Rumors that Nintendo plans on releasing a smaller, cheaper version of the Nintendo Switch kicked off again today following a new report. This comes hours after Nintendo posted its financial report for its last quarter ending December 31, 2018.
Japanese news outlet Nikkei (link in Japanese) reports that Nintendo is planning to bring a cheaper, smaller version of the Nintendo Switch sometime in the 2019 fiscal year, or the period between April 2019 and March 2020. The report specifically mentions that this new Switch variant will be missing some features found in the original Switch so that the new version is more portable and "easy to carry around."
Similar reports of a new Switch model surfaced last year as well after The Wall Street Journal reported Nintendo could release a cheaper Switch model as early as Summer 2019. The new Switch hardware wouldn't be a Switch 2, but rather something similar to the many iterations the 3DS has undergone during its life cycle.
Nintendo's most recent financial earnings reported strong software sales bolstered by the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This helped drive hardware sales towards the end of the year, but it wasn't enough to help Nintendo hit its intended goal of 20 million sales by March 2019. Nintendo had to revise its forecast and now predicts it will sell 17 million units by the end of the fiscal year.
A revised Switch could keep the hardware competitive, offering customers a cheaper, more accessible version of the console. Also keep in mind that 3DS sales dropped 71 percent since last year according to Nintendo's latest financial earnings. A portable Switch could be Nintendo's answer to fill the 3DS-sized hole in its hardware lineup. 3DS franchises like Pokemon, Fire Emblem, and Animal Crossing are already in-development for the Switch as well.
If Nintendo does release a cheaper version of the Switch in 2019 there will be plenty of games to look forward to. Pokemon, Fire Emblem, and Animal Crossing are all slated to come out in 2019, and Metroid Prime 4 was recently restarted at Retro Studios.
Also check out our Super Smash Bros. Ultimate guide for continuing coverage on Nintendo's biggest new release.