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Nintendo Switch 2: Rumored Release Date, Rumors, Specs, & More

Nintendo is gearing up to announce its next console--here's what we know so far.

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After seven years on the market, 140 million systems, and more than 1 billion games sold, Nintendo is finally gearing up to announce its next piece of hardware. In this post, we're rounding up everything we know about the Switch 2--or whatever the next console is called--and what's been speculated about the next system from Nintendo. There has been quite a lot of news about the next Nintendo console lately.

This post covers the system's potential form factor, rumors about the the Switch 2 release date, price, launch games, backward compatibility, and more. For simplicity's sake, we'll refer to the new system as the Switch 2, although it seems likely that, based on Nintendo's history, it will have some kind of new, original name for the console. Time will tell.

A major development came on May 7, when Nintendo confirmed that the Switch 2 will be announced during the company's current fiscal year, so we'll know about it by April 2025. The English translation of Nintendo's Q&A with president Shuntaro Furukawa also provided new details on the Switch 2. The Switch, which was released in 2017, was a very well received and commercially successful console, but fans always want something new and exciting, and Nintendo is known to deliver the goods.

When will the Switch 2 be announced? We still do not know. Some hoped for news during the June Nintendo Direct, but Nintendo told fans that would not happen--and that was indeed the case.

In terms of sales, life-to-date, the Switch is only trailing the PS2 by 1.41 million units in the US, according to data from Circana. As such, some people the upcoming Switch Lite Hyrule Edition could push the Switch beyond the PS2.

In 2021, Nintendo management said the company believed the Switch was in the middle of its lifecycle. Well, it's now 2024, and it can be reasonably assumed that the Switch has matured to a later stage in its lifecycle, potentially nearing the end. There are plenty of unanswered questions remaining about the Switch 2, but for now, here's all the essential information we have.


Switch 2 Rumored Release Date

We don't know for sure. The Switch launched in March 2017 and console generations are known to be in the area of 5-10 years, but there is no guarantee that Nintendo would follow a similar playbook with its next piece of hardware. Trends are always changing due to a variety of factors.

The Wii and Wii U, for example, launched in November of 2006 and 2012, but it's anyone's guess as to the launch month for the next Nintendo console.

Earlier this year, a September 2024 release date for the Switch 2 emerged in an official press release from the newest interaction of GameShark. But it's probably not legitimate. Subsequently, an analyst suggested Switch 2 will launch in 2024 and feature and an 8-inch LCD screen (potentially a step back from the smaller OLED screen featured in the most recent Switch revision).

More recently, multiple reports said Nintendo had internally delayed the launch of the Switch 2 to 2025. Following the publication of these reports, Nintendo's stock price tanked, and industry-watchers commented on how, if true, it would paint a "fairly devastating" picture for the gaming market in general in 2024.

The newest piece of news came directly from Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, who confirmed that the Switch 2 will be announced during the company's current fiscal year (April 1, 2024-March 31, 2025). Nintendo also announced that a Nintendo Direct event is coming this June, but it won't have any news on the Switch 2.

During an earnings call, Furukawa alluded to what the Switch 2 might be in terms of an evolution over the first system. Several times in the briefing, Furukawa spoke about the "successor to the Nintendo Switch," suggesting that the new device will build on the foundation established by the Switch console.

"At this stage, we cannot say anything more about the successor to Nintendo Switch," Furukawa said when asked why that term was used specifically. "For today's announcement, we determined that the most appropriate expression to use was 'successor to Nintendo Switch.' Information will be released in stages leading up to the launch, as we have done with previous new hardware announcements."

Switch 2 Potential Specs

One of the biggest unknowns about the next piece of Nintendo hardware is what exactly it will be. Former Nintendo employees have predicted it will have a similar form factor to the Switch and that it can be used as a handheld device and also dock to your TV like the existing model does. Nintendo, for its part, has said nothing at all about what to expect from its next system, apart from how the aim is for it to "surprise and delight" fans, so we only have predictions and guesses to go on for now.

Digital Foundry reported that the Switch 2 may use Nvidia's new custom variant T239 processor. The site compiled a PC based on what it believed the Switch 2's specs could be and found that it could capably run Death Stranding at 1080p at an average of 35 fps.

Nintendo consoles are historically less powerful than the latest PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and many believe that might be the case for the next system as well. But no one knows for sure. Whether or not the Switch 2 could be a 4K-capable device or offer cutting-edge graphics and performance is unknown.

Vandal (via VGC) recently reported that the Switch 2 will use Joy-Con controllers once again, but this time, they will attach to the system magnetically. Whether or not the existing Joy-Cons you might own already will work on the system is unknown. The report also mentioned how the current Switch Pro controller will be compatible with the Switch 2.

On the Broken Silicon podcast recently (via IGN), Moore's Law Is Dead and The Phawx had a conversation in which it was suggested by Moore's Law is Dead that the Switch 2 will be "clocked faster than we expect" in its docked mode. In undocked mode, it's "going to be clocked crazy low," apparently. The goal, apparently, is to help the Switch 2 have a longer battery life when played on the go compared to the original Switch.

