2019 was a banner year for Nintendo, with the Switch overtaking the Xbox One as the second-best selling console of the current generation and even outselling the Super NES as it closes in on 50 million units sold. Nintendo looks to maintain that momentum ahead of the release of Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. A new leak suggests the company may bring one of 2018’s biggest hits to its hybrid console this year: Rockstar’s outlaw Western epic, Red Dead Redemption 2.
According to Spanish-language gaming news site Nintenderos, a listing for a Switch version of Red Dead 2 has been spotted on the site of Hong Kong-based reseller Instant Gaming with a 2020 release date.
It’s not unheard of for third-party online resellers to make placeholders for games that don’t actually exist. But this isn’t the only evidence from the past few weeks to suggest a Red Dead 2 Switch port might actually be happening.
Back in December, Taiwan-based flash memory manufacturer Macronix announced plans to roll out higher-capacity products in 2020, which could allow Nintendo to finally put out bigger games on 64 GB cards by the second half of 2020.
These expanded-capacity cards may also hint at the upcoming launch of the long-rumored Nintendo Switch Pro. On January 2, analyst Serkan Toto told GamesIndustry.biz his predictions for the company’s 2020 plans:
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Nintendo will launch a ‘Switch Pro’ in 2020, my guess is at $399. More specifically, I predict 4K support, bigger cartridge sizes, and of course beefed-up components. I also think the device will launch after the summer holidays to counter the roll-out of the PS5 and next-gen Xbox later in the year - along with a first-party, system-seller game.”
Given what we know Macronix’s larger cartridge sizes rolling out “after the summer holidays,” Toto’s predictions make a lot of sense.
Back in June, ahead of the announcement of the Switch Lite, The Wall Street Journal reported that Nintendo had two new devices in production. Earlier in 2019, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that the gamesmaker’s plan for an updated “Pro” version of the console had been delayed. This may have been a result of a longer-than-expected wait for expanded cartridge capacities.
Red Dead 2’s stellar visuals would be a compelling argument for gamers to upgrade to the new, more powerful version of the Switch. But what might that “first-party system-seller” be? There’s good reason to suspect Nintendo will aim to repeat the initial success of the console by launching the Switch Pro with Breath of the Wild 2, which an established Nintendo leaker has claimed will come out in 2020. If Toto’s prediction about a summer hardware launch proves accurate, Rockstar’s cowboy epic could be a launch title or holiday release.
Despite widely reported visual compromises, the Witcher 3 port has demonstrated that there’s an audience of gamers who want to take massive, graphically intense open-world games on the go. Though neither Rockstar or Nintendo has made any official comment on a rumored Red Dead 2 Switch port, there’s some exciting hints we could see Arthur Morgan mosey on over to the hybrid console later this year.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC.