Standard Nintendo Switch Is Getting A New Version Too, Apparently [Update]

The base Switch is getting some new components.

26 Comments
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Now Playing: Nintendo Switch Lite Release Date And Price Announced - GS News Update

There have been numerous reports over the past few months that Nintendo has been working on new iterations of its Switch console, including a handheld-focused model that would turn out to be the newly announced Switch Lite. That's not all; it looks like the standard Switch will also be getting a more low-key update that will see some of its internal components replaced, though the exact impact of this move remains to be seen. [Update: This appears to have panned out after all, with Nintendo announcing a new Switch that offers better battery life. Aside from that, this revised model appears to be identical to the original Switch, complete with the same price tag.]

As reported by The Verge, Nintendo has filed a Class II Permission Change request with the Federal Communications Commission to make changes to the existing Switch. According to the filing, the company is swapping the console's system-on-chip, NAND memory type, and CPU board. The filing doesn't go into more specifics than that, so it's unclear if these changes will have a noticeable impact on the system's performance. The model number is not changing, which may speak to the level of change we're seeing here. That said, these types of under-the-hood updates are not uncommon for game system manufacturers.

As previously mentioned, Nintendo has announced a smaller, more affordable version of the Switch called the Switch Lite. The system will launch this September and is optimized for handheld use, meaning it doesn't feature detachable Joy-Con controllers and can't be docked and played on a television. It is also missing a kickstand, HD rumble, and an IR sensor, but it still supports Amiibo figures and has an estimated 20-30% better battery life than the base model. Another advantage it has over the standard Switch is a proper D-pad.

The Switch Lite launches around the world on September 20, the same day The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake arrives. The system will be available in three colors at launch--yellow, turquoise, and grey--with a special edition Pokemon model following in November ahead of Pokemon Sword and Shield. In the US, the Switch Lite will retail for $200 USD.

There have also been reports that Nintendo is working on a more powerful iteration of the Switch; however, the company has said there will be no other new Switch hardware this year besides the Lite. You can read more about the system in our roundup of everything we know about the Switch Lite. We also answer some of the most common questions about the console in our Switch Lite FAQ. Be sure to also check out our Switch Lite pre-order guide.

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

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Avatar image for Scynt
Scynt

This is just the anti-jail break fix they've been looking to make for over a year now. The current console can be jail broken and there is literally no way Nintendo can fix it, since its a built in feature of the internal hardware they used. The only way to fix the jailbreak is to release a new version with a reworked chip that doesn't allow for it.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@Scynt: could be. but i am fairly certain nintendo already blocked the exploit in the lastest skus from a hardware level. you cannot buy a brand new switch anymore and expect to get the old version that was exploitable -- you would need to purchase one used.

Avatar image for isildor
isildor

@Scynt: in fact

Avatar image for Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

When they announce that online will be free again for good, I'll consider buying a Switch. Until then, they should consider porting all Switch games to PC with free online to try to tap into revenue they wouldn't get otherwise.

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
ZmanBarzel

@Jinzo_111887: Are you talking 1st-party games? I think Nintendo is quite happy with the revenue its getting from having its games only on the Switch.

Avatar image for illusivepickledonionman

Notify me when skyrim, zelda and doom don't cost £45-£50 each anymore and maybe I'll consider getting one.

Avatar image for Xristophoros
Xristophoros

@illusivepickledonionman: you should buy used from local sellers instead. nintendo is practically begging you to do so with its ridiculous asking prices.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@illusivepickledonionman: You are gonna be waiting a while. :P

Avatar image for KahnArtizt
KahnArtizt

Literally all I want from a new model is Bluetooth headphone support. Is that so much to ask?

Avatar image for nintendians
nintendians

eventually, but hope it's a xl size (overall size of a wii u gamepad).

Avatar image for Ovirew
Ovirew

I'm thinking the new Switch will be like Fall 2020. Maybe it'll come out in time for some big game like Zelda or Metroid.

Avatar image for lorddaggeroff
lorddaggeroff

I wonder when amd start manufacturing GPU for the phone. I can see it meow.

Avatar image for iloveqwop
Iloveqwop

@lorddaggeroff: ick. AMD sucks power. Bad for battery life. Much rather have a newer Tegra.

Avatar image for mark_unix
mark_unix

@lorddaggeroff: It already exists it's called Qualcomm Adreno, which you notice is an anagram for Radeon? And also they recently made a deal with Samsung to use their latest RDNA architecture for a possible future smartphone GPU?

But the qualcomm Adreno used to be called AMD Imageon before they sold it to qualcomm and relabled it Adreno which is obviously an anagram for Radeon.

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

Reply to this post if you've actually used your joycon sideways or shared one with someone else to play the unit sitting on a table like in the promo videos on rooftops of expensive condos.

I have never used a joycon sideways and don't intend to, nor do I know anyone who does. They really shouldn't have doubled down on that feature and just given us the option to buy a joycon with a d-pad. It would still make it an optional peripheral only, and if Nintendo wants to push sideways joycons, everyone who owns the old switch still has the original joycon. Why die on this hill?

Avatar image for TrueLink
TrueLink

@lostn: I've used sideways Joy-cons for multiplayer in Snipperclips and Smash Bros.

Avatar image for merkkrai
Merkkrai

@lostn Countless people use joycons like that man:

Avatar image for dzimm
dzimm

@lostn: I have. Well, not on the rooftops of expensive condos, but at the kitchen table with my kids. I've also used the JoyCon sideways for four-player local co-op in games like Smash Bros., Diablo 3, Mario Kart 8, and Super Mario/Luigi U.

Avatar image for cejay0813
cejay0813

#@lostn: I like having the option but I'll admit that I use my Switch exclusively in handheld mode and never remove the joycons. Wish they went the PS Vita route and made it more compact without impacting the screen size.

I believe Nintendo did state that they have mechanisms in place to identify exactly how the majority of people play their console so the lite probably does make very good business since... kinda like the implementation of the 2DS seeing as how a lot of people didn't like the 3D gimmick of the 3Ds.

As it stands now, a cheaper, smaller Switch that makes improvements with relatively few compromises to the handheld gaming experience seems pretty tempting.

Avatar image for jeezers
jeezers

@cejay0813: This past 4th of july we had several side joycons going while playing switch, had up to 8 people playing in the living room, had to improvise lol

ive also used them for mario kart in some situations

Avatar image for Elranzer
Elranzer

@lostn: I've used the sideways JoyCons for Mario Kart and Snipperclips.

Avatar image for xantufrog
xantufrog

@lostn: sure. Many times. Mario Kart with a friend and my wife

Moderator
Avatar image for Ovirew
Ovirew

@lostn: It's a good point. Idk though, maybe this is something they will address in the "pro" switch. Maybe the joy-cons for it will be completely different.

Avatar image for Blk_Mage_Ctype
Blk_Mage_Ctype

There has been rumor and speculation that a "Switch Pro" model will be released following the Switch Lite.

It seems reasonable to expect that Nintendo will release an updated version of the Switch given the success of the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. I could see them updating to a newer version of the Nvidia Tegra for improved performance, maybe revise the design of the Joycon to improve the thumb sticks, (which have a reputation for wearing out quickly) and maybe redesign to dock so that it cannot scratch the Switch's screen and include more onboard tech to make the Switch more powerful when docked.

Avatar image for alastor529
alastor529

theyll make the screen a tad bigger, increased battery life and fixing the joycon drift ...thats about it ans theyll take on another $100 for that