The Nintendo Switch is an amazing console that allows gamers to play great Switch games both at home and on-the-go like never before, but it isn’t perfect, and we bet that the Nintendo Switch 2 is being quietly developed behind closed doors at Nintendo HQ.
While we’re still some time away from the announcement and subsequent release of the Nintendo Switch 2, there are already whispers online about a new console in the works.
Here, we discuss all there is to know about the Nintendo Switch 2 including a possible release date window, the latest rumours and what we’d like to see from the next-gen console.
When will the Nintendo Switch 2 be released?
We’re still some time away from the release of the next-generation Nintendo Switch, but that doesn’t stop us from speculating as to when we might see it. For the future, we must look to the past; in this case, the gap between the launch of the Wii U and Nintendo Switch. The former was released in 2012, while the latter was released in 2017, putting a five-year gap between the two consoles.
If we apply the same timeframe to the Nintendo Switch, it looks like the Nintendo Switch 2 will be released in 2022. However, you may not need to wait that long for an upgraded Nintendo Switch. A report from Wall Street Journal suggests that Nintendo is planning to launch a new console in 2019 - more on that below.
Nintendo Switch 2 rumours and leaks
Sadly, there’s not much on the rumour front, suggesting that the Nintendo Switch 2 is still in the early days of development. That’s not to say there’s nothing pointing towards the release of a new console though.
Switchbrew hackers dug into the 5.0 firmware update that was pushed to Nintendo Switch consoles in March 2018, and found something interesting; references to technology not included in the current console.
In the 5.0 firmware, references to a new T214 chip (which, as the name suggests, is a small improvement on the current T210 chipset) were discovered alongside references to an updated PCB (Print Circuit Board) and upgraded RAM, 8GB up from the current 4GB. While many would assume it was in reference to the recently announced Switch Lite, other reports suggest otherwise.
A report from the Wall Street Journal claims Nintendo is set to release an updated console in 2019. According to "suppliers and others with direct knowledge of the [company's] plan", the new console will feature an upgraded LCD display, new software functionality and undisclosed "performance updates". That doesn't sound like the handheld-only Switch Lite, does it?
While this may sound like the Nintendo Switch 2, the report claims that the first-gen JoyCons will be supported, suggesting that it won't be a radical redesign. We imagine it'll be a mid-generation upgrade that'll provide a high-end experience, like the Xbox One S and 4K Xbox One X.
Nintendo is looking at next-gen designs though. As picked up by Polygon, Nintendo has recently filed for an interesting Joy-Con-related patent in Japan, and it looks like it'll tackle a pressure point of the current Switch. That pressure point is comfort over long periods in handheld mode, and hardcore Switch gamers will know what we're talking about here.
Nintendo seems to be aware of the issue, and looks to fix it with upgraded, bendy Joy-Cons. As seen in the below image from the patent, the new top third of each Joy-Con can bend, which should improve ergonomics over long periods of play. Of course, this isn't confirmation that these updated Joy-Cons will ever hit the market, but it's good to see Nintendo actively working on improvements.
What we want to see from the Nintendo Switch 2
There may not be much information online about the Nintendo Switch 2, but that hasn’t stopped us from thinking about what we’d want to see from the next-gen console. After more than a year with the first-gen console, here are the biggest changes that we’d like to see in the Nintendo Switch 2.
Higher resolution display
One of the questionable features of the Nintendo Switch is the 720p display; sure, the console can output in full 1080p HD when connected to a TV, but in a day and age where there are 4K smartphones on the market, surely Nintendo could’ve bumped it up to a 1080p display?
With that being said, we’d love for the Nintendo Switch 2 to come with a 1080p display to really showcase how amazing games like Zelda: BOTW and Super Mario Odyssey look when playing on-the-go – one of the highlights of the portable console.
We understand that there is a balance between battery life and display quality, which leads us to our next point…
Better battery life
The battery life on the Nintendo Switch isn’t bad by any means, especially when compared to gaming laptops, but it could always be better. There’s a plethora of great Nintendo Switch powerbanks and handy accessories that’ll extend the battery life of the console, but these come at a cost; they’re heavy and bulky, and if they don’t attach directly to the console, it’s another accessory to carry around.
With a predicted 2022 release date, that gives Nintendo plenty of time to research new battery tech and optimise the software to provide decent on-the-go battery life. Are we being too greedy by asking for 10 hours of play on a single charge? We don’t think so.
Oh, and we’d love to see the introduction of fast-charge technology to speed up the recharge time and allow forgetful gamers to give the console a quick top-up before heading out.
Larger on-device storage
The Nintendo Switch comes with 4GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD card. That’s enough for one, or maybe two Switch games at a push, and is far from the 500GB and 1TB capacities offered by the PS4 and Xbox One.
We’d love to see more storage available on the Switch 2 – maybe not as much as 1TB, but 128- or even 256GB at a push. This would allow gamers to store a large library of games without having to invest in a microSD card, which is essentially required with the first-gen Switch.
With storage prices dropping every day, we don’t see this as much of an ask, especially by the time the console appears in a few years’ time.
As well as larger storage, we’d like to see a big improvement in terms of graphical output. The main drawback of the Nintendo Switch is that it isn’t powerful enough to handle some of the biggest, best games available – and those that do make it to the console usually appear later than on other platforms. We imagine this in part due to the time it takes to properly optimise the game for the relatively low-powered console.
A bump in graphical power would bring more high-end games to the console, speed up Switch releases and generally make the games look better, making it more attractive to a larger audience. Who doesn’t want that?