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Nintendo confirms the Switch 2 will be unveiled later this year

Nintendo has finally confirmed the console’s existence, but it won’t be revealed at Nintendo Direct in June

Alex Lee
Friday 17 May 2024 13:28
The Nintendo Switch 2 could be as powerful as an Xbox Series S
The Nintendo Switch 2 could be as powerful as an Xbox Series S (The Independent )

Rumours about the launch of a new Nintendo Switch 2 have been swirling for years. Tipsters first thought it would launch in 2021, but that turned out to be the Nintendo Switch OLED. Now, we finally have confirmation from the gaming giant of the console’s existence, and it’s set to be unveiled this fiscal year.

Earlier this month, Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce the news. “It will have been over nine years since we announced the existence of Nintendo Switch back in March 2015,” he wrote on the platform. “We will make an announcement about the successor to the Nintendo Switch  within this fiscal year.”

Despite being seven years old (practically elderly in the world of video games), Nintendo’s family-friendly console is still incredibly popular. In its latest earnings report, the company forecasts it will sell 13.5 million consoles in the current financial year.

Originally rumoured to release this year, Nintendo reportedly pushed the console’s release date back to 2025 to focus on making stronger first-party titles and avoid similar console shortages seen with the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

So, what can we expect to see with the Nintendo Switch 2? We’ve taken a dive through the green warp pipe, and have rounded up all the Nintendo Switch 2 rumours currently swirling in the ether, including details on price, features, specs and more.

Nintendo Switch 2 release date: When could the console launch?

The moment the Nintendo Switch came out in 2017, leakers were already discussing a second machine. For ages, many leakers thought Nintendo would release a new Switch console in 2021. Called the Nintendo Switch Pro, it would have upgraded hardware.

Nintendo did announce a new console that year, but it wasn’t the Switch Pro. On 6 July 2021, Nintendo unveiled the revised Switch OLED console, a modest upgrade over the OG model, with a slightly larger OLED display. This wasn’t the Switch Pro we’d hoped for.

So, what about the Switch 2? While rumours first suggested that it could be released in late 2024, the latest now suggests it will be released in 2025.

Several reports throughout 2023 suggested Nintendo was getting ready to launch the Nintendo Switch 2 in late 2024. On 31 July 2023, Video Games Chronicle (VGC) issued a report claiming the Nintendo Switch 2 would be released in the second half of 2024 and that sources had informed the publication that development kits of the console were “now with key partner studios”, in an effort to “ensure it has ample stock available on day one and to avoid the kind of shortages seen with PlayStation 5 and Xbox series X/S”.

According to Eurogamer, Nintendo demoed the Switch 2 at Gamescon in August 2023. In his report, Eurogamer editor Tom Phillips said, while reports have pinned a Switch 2 release to the latter half of 2024, “I understand Nintendo is keen to launch the system sooner if possible”.

During Nintendo’s earnings call in May 2023, Furukawa admitted that sales of the Switch were flagging, adding to a mountain of evidence hinting that the follow-up console would be released in 2024. But Nintendo’s plans appeared to change in early February.

When the company announced its 2023 figures in February this year, Furukawa reportedly said the current Nintendo Switch would remain the company’s “main business” coming into 2024, and declined to comment on new hardware plans.

Later that month, a wave of new reports from Eurogamer, Bloomberg and VGC stated Nintendo had decided to push back the release date of the Switch 2 to early 2025. According to VGC, third-party game developers were briefed on an “internal delay” in the launch of Nintendo’s next-gen console, pushing it back to the first quarter of 2025.

One of VGC’s sources suggested the console had been delayed “so Nintendo could prepare stronger first-party software for the console”. The outlet suggested it was possible the Switch 2 would now follow a similar timeline to the original Switch, which was released in March 2017, and announced the previous year.

That is now very likely. In May 2024, Furukawa announced that the Nintendo Switch’s successor would be announced this fiscal year. While it will unveil new Nintendo Switch games at an event in June, the event will not contain any news on the Switch 2.

Nintendo Switch 2 specs and features rumours

Rumours about the Nintendo Switch 2’s specs and features are gathering speed. Here’s what we’ve seen so far.

There was some commotion in late 2021, a month before the launch of the Switch OLED when Bloomberg released a report stating a number of developers were in possession of a 4K Switch kit. Nintendo swiftly denied these rumours, stating it had no plans for any new console besides the Switch OLED.

The conspiracy theorist side of us questions whether Nintendo wanted to quell rumours so it wouldn’t impact sales of the Switch OLED, but that’s just conjecture on our part.    

The Nintendo Switch currently uses Nvidia’s (now very old) Tegra X1 chip, which features a 256-core Maxwell GPU. The rumours so far suggest Nintendo will be sticking with Nvidia for the Nintendo Switch 2, despite stiff competition from AMD, which provided the chip for Valve’s powerful Steam Deck.

There was a big Nvidia data leak in March 2022, and data miners found files referencing “NVN2”. NVN is the Nintendo Switch’s graphics API. At the time, “NVN2” hinted at a second-generation version for the rumoured Switch Pro.

The files were from 2019, providing credence to the theory that the Switch Pro was in active development but was axed, as suggested by Digital Foundry.  

