Nintendo Switch sequel speculation has hit a fever pitch despite just how little information there is about the long-expected update to Nintendo’s most popular console ever created. However, in recent months, the ocean of disconnected rumors has started to coagulate into something that could be considered more than a rumor. At this point, all hints and insider talk have indicated the Switch 2 will arrive this year. How and in what state? Well, that’s where things get a little more complicated.
Will the Switch 2 Be More Powerful Than the First Switch?
There’s little to say about how powerful the next Switch will be, but we do have some idea what kind of display it will have. Some of the most concrete reports from industry analysts noted that the Nintendo Switch sequel will have an 8-inch LCD. Compare this to the regular 6.2-inch Switch LCD screen, which is a significant size bump. However, a few fans are likely disappointed that the next console won’t maintain the Switch OLED’s beautiful, 7-inch organic display.
The LCD screen is likely a way to keep costs down, which served the first Switch well when buyers had to consider spending upwards of $500 on a new Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. Still, other handheld consoles like the Steam Deck OLED will have an edge on whatever comes out of Nintendo.
The next console could still interact much like the old one with the hybrid cartridge and online download system that served the first Switch so well, at least according to outlets like VGC and Eurogamer. It hints at backward compatibility, which would be a big incentive for current Switch owners.
However, that doesn’t mean the Switch 2 will be as cheap as its predecessor. Noted tipster Zippo has claimed it could cost around $400, which is $100 more than you can get the first Switch for. It’s still less than the two biggest, most expensive consoles, but it would now cost more than an Xbox Series S. Instead, it would cost as much as a baseline LCD Steam Deck.
When Will Nintendo Finally Reveal the Switch 2?
Noted gaming rumormonger Nate Drake of the ResetEra forums told Game & Talk podcast members that the Switch 2 would finally see the light of day during a new Nintendo Direct set to premiere sometime in March. It still seems loose, though Nate Drake has been grinding at the rumor mill for a
“Everything I’m hearing dating back to Gamecom of last year has indicated that something is happening in March,” he told the podcast.
Nintendo would likely announce this console alongside some new Nintendo Direct broadcast or game launch. Nintendo insider Jeff Grubb claimed the famed Japanese game company will hold its first Direct of the year this month, February 14. Drake also doubled down on that Direct date in a tweet. This makes sense, especially as Nintendo’s first Direct of 2023 also took place in February, but that doesn’t mean we’ll see a console announcement as early as this month. Drake said the next Direct would focus on third-party titles instead, opening up March to focus on Nintendo’s slate.
The Mario parent could also announce its console during a media push for its next big game release. The only first-party title on the docket is Princess Peach: Showtime!, which is set to launch on March 22. Though that’s a new title from a staple character in the company’s most lucrative franchise, it doesn’t have the entire global appeal of a new Mario platformer like last year’s Super Mario Bros. Wonder that would add any pomp to a new console reveal or–hell–even a teaser.
When is the Switch Sequel Supposed to be released?
If Nintendo does opt for a first-quarter 2024 announcement, it would seem relatively early compared to the expected launch date. Nintendo previously made it plain that the Switch 2 wouldn’t debut in 2023. However, the company had nothing to say about the upcoming console in its latest quarterly financial report released this past Wednesday. Instead, the company noted how hardware sales have decreased by about 8% yearly. This was despite how the Switch has become the best-selling console of all time in its seven-year lifespan, with a total of 139.36 million units sold as of the end of last year.
Most rumors have suggested the Switch sequel will see the light of day in the second half of this year. Those rumors go back to July of 2023, reinforced after news that some developers had a chance to demo the new console in several closed-door meetings at Gamescom.
This won’t necessarily have a Christmas release, as speculation has consistently noted that it could be available for pre-order in August or September. That could coincide with the rumored PlayStation 5 Pro model, which would be a big step up from the original PS5’s internals with ray tracing upgrades and better CPU and GPU specs.