The next Nintendo Switch console may not be the new and improved version that many are clamoring for, but rather a shrinking or condensing of the current platform. That’s the latest from Japanese news outlet Nikkei (opens in new tab), translated via Nintendo Everything (opens in new tab).
The outlet reports, citing sources both from hardware partners and game developers, that the console will be both ‘miniaturized’ to emphasize ‘portability’ and will “cut features” to become more affordable.
It’s unknown specifically which features Nintendo plans to cut from this version of the Switch console, but there’s incentive for the company to make such a move. While just about everything is on the up for Nintendo financially, it's technically well short of its original goal of 20 million consoles sold in the fiscal year 2018 with a recent recasting down to 17 million.
A more financially approachable console would certainly help drive more sales, given the console’s popularity may be at odds a bit with its relatively un-Nintendo price.
What does a stripped-down Switch look like?
Sadly, with a cheaper Switch comes a Switch that’s thinner on the bone. Though Nikkei’s source have been quiet on the details, there are a few more obvious places where Nintendo can cut some fat.
Nintendo could end up axing the docking features for this version, if it’s managed to integrate the display inputs into the USB-C interface and is willing to take the performance hit to a 720p maximum resolution. (The Nintendo Switch dock allows the console extra headroom to run games at 1080p resolution.)
Of course, this feature could get stripped altogether regardless, though that would seriously betray the spirit of the console without some sort of spin-off rebranding.
The already-sparse internal memory (32GB) would be unlikely to get much of an upgrade for a cheaper model too – though there are a fair few Nintendo Switch SD cards to help out.
Most other features, including wireless communication, are pretty essential to the console, so here’s to hoping Nintendo wouldn’t need to slash off much more. But, if Nintendo was able to make the console more kid-friendly in terms of ruggedization as well, this Nintendo Switch version could be a hit.
Better Nintendo Switch Online for dedicated fans
Within the same report, Nikkei has reported on a related rumor that Nintendo wants to launch an enhanced and pricier version of is Nintendo Switch Online service for “game enthusiasts willing to pay more,” Nintendo Everything translates.
However, this issue of price in the translation has been disputed online (opens in new tab), according to Ars Technica (opens in new tab), specifically about whether the new and improved service will cost more or just become available as an update.
Regardless, it’s unknown what Nintendo may think its hardcore fans need from the Switch Online service. Of course, we’re here to say “voice chat within the damn console, please?”
- These are the best Nintendo Switch games right now