Nintendo released the $200, handheld-only Switch Lite in August, but the gaming giant is said to already be working on the next iteration of the console. Alleged leaks claim the company might finally deliver a high-end “Pro” model of the gaming system, but the rumored update might do away with one of the Switch’s most beloved features: its portability.
4chan user Xhyll claimed to be in contact with an unnamed, former Nintendo employee with insider knowledge of the company’s future hardware plans. Similar to the Switch Lite, the leaker said the Switch 2 will be a “partner” to the original console that is exclusively meant for home gaming.
While gamers might not be able to bring the next Switch on the go, the console will allegedly bring major improvements to computing and graphics, including 4K support. Xhyll mentioned that it’ll be compatible with all of the original Switch’s peripherals and games, so gamers won’t need to repurchase Joy-Cons or Pro Controllers and can play their favorite gamers at improved resolutions and frame rates.
A non-portable Switch Pro might come as a disappointment to Nintendo fans who primarily enjoy playing the console undocked. A 2017 Nintendo report concluded that handheld mode is slightly more popular than TV play, though a majority of gamers alternate between the two.
The rumored Switch 2 might be a way to target hardcore gamers who want improved performance from the console for their 4K TVs. It would essentially be the polar opposite of the Switch Lite, which is meant for solely handheld gamers, and it could hit stores around the same time the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett are expected to drop.
When is the Nintendo Switch 2 release date?
Xhyll claims that Nintendo is aiming for a worldwide January 2021 release. That timeline is slightly unorthodox when looking back at Nintendo’s past release dates, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
The Nintendo GameCube, Wii, and WiiU were all released in November, which is a typical sales strategy to capitalize on the holiday gift craze. But Nintendo broke that tradition with the Switch by releasing it in March 2017.
An early 2021 release would be around the fourth anniversary of the original Switch. That said, even if these leaks are accurate, release dates are always subject to change and Nintendo has not officially announced any plans to release a Pro version of its hybrid console.
How much will the Nintendo Switch 2 cost?
The leaks go on to claim that the Switch 2 will cost $400 with “fluctuating variations depending on the market of sale and trade of the hardware.” This alleged price tag would fit neatly in Nintendo’s current Switch line up.
It would be $100 more expensive than the original and serve as a high-end variant for the console. If Xhyll’s price leak is accurate, gamers would have three Switch options at the following prices:
- Switch Lite (handheld-only): $200
- Switch (hybrid): $300
- Switch 2 (TV-only): $400
What specs could the Nintendo Switch 2 come with?
Xhyll also rattled off a highly detailed list of specs, which is a bit suspect given that the alleged release date is still more than a year away. A full list of specs isn’t typically available until the hardware is finalized.
The main takeaways here are 4K support, double the internal storage than the original, and four USB ports compared to one on the first Switch. This means Nintendo games will look more realistic than ever and users can download even more software without worrying about deleting others.
- Dimensions: 121mm x 202mm x 50.6mm
- Weight: 398g
- Connectors: 2 USB Type A ports (3.0), 2 USB Type-C ports, 2 HDMI ports, power supply socket
- CPU/GPU: NVIDIA Tegra Xavier processor (custom)
- System Memory: 64 GB solid-state drive
- Connectivity: Wireless LAN, Bluetooth 5.1
- Video Output: Standard 1920 x 1080 resolution, FullHD [60 fps], maximum Ultra HD and 4K resolution
- Audio output: Linear PCM 5.1 stereo support, and 7.1 surround
- Speakers: Stereo
- USB Ports: Type A (3.0), and Type-C
- Audio Socket: Stereo output
- Game Card Slot: Only for Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch 2 game cards
- Power Supply: AC 100 - 240 V, 50/60 HZ
If these leaks hold any weight, Nintendo could be looking to meet the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett head-on with its own home console. Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles are expected to hit shelves late in 2020, so the Switch 2 could arrive a month or two later. That means Nintendo fans could soon be playing iconic games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey at crisp 4K resolution.