With Microsoft and Sony slated to release new consoles towards the end of the year, many are wondering if Nintendo has new hardware up its sleeve for 2020 as well. According to a recent report, a new Switch variant is slated to enter production by the end of Q1 2020 and is targeted for a mid-year release.
The new report from Digitimes, which requires a subscription to read, is slim on other details. Citing anonymous sources "from the related upstream supply chain," the new Switch model is said to feature an upgraded CPU and a magnesium alloy body. Takashi Mochizuki, reporter for The Wall Street Journal, tweeted a link to the new report along with a mention of his August 2019 report which stated that "Nintendo has ideas for further updates to the Switch lineup" besides the current base model and the Switch Lite.
Early last year, several reports and rumors suggested that Nintendo was working on a new model of the Switch, one that would be a comparable upgrade over the original 2017 model as the New 3DS was to the 3DS. Shortly after Nintendo announced the Switch Lite, the company revealed that a revision of the base Switch would be introduced at the same $299.99 USD price, gradually phasing out the model introduced at the Switch's launch in stores. The biggest improvement of the newer revision is its increased battery life, which lasts between 4.5 to 9 hours depending on the games being played.
USgamer has reached out to a Nintendo representative for comment, and did not receive a response prior to publication.
Industry analysts are split on whether it's likely that Nintendo will introduce a significant new version of the Switch within the next year. Last week, Dr. Serkan Toto of Kantan Games told our sister site GamesIndustry.biz he believes that "there is absolutely no doubt" Nintendo will release an upgraded Switch, predicting that it will support 4K, bigger cartridges, and feature improved internals. Both Daniel Ahmad of Niko Partners and Piers Harding-Rolls of IHS Markit Technology (also quoted in the GamesIndustry piece) are of the mind that a significant Switch upgrade isn't likely for 2020.
Meanwhile, the Switch and Switch Lite are performing quite well in terms of sales. Within less than two weeks of its launch, the Switch Lite sold close to 2 million units, and Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser says that sales of the Lite haven't cut into those of the base model. Additionally, over the Black Friday weekend, the Switch and Switch Lite sold a combined 830,000 units, marking the platform's best week of sales ever. Nintendo's next earnings release is scheduled for January 30, meaning we'll get our next update on how the Switch and Switch Lite are fairing—and perhaps some inkling of whether another variant will join them—in less than a month.