Update: Sources close to Nintendo have told Eurogamer that they’ve heard similar things to the Wall Street Journal report. Supposedly, the decision is being made to mirror the 3DS family, which catered for kids with the 2DS and core gamers with the 3DS XL. Nintendo is “keen to recapture the 2DS value cost” and create a sturdier Switch for kids, lowering costs by removing certain features. The more powerful Switch will be comparable to the difference between the original 3DS and the New 3DS line. Original story follows below.
Original story: Two new models of the Nintendo Switch could be announced this summer, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The Wall Street Journal piece follows rumors back in January that Nintendo would release a smaller and cheaper Switch model before March 2020. The Journal says one new Switch model will be more powerful and will target core gamers. The article’s writer Takashi Mochizuki compares this model to the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, although he stresses the more powerful Switch still won’t match the specs of these two. The second model will be smaller and cheaper, and will reportedly lack the HD Rumble function present in the original Switch model.
The original Journal article’s comment section also contains a comment from someone who has reportedly seen the new Switch models Nintendo is planning to introduce. Supposedly, the second model has a “very surprising” shape, and consumers would be “wrong to think it looks like a portable console”. Exactly what this means, or what shape the cheaper Switch will take, we don’t yet know. The original rumor regarding a cheaper Switch said it would be “portable” and “easy to carry”. This could point towards any number of design decisions including a handheld-only Switch, non-removable controllers, and other possibilities.
With no official word from Nintendo on these new models, we’re still not sure when – or even if – they’ll be announced. If Nintendo is planning to introduce new Switch models then E3 2019 could be a good time for them to announce this. Nintendo doesn’t give traditional E3 press conferences anymore, but the company does do a major Nintendo Direct at the same time which fills a similar role so if any new Switch models are coming, that’s very probably how we’ll hear about them. We’ll have more news on this as we get it.