According to a new round of speculation, there’s some suspicion that gaming giant Nintendo will be releasing a new variant of the Nintendo Switch console. A report on Japanese website Nikkei (and translated by NintendoEverything) has kicked off speculation that Nintendo is looking to get ahead of the next generation of consoles by their competitors, such as Sony and Microsoft, by potentially releasing a new version of the Switch console to increase their market share.
The general idea here is that Nintendo could push out an updated hardware variant similar to the Xbox One S, offering a similar level of gaming power to the base console, at a cheaper price.
The report from official stock exchange news outlet Nikkei.com (helpfully translated by Nintendo Everything) cites a combination of hardware partners and game developers who all suggest the next Switch model will be “miniaturized.” The resulting system will reportedly emphasize “portability” and “playing outside,” and it will “cut features” to bring the retail price down.
Of course, there’s no official confirmation of such rumors from Nintendo, and there’s nothing more than speculation driving the motivation for such a move. After all, the Switch is already extremely affordable, user-friendly and portable, so it’s hard to see what Nintendo could strip or improve in order to reduce the price. Estimations of the hardware build costs put the manufacturing cost for the console roughly on par with the $299 retail sticker price.
It’s possible that the Joy-Cons could change or be cut down in size. There’s also the potential for a smaller or more energy-efficient screen, which would reduce power needs and allow for a cheaper processor setup to be used. Of course, it’s impossible to tell at this early stage.
In addition, Nintendo has had a really strong year, with a great 2018 holiday sales season, and the Switch has managed to shift more than 30 million units over its lifetime. So if Nintendo is in fact planning to launch a new console version, I’d be really excited to see what changes.