Nintendo Switch is rumored to be getting a “New Nintendo Switch” during the second half of 2019. Over the previous month there have been a number of rumors surrounding this device, with yesterday seeing a leak from The Wall Street Journal of Japan detail what sounds just like a hardware revision. Some fans are upset that Switch will be something like a smartphone which sees a new and improved version release every couple of years, which we reported yesterday.
However, insider sources have revealed that a completely different Nintendo Switch has been in development since before the original Switch released, and is designed to be a more powerful machine capable of getting ports of PlayStation 4’s top 2019 games as well as ports of PlayStation 5 games when the next-gen system releases from Sony in 2020. This is, of course, merely a rumor – but a ton of information has come alongside this one adding context and specs expected to be announced from Nintendo some time during January 2019 and released later that year.
In our last article on this subject we delved into the information provided from Marcus Sellars via ReviewTechUSA as well as The Wall Street Journal of Japan leaks. However, today’s information comes from a completely new source who is an anonymous insider at a big gaming company and has, in the past, provided reliable information. ReviewTechUSA is the medium through which this information comes once again, who instructs us that as always we should take rumors with a grain of salt. Even if the information here is real Nintendo is listening to market reactions of investors as well as fans and could change their plans or release dates at any time.
That being said, it seems that Nintendo released the original Switch as a beginning to an ongoing series of hardware releases intended to re-ignite their position in the games industry. This New Nintendo Switch model (we don’t know what it will be named when it’s released) has been in development alongside the Nintendo Switch but the cost of parts and technical limitations has kept Nintendo from producing it until now.
Among the avalanche of information presented in this new rumor piece is a hint that another company could release a device in the next couple of years that would make the Switch look less appealing. While wild rumors are already circulating for months now that the PlayStation 5 could contain a companion device that allows a next-gen edition of Remote Play for its games while on the go, we have no idea if that’s true and no evidence to back it up yet other than the millions of patents companies like Sony file all the time saying that of course they *could* do it if they really wanted to.
It would make sense then when you take in mind that Switch is already starting to lose momentum in its wave of AAA third party ports and that some launch units were hackable via an exploit discovered in the Tegra X1 chipset. A more powerful Switch would allow more third party support. The rumor that Nintendo will make their first party games and many AA or indie games available to all Switch units still stands. But when PlayStation 5 is around and games are said to be running at 60 frames per second in 4K resolution the original Nintendo Switch won’t be able to run them at all. This new device is meant to take a game like that and run it at at least 30 frames per second or higher in 1080P resolution, allowing gamers to have a portable version of this game at an affordable rate (since we can assume Sony’s hardware would cost a lot more if they even release a companion device at all).
Nintendo Switch is selling well. It often outsells PlayStation and Xbox on a week by week basis, especially in Japan which favors handhelds over home console technology. However, the Switch platform currently sits at 20.4 million devices with PlayStation 4 rising above 82.7 million and expected to crack 100 million units soon. It could even dethrone the PlayStation 2 as the highest selling console of all time before it’s production run ends. PlayStation 5 is certainly coming by 2021 and the landscape is such that it now appears it will already be in our hands by Winter 2020.
Nintendo and Microsoft have a lot of catching up to do. Both the Xbox ONE and Nintendo Switch combined still equal to barely more than half of the units PS4 has sold. That’s a lot of catching up to do. And Sony isn’t waiting around for them, it’s already been deep in development of PlayStation 5 games with third parties for over a year now making sure that when they launch next-gen they’ll have a strong lineup of titles ready, and not just from their own studios. This is why you see things like Cross-Play and Nintendo playing nice with Microsoft on social media. They are scrambling to come up with new and creative reasons to make their platforms harder to be ignored by gamers who are already well satisfied with PS4.
Here are some highlights on the new rumored specs:
- Chipset: A Custom SOC Built for New Nintendo Switch
- Internal Storage: 256 – 512 GB
- Price: $399 USD (around $516 CAD, $566 AUD, or €346 EUR)
- Release Date: Q3 2019
- Third Party Support with Resident Evil 2 Remake as a headliner
The rumored new Switch is said to be similar in performance to the base model PS4 but does not match its processing power for TFlops mainly due to battery concerns. Once again, because of the computer architecture being used by PlayStation and Xbox consoles, the new Nintendo Switch will be able to run the exact same games at lower settings. This means it will be very easy for developers to port their games to the new Switch. So a lot of third party games will show up.
Resident Evil 2 Remake seems to be one third party title that Nintendo is going after for this new hardware in particular, and is almost guaranteed to be there. If Sony does not make a portable companion device to the PlayStation 5 then this new Switch will be the only way to play that game on the go. And if they do, this new Switch will be on the market way before that device, possibly years ahead of it.
Finally, we got the rumored tip off that Nintendo will reveal this new hardware in January 2019 and that they are the ones who leaked information through The Wall Street Journal of Japan in order to keep investors aware of their future plans while gamers simply ignore it as a rumor, therefore not affecting their Holiday 2018 sales too badly.
A quote from Nintendo is also presented as a reminder that Nintendo has already hinted at the future of their plans to produce family friendly games while third parties cover other genres, as well as their fears that other companies will release new and interesting game consoles!
“Nintendo’s games are focused on the family demographic. In the future, different sorts of genres will be covered by third-parties, which will help expand the system’s user base. Other companies may also be able to release game consoles that are more interesting, so if Nintendo doesn’t think of new ways to play, the momentum could come to a halt right away.” – Tatsumi Kimishima (Former Nintendo President)
Many fans have said that Nintendo wouldn’t do something like this simply because they have been slow to adopt new hardware in the past and were successful enough with performance lagging behind their competitors. However, that was before the financial failure of the Wii U and the original failure of the 3DS which led to executives giving themselves pay cuts, bowing apologies in public, and then turning the 3DS back around into a success with a price drop from $249 to $179 and a lot of great games. Not to mention, they have a new President now (Shuntaro Furukawa) and clearly a new way of doing things – as seen with Nintendo Switch (a contracted system designed with NVIDIA).
The video game console industry is becoming more similar to the PC and smartphone industries. Imagine that everyone can get most of the games released to run on their hardware. But just like with PC or smartphones, a better device has some games it can run that older devices cannot run. It doesn’t mean that the old devices have been abandoned. It’s the best of both worlds. Gamers who want the latest and greatest have the ability to upgrade their hardware much more often than in the past, but gamers who wish to get the most longevity out of their hardware will be able to keep using their older devices and still get to play most games, some of them at lower performance settings.
[Fan Art by Timmy_The_Collector on Instagram]