Nintendo Switch 2 — rumors and everything we know so far
While far from official, the Nintendo Switch 2 rumors have started to smolder once again. They have yet to ignite into anything sound, but as the Nintendo Switch is nearly six years old and based on aging hardware, it’s likely that the Japanese gaming giant is working on a replacement console.
And that console is likely to be the Switch 2. While Nintendo tends to introduce wholly new consoles for home use that build upon the features and power of their successors. Or go for something completely new (see the N64 to GameCube years), it has been more iterative with its handheld machines. As such, we’d be rather confident that the next big games machine from Nintendo will be the Switch 2, even if that isn’t the given name.
We’re hoping to see big improvements in power, an OLED display as standard, and the ability to output in 4K to keep up with the best TVs you can buy right now.
So with that in mind, here’s what we think we know so far about the Nintendo Switch 2, as well as what we’d like to see.
Nintendo Switch 2 potential release date and price
Given a pair of recent rumors have popped up hinting at and teasing the existence of a Switch 2, we would cautiously suggest a second-generation Switch could arrive this year.
It would likely arrive sometime in the second half of 2023, unless by some stretch of the imagination, Nintendo decides to shadow-drop the Switch 2 alongside The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom‘s launch on May 12, which would make for a major launch title. But that could be wishful thinking.
As for price, the Nintendo Switch OLED comes in at $349 / £309 / AU$539. So we would hazard a guess and say a next-gen Switch would sit around that price point, especially if it does indeed make use of an OLED display.
Nintendo Switch 2 specs
We can expect Nintendo to stick with a system-on-a-chip from Nvidia, likely some next-generation take on the aged Tegra X1 chip found in the current Switch. We’d not be surprised if Nintendo got a custom chipset from Nvidia as well, given the success and scope of the Switch.
But advancements by AMD, as seen with the Valve Stream Deck, could put Team Red with an outside chance of providing the silicon for a next-generation Switch. But we’d still err on the side of Nvidia.
It would be difficult to guess at potential power or clock speeds. But we’d like to hope that Nintendo taps into enough CPU and GPU power to deliver a next-gen gaming experience.
There were murmurs of a potential co-processor chip to live in the dock of a Switch 2 or the once-rumored Nintendo Switch Pro. This extra chip would be used to boost the console’s power and video output when docked and connected to a 4K TV. Such a feature would be neat, but rumors around it have fallen quiet.
On the display side, we can see the Switch 2 going for an OLED panel, much like that of the Switch OLED. But hopefully, a boost in refresh rates would be good, say taking the 60Hz display and boosting it to 120Hz; as seen in the best phones. There are no rumors to support this, but we’ve got our fingers crossed.
Some rumors did circulate around a dual-screen display approach. But we’ve not heard them for a while and it would seem a little disruptive for Nintendo to try and go for a two-screen device once again after the Wii U was a flop.
Nintendo Switch 2 features
There’s precious little in the way of hints about Nintendo Switch 2’s features, but we can apply some educated guesswork.
Backward compatibility would surely be included, especially given the appetite we’ve seen for such capabilities on the PS5 and Xbox Series X; hopefully, running older Switch games on newer hardware would result in a performance boost and improved visuals.
And we’d hope the Switch 2 would work with existing Switch accessories like the Ring Fit Adventure and external controllers.
Speaking of which, if the Switch 2 sticks to the same control scheme as the Switch, we’d like to see it improve the Joy-Cons so they suffer less from potential stick drifting and have analog triggers for more precise control in the likes of racing games. Some tweaks to the ergonomics — if Nintendo does indeed stick with the Switch’s core design — would also be appreciated with the Switch 2.
And we’d like to see a boost in battery life, as the Switch tends to run out of juice in a handful of hours when running games like Breath of the Wild. A bigger battery would certainly help make it a more viable gaming machine for things like long international flights.
Nintendo Switch 2 outlook
As explained, it’s still early days on these Switch 2 rumors, with not a lot of hard and fast information floating around. Nintendo is famously tight-lipped about what it’s working on, so we can’t expect to see a myriad of leaks anytime soon.
But the time is arguably nigh for a new and more powerful Switch or overall Nintendo console. And the Nintendo Switch 2 could be the answer.
(Image credit: Nintendo)