing day 2019.

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

@Xristophoros: Well the hardware's worse because it's a portable. It's still nice hardware though, and has a better GPU than Wii U/360/PS3.

Avatar image for MarkAndExecute
MarkAndExecute

Nothing here that indicates that this upgrade is gonna have increased power that rivals the PS4 Pro or the One X so for those of you who are wishing their very hardest that it may come to light, don't hold your breath. It's not gonna happen. If they did that, then it's gonna bomb because then they'd have to charge at least $500 or more.

Besides, graphics shouldn't matter, right? It's all about the artstyle so we should just be content with what the Switch can currently do.

Avatar image for Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@MarkAndExecute: Of course it wouldn't rival the Pro or One X, that would be impossible in a tablet or mobile device, but it should still have -some amount- of a power upgrade. If the display is bumped up to something higher than 720p, you need increased graphics power to support that.

I'd be happy if an updated Switch model was comparable to the base PS4- able to run games at 1080p/60fps when in docked mode.

Avatar image for MarkAndExecute
MarkAndExecute

@Spartan_418: Except it's not gonna happen. Nintendo is all about profit and if they upgraded the specs, they'd be losing money like they did with Wii U.

Avatar image for Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@MarkAndExecute: Upgrading the specs would align with what Nintendo did with the New 3DS, which didn't seem to hurt them.

Avatar image for flatovercrest
flatovercrest

@Spartan_418: no, you could make a portable that beats the xbox-x. A pascal or turing GPU can push the fps per/watt to crush the gpu in the xbox-x and the x is using a really weak CPU so that wouldnt be difficult on a portables power budget.

But your absolutely right about the cost. It would cost at least 500$, probably a fair bit more, to stuff enough performance in there to beat an X and it wouldn't sell worth crap for that reason (plus, what would you even play on that? Nothing currently running on the switch would even spin the fans on a hardware rig like that).

For an example just look at what razer is able to stuff into a thin and light laptop now days. And their not even that expensive anymore compared to when i was a kid and a "laptop" weighed 15 pounds and cost 8+ grand. Thank God for modern tech right? Lol

Avatar image for Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@flatovercrest: Even if it was feasible to put One X or Pro-level power in the tablet, what would be the point? You don't need a 4k display on a device the size of the Switch, that would be a waste of pixels.

Avatar image for dragonsama
dragonsama

This has nothing to do with making the display or the system better and everything to do with with the unpatchable hack that lets you load whatever you want on the system.

There is an impending release of a very easy to do version that will crack the system wide open and there is no way for Nintendo to stop it. So this "Upgrade" was only done to cover their butts with publishers and investors.

Avatar image for NorseLax09
NorseLax09

@dragonsama: I thought that was due to something with the Tegra line of chips and not anything Nintendo can actually do anything about, short of going to a different manufacturer.

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

@NorseLax09: Yeah, there's a newer revision that Nintendo might use. Might be a die shrink or two also, which would be super useful!

Avatar image for DefunktJunk
DefunktJunk

Make it MOAR powerful than the X and Pro 😆

Avatar image for cejay0813
cejay0813

@DefunktJunk: It would melt

Avatar image for MarkAndExecute
MarkAndExecute

@DefunktJunk: Not gonna happen without making the system $600 or more

Avatar image for DefunktJunk
DefunktJunk

@MarkAndExecute: Yea I know.. just wishful thinking.