Console generations typically last for seven years or so and having been released in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch is fast approaching this magic number and speculation of a next-gen Switch 2 is ramping up in kind.
We've had many rumours, leaks and much speculation over the years of course, but the rumour mill is turning harder and faster than before.
Nintendo has remained mum as per and continues to release quarterly reports about the current Switch performance that Microsoft and Sony are no doubt green with envy reading over.
This is in no small part to games such as the terrific Tears of the Kingdom as well as titles such as Pikmin 4, Super Mario Bros Wonder, Super Mario RPG remake and the upcoming Princess Peach game which all demonstrate the Switch still has some serious legs yet.
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Bearing all this in mind, let's make like our favourite plumber and jump on down to see when we can expect the Nintendo Switch 2. Wahoo!
Will there be a Nintendo Switch 2? Our speculation
The Nintendo Switch 2 release date should not occur before 1st April 2024, according to what we've heard, but there's every chance it could launch before the end of 2024.
VGC reported via Bloomberg that Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said they don’t expect any hardware releases before the end of the fiscal year, 31st March 2024, so it might be a little too early for Nintendo to announce anything at their next Direct.
Nintendo has doubled down on this with the release of their latest sales figures that show while Switch sales are slowing down, they are still selling millions of them per quarter, as reported by Bloomberg.
Bloomberg reached out for a comment from Furukawa but stated that "Nintendo remained tight-lipped about any Switch successor plan, with Furukawa declining to comment beyond saying that the company is always researching new hardware and software".
The higher-ups in Nintendo have avoided answering the question when pushed for a release date entirely, and understandably so - they want to sell as many current Switch consoles before they announce a new version.
The Nintendo Switch OLED console only arrived on 8th October 2021, but alas, it was not the Pro - it doesn't have 4K support or a new processor. This was only a visual upgrade, as opposed to a whole new console idea, but Nintendo will want to push it as hard as they can.
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Latest Nintendo Switch 2 rumours and leaks
The latest Nintendo Switch 2 rumours and leaks are pointing towards the new Nintendo console potentially being a full new console and not a "Pro" version.
Eurogamer said that Nintendo secretly demoed the Switch 2 at Gamescom 2023 to a select few behind the scenes.
Eurogamer's report tells us that the lucky few partners of Nintendo got to see a demo of Zelda: Breath of the Wild running on the new console's "beefier target specs" and that development kits are "now in the hands of some key partners".
Expanding on Eurogamer's report, a Nate the Hate podcast (thanks Nintendo Life!) detailed that the Breath of the Wild tech demo was running at 4K 60fps and that "load times had been erased". This could be pointing towards SSD integration in the new Nintendo console.
It also claimed that the tech demo showcasing the targeted system specs of the Switch 2 is capable of running The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 demo at a similar level to PS5/Xbox Series X.
The console is said to be using DLSS 3.5, too, which could keep costs of the next-gen Nintendo machine down and performance levels up. Whatever the reality might be, it does seem like we're not too far from a Switch 2 reveal now.
How much will the Nintendo Switch 2 cost?
With no official release date, there's no confirmed price yet. With the OLED costing $349.99 and £309.99 in the UK, we'd say expect a price increase. The new model would have better hardware and performance and be seen as the premium product.
Bloomberg Intelligence predicted that the Nintendo Switch Pro could get closer to the $400 mark. "I still think Nintendo can drive strong demand even at $399.99," analyst Matthew Kanterman said. He's not the only one guessing that's the price point either. Watch this space should the console ever come to light.
Nintendo Switch 2 specs: How powerful will the next Nintendo console be?
There have been several reports on what to expect from the Nintendo Switch 2. Most push for support for 4K resolution (something the OLED model doesn't have), and a better battery is also expected.
One thing we know for sure is that the next Nintendo console, which could be the Switch Pro, will make use of the Nintendo Account.
Company president, Shuntaro Furukawa, explained that Nintendo plans "to make a smooth transition for customers from Nintendo Switch to the next-generation console by using the Nintendo Account" (thanks, Genki_JPN!).
Fingers crossed this means the list of retro games on Switch Online carry on over to the new console and continues to expand. GameCube vibes, anyone?
The current Switch has 32GB storage; the OLED 64GB. The battery life has already been improved on the Switch from 6.5 hours to 9 in the last update too. Could the Switch Pro perhaps get us to 10 hours?
OatmealDome, a known data-miner, found evidence of a new Switch dock that will support 4K visuals. That rumour seems to be backed up by Animal Crossing World, a fan-run website that spotted some recent Animal Crossing screenshots, posted by Nintendo, that appeared to be taken in 4K resolution.
4K could feasibly be possible by utilising Nvidia’s DLSS, using machine learning to upscale from a lower internal resolution to a UHD output. That is if Nintendo sticks with Nvidia - but they most likely will.
Powering this is said to be the Nvidia Tegra T239 processor which features the same technology found in the Nvidia 30-Series Ampere graphics cards according to Richard Leadbitter of Digital Foundry via reliable leaker kopite7kimi.
As Leadbitter lays out, this could be broadly similar to an underclocked Nvidia RTX 2050 GPU which can run games such as Control with ray-tracing at acceptable frame rates.
The aforementioned DLSS does much of the heavy lifting, but on a small display, image upscaling artefacts will be tricky to spot.
The new console will keep the dual-gaming function that the Switch is famous for, some rumours have said, allowing you to play games on your TV or in a handheld fashion. Rumours have also pointed towards the new console sticking with cartridges and being backwards compatible with the Switch.
The general assumption is that the Nintendo Switch Pro/Switch 2 will work better and faster than its predecessor, whichever mode you choose to play your games in. Some fans are hoping that extra-speedy SSD storage might be included, allowing the console to cut down dramatically on loading times.
Also seemingly on the cards is a fitness tracker, much like you get on your smartphones, and this would indicate that the hugely popular Ring Fit Adventure franchise will remain a top priority for Nintendo going forward - something that does not surprise us.
Bloomberg also reports that the new console will also have an LCD display at launch rather than the OLED display used by the Switch OLED, in handheld mode which could potentially result in a strange situation where the visuals of the next-gen Switch look muddy in handheld in comparison.
Fans are also hoping for greater performance speeds, improved battery life, and perhaps even improved functionality with Bluetooth.
Many fans, of course, would also hope to see the dreaded 'Joy-Con drift' problem eradicated by the Switch Pro. Hopefully, there'll be no such issue on the next console from Nintendo.
Should I wait to buy a Nintendo Switch 2?
Should you buy a Switch now or wait for the Switch 2/Pro? Well, that depends on how soon you want to start playing the best Nintendo Switch games that the console has to offer.
If the Switch 2 or Pro actually is in development, we think it will be some way off and we would be surprised to have it on the shelves before the second half of 2024. With that in mind, if you want to play some Nintendo games any time soon, you'd be better of buying a current-era Switch.
And there are great deals to be found on the Switch right now, so if you are itching to play Super Mario Odyssey or you can't hold out on playing the new Pokemon Snap, you may be better off just forking out for a current-gen Switch now.
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Nintendo Switch deals
Here are some of the deals we have found at the moment if you are debating going ahead and getting one - and if you love gaming, we highly recommend you do!
- Nintendo Switch Neon Console with Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury | £434 at Littlewoods
- Nintendo Switch Neon Console with Animal Crossing New Horizon & Mario Kart 8 Deluxe | £333 at Very
- Nintendo Switch Neon Console with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe | £279 from Currys