In September 2022, an Nvidia employee expanded on the idea that the Nintendo Switch 2 would make use of a new Nvidia Tegra chip, specifically the Tegra T239 – a previously unconfirmed circuit that older rumours suggested the Switch 2 would use.

Nvidia’s sources once again backed up these claims in late February 2024. Games leaker Moore’s Law is Dead stated in a YouTube video that the leak from Digital Foundry about the T239 processor is an “almost entirely correct summary” of the Nintendo Switch 2. The insider claims that the T239 has an Ampere GPU architecture and uses Samsung's 8nm process node with 8GB, 12GB or 16GB of 128-bit LPDDR5 memory. If correct, Moore’s Law is Dead suggests that the Switch 2 could be as powerful as the Xbox Series S, and more powerful than the Steam Deck.

In July 2023, VGC released a report stating the Switch 2 development kits were now in the hands of Nintendo’s biggest studios. The publication claimed that, according to multiple people with knowledge of the next-generation console’s plans, it “would be able to be used in portable mode, similar to the Nintendo Switch”.

While, at the time, two of VGC’s sources also claimed the Nintendo Switch 2 would have an LCD display instead of an OLED panel, Nintendo and Samsung were reportedly in talks over the supply of OLED displays. The rumour came courtesy of South Korean news site ChosenBiz.

Both statements could actually be true. Insider SoldierDelter, who leaked details about the new Rise of the Ronin game, stated in its Discord leak that the Switch 2 could come in a standard edition and a digital edition. Though the leaker didn’t mention anything about an OLED display, Nintendo could theoretically save the OLED display for the standard edition and the LCD display for the digital edition.

Read more: Where to buy the PlayStation Portal

As well as rumours of the release date and display, VGC stated the Nintendo Switch 2 would have a physical cartridge slot, like the original model. Its sources did not provide details on backwards compatibility, however.

While there has been no word on 4K support, a 2021 patent filed by Nintendo suggested it was working on 4K upscaling. VGC added to this rumour in September when its sources were shown the Nintendo Switch 2 at Gamescon. According to the publication: “One Switch 2 demo is understood to have been an improved version of the Switch launch title Zelda: Breath of the Wild, running at a higher framerate and resolution than the original game.”

VGC’s source was also shown The Matrix Awakens running on the machine, which was used as an Unreal Engine test demo for the PS5 and Xbox series X. “The demo is said to have been running using Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology, with advanced ray tracing enabled and visuals comparable to Sony’s and Microsoft’s current-gen consoles,” the report reads.

In late January 2024, YouTuber games industry leaker RedGamingTech detailed a spec sheet, cobbled together from the leaker’s own sources, as well as from Korean publication United Daily News regarding the Nintendo Switch 2. What he revealed was an extremely underpowered device. The YouTuber claimed the Switch 2 would feature an eight-core Cortex-A78AE processor, 8GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, as well as 10 streaming multiprocessors. RedGamingTech also claimed the Switch 2’s visuals would be similar to the PS4.

The leaker also suggested the Switch 2 will be backwards compatible with current Nintendo Switch games and accessories, and that it will feature a 7in OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, though this does contradict the reports above suggesting the Switch 2 will boast an LCD panel.

RedGamingTech also alluded to the idea of a Nintendo Switch 2 Pro, though the leaker was less certain of this rumour. He claimed the pro-level device could feature 12GB of RAM and 12 streaming multiprocessors. That still wouldn’t help it compete with the powerhouses that are the PS5 and Xbox series X, however.

Nintendo Switch 2 price rumours: How much could it cost?         

The Nintendo Switch 2 could be significantly more expensive than the original Nintendo Switch’s launch price, according to leaker Zippo and its “numerous sources” at Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch 2 will cost $399, which works out to about £314. That’s roughly the same price as the Nintendo Switch OLED, which cost £309 at launch.

“It’s the price that works in terms of the power of their new system, it’s the price that works for them making a decent profit, and it’s the price that they think works for the audience that they’re trying to maintain. No more. No less,” the source told Zippo in its report.

As well as providing information about potential release dates and two different models of Switch 2, SoldierDelta offered up prices for both machines, though stated the prices could change. According to the leaker, the digital edition Nintendo Switch 2 could cost $400 (£317, which lines up with Zippo’s report), and the standard edition could cost $449 (£356).

In February 2024, YouTuber Moore’s Law is Dead speculated on the price of the Nintendo Switch 2, using the rumoured tech specs as a baseline. According to the insider, a graphics card with similar specs in terms of performance is the RTX 2050. Lenovo laptops featuring the RTX 2050 and 12GB of RAM have a starting price of $499.99 (£394). With that in mind, the insider speculates that the Switch 2 could cost between $349 and $499.

The best Nintendo Switch deals

Nintendo Switch OLED and select game: Was £344.98, now £329.99,

(Smyths Toys )

Smyths Toys currently has a bundle deal on the Nintendo Switch OLED, which bags you the console and a game for less. You can choose from either Princess Peach Showtime, Super Mario Bros. WonderPikmin 4Kirby’s Return to Dreamland DeluxeMario Kart 8 DeluxeAnimal Crossing: New Horizons, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, or Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. The first four games are new for 2023 and 2024, while the last four are staples that every Switch gamer needs in their arsenal. You’ll pay just £15 for the game instead of £40.

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