Will Nintendo Switch It Up? Here’s What We Know About The Switch 2

The current-gun Nintendo Switch
The current-gun Nintendo Switch

As of March 2024, Nintendo has sold over 140 million Switch units worldwide. That figure makes it the company’s best-selling console, and the third-best of all time. So clearly there’s a keen appetite for a portable console, one that Nintendo is rumoured to build on with a Switch 2. With the original Switch launching way back in 2017, a successor is long overdue.

Eager fans have only received one minor update, an upgrade to an OLED screen in October 2021. Barring that, the internals of the device remained pretty much the same. That’s ancient in terms of modern technology. Given the rapid advancements in chips, screens, and of course AI, there’s a lot the Switch 2 can get to build on Nintendo’s success. The question remains – what will those upgrades be?

Answering that isn’t an easy question. So far, there have been a few leaks to give us a good picture of what exactly we can expect with the Switch 2. Nintendo could just give the device a minor upgrade again, but clearly, that won’t go far enough. It’s more than likely we will see a complete overhaul of the system, to better compete with Xbox and Playstation. Here’s a quick rundown of what the latest rumours are, and when we can expect the new Switch 2 to be launched.

The current Nintendo Switch lineup
The current Nintendo Switch lineup

What’s Nintendo Cooking?

Given that the iPhone and iPad now play AAA-rated games, Nintendo has increasing competition when it comes to performance. The current Switch is powered by a Nvidia Tegra X1 chip. As a result, the device is only capable of output at 720p in handheld mode and 1080p in TV mode. That alone is something worth addressing. According to one leaked spec sheet, the Switch 2 will likely feature an eight-core Cortex-A78AE processor, 10 streaming multiprocessors (SMs), 8GB of RAM, and just 64GB of eMMC storage. While that isn’t a major upgrade in any regard, it is a subtle enough one to give hardcore fans a slightly improved gaming experience. The one area where we can expect significant improvement – onboard storage. Nintendo is reportedly going to offer a 512GB variant, which would be a massive leap from the current 32GB and 64GB versions.

Another longshot rumour indicated that Nintendo might offer a co-processor housed within the docking unit, to boost gaming capabilities when playing on an external device. While this seems very unlikely, it would be a welcome upgrade for the hardcore gamers who love their 4K TV outputs. Speaking of displays, let’s hope Nintendo adds a 120Hz refresh rate. There’s nothing to indicate that this is coming, but given that most smartphones now offer this feature, it would be cruel not to on a gaming console. Whatever the refresh rate, it appears the company might be taking a step back with the Switch 2 displays. Rumours have indicated everything from mini-LED to OLED, and even LCD. It’s unclear which one the final product will get, but opting for LCD would be a major step back for Nintendo.

Overall, it appears as if the Switch 2 will be a woefully underpowered device that doesn’t really challenge Microsoft or Sony. Sadly it seems like the Switch 2 will be more of an iterative upgrade than a true next-gen console. In terms of features, the only relevant rumour indicates magnetically attaching Joy-Cons, which will be larger and feature more buttons. That would indeed be a welcome upgrade, but given the lack of processing capabilities, it seems like the only viable option. Nintendo appears to be shunning tech like virtual reality and artificial intelligence for a cheaper more reliable device.

That strategy may be good in a slowing economy, but only if Nintendo can also offer backward compatibility. The feature has become a key selling point for gamers and is now a core aspect of the PlayStation and Xbox experience. There are contradicting reports on this front, so again we will just have to wait and see if Nintendo disappoints or delights.

When is The Switch 2 Releasing?

This is another tough question to answer. In a post on X on May 7, 2024, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said “We will make an announcement about the successor to Nintendo Switch within this fiscal year.” That means we can expect an announcement before March 2025. That is indeed a long wait and nine years since the original Switch was announced.

It’s unclear why Nintendo is taking its time, especially with the current-gen Switch selling out like hotcakes, in 2024 with internals from the last decade. One report claims it could be to ensure the company has manufactured enough devices to meet demand, avoiding the chaos that Sony faced with the PlayStation 5. Another says it is to ensure the company wants to ensure its next-gen games are ready to be released at the time of launch. Reportedly, Nintendo is working on a new 3D Mario game that will act as the Switch 2’s flagship game.

Whatever the reason, hardcore gamers might not want to wait too long for the Switch 2. Unless the company can offer up a series of compelling games that are only compatible with the Switch’s successor, it seems unclear why one would opt for the Switch 2. After all, Nintendo has also got increasing competition from smartphones, where massive advancements in tech have meant they are nearly as capable gaming machines.


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