The next Nintendo console could launch in 2024
The next Nintendo console could launch in 2024

While Switch sales boomed during the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global semiconductor shortage presented new challenges for Nintendo as it struggled to meet demand. For the Switch 2, Nintendo doesn't "anticipate" this to be a problem ahead of the launch of the Switch 2. At the same time, Nintendo's sales forecast for the financial year doesn't currently factor in Switch 2 sales, but that could change in time.

Switch 2 Games and Backward Compatibility

It's widely expected that Nintendo will release a new Mario Kart game for its next home console–there are not many safer bets in gaming that one could make. A report said Mario Kart 9 will have some kind of "new twist," and fans are eagerly waiting to see what that might be. If a new Mario Kart game is in the works, it would seemingly make business sense for it to be a launch title for the next console. A report from 2023 said a number of developers already had the new Nintendo console at their offices and were beginning to build games for it, but none have been announced or even hinted at thus far.

A major question fans want to know is whether or not the next Nintendo console will support games from the Switch. We don't know. But Nintendo's previous statements about the Nintendo Account system carrying forward to the next system might suggest Nintendo is going to offer some level of backward compatibility. One theory floated by a former Nintendo employee is that the Switch 2 will be backward compatible with digital eShop games.

Recently, MobaPad said in a blog post that "the cartridge slot of the Switch 2 will support backward compatibility with physical Switch game cartridges." However, brand-new cartridges made specifically for Switch 2 might not be compatible with the first Switch, the report said.

Keep checking back with GameSpot for more as we learn more about the next Nintendo console, as we'll continue to update this story as more information comes to light.

Switch 2 Price

The Switch 2 has not been announced, so everything is guesswork at this stage. But one analyst recently predicted that the Switch 2 will cost $400 and that its top-tier games will sell for $70. The original Switch launched at $300, and its relatively low price point no doubt helped the system perform exceptionally well in the market. Whether or not the next Nintendo console launches with just one SKU or multiple editions, at various price points, remains to be seen.

In terms of the prediction about game costs rising to $70, that wouldn't be very surprising. After all, Nintendo already charged $70 for Tears of the Kingdom, and it was a sales juggernaut at that price point. Nintendo said that was a one-off for Switch game prices, but charging $70 for Switch 2 games would bring Nintendo in line with what companies like Microsoft and Sony, as well as a variety of third-party publishers, charge for their leading titles.

Switch 2 News

Nintendo's previous consoles had their own account systems and players had to create new accounts for subsequent hardware launches. But the new overarching Nintendo Account changes this, and this could help ease the transition to the next Nintendo console.

It "allows us to communicate with our players if and when we make a transition to a new platform, to help ease that process or transition," Nintendo's Doug Bowser said.

"Our goal is to minimize the dip you typically see in the last year of one cycle and the beginning of another," he added. "I can't speak to the possible features of a new platform, but the Nintendo Account is a strong basis for having that communication as we make the transition."

Nintendo's CEO, Shuntaro Furukawa, said in 2023 that the next Nintendo console will use the same Nintendo Account system as the Switch, so hearing Bowser suggest something similar is no big surprise.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Yijia Zhai of Macquarie Group Ltd. said the next Nintendo console is not going to be able to match the success of the Switch.

"We do not think the new console will be as successful as the Switch, and see potential profit-taking after the announcement," Zhai said, further noting that Macquarie had downgraded Nintendo's stock analysis to "neutral."

Goldman Sachs analyst Minami Munakata, meanwhile, said the next Nintendo hardware likely won't increase the total addressable market for Nintendo. However, the firm isn't married to that idea and says its forecast could change if the system "turns out to be new concept hardware rather than a successor along the same lines as the Nintendo Switch."

A console not being as successful as the last one might not tell the whole story and isn't necessarily totally bad news for Nintendo. The Switch, of course, performed exceptionally well in terms of hardware and software sales. And that success is all the more apparent following the dismal performance of the Wii U.

Nintendo has provided no indication as to when it might announce new hardware, but some have predicted an announcement could be tied to Nintendo's fiscal calendar. Nintendo's new financial year begins on April 1, so some are expecting an announcement just before then to help pump the stock price and generate momentum heading into the next quarter. Nintendo's share price recently reached a record high, and some are expecting even stronger results ahead if Nintendo does in fact announce new hardware soon.

Nintendo says it is also being "somewhat ambitious" with its hardware sales forecast for the current financial year and it plans to implement various initiatives to sell the forecasted number of Nintendo Switch consoles and games. Part of this strategy also reveals why Nintendo took so long to confirm the Switch 2, as it was concerned that the announcement could negatively impact sales of available Switch consoles.

"We do not think the announcement of the successor to Nintendo Switch and future related communications will have zero impact on Nintendo Switch sales," Furukawa said. "However, we hope to maximize sales this fiscal year by maintaining a good balance between new demand and demand for multiple systems."

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