Rumors of new Switch hardware have been floating around for a while, but it wasn’t until the Wall Street Journal put out a report on Nintendo’s future console plans that fans were able to start learning more specific information.
The report is packed with interesting details, but it also left enough unknowns that many fans have started to speculate about what other changes could be made. So with this in mind, we decided to round up 5 confirmed facts about the next Nintendo Switch and 5 things on our wish list for the new hardware.
10 Confirmed: Two New Models
According to the Wall Street Journal report, Nintendo is planning to release two different Switch models for their mid-generation hardware update. The first version would be a more powerful high-end Switch, and the second is intended to be a scaled-back cheaper model.
This is a smart strategy as it will allow Nintendo to have a product that appeals to gamers that want the best possible experience, while also phasing out the 3DS as the go-to Nintendo handheld in favor of the cheaper Switch.
9 Wish List: Bluetooth Headphones Support
Ideally, Bluetooth would be supported by both models, but the high-end Switch absolutely needs to add this feature. With more and more people buying wireless headphones, giving gamers more audio output options makes sense.
There are a handful of adapters that can be used to add Bluetooth functionality to your Switch, but Nintendo does not currently make any of them. Clearly, there is demand for this feature, and it could be an easy win for Nintendo to provide a built-in solution for their customers.
8 Confirmed: No Rumble For The Cheaper Model
While details on what cuts Nintendo will make to the cheaper Switch model are limited, the Wall Street Journal report does specifically state that vibration will be removed from this new edition.
This decision is supposedly based on the fact that “there wouldn’t be many games released using the full benefit of it.” If this is true, it would make sense for Nintendo to remove the feature and Switch owners would likely still be able to use controllers with rumble support that are purchased separately.
7 Wish List: Ethernet Port On The Dock
Since Nintendo Switch Online launched last September, Nintendo has been doing everything they can to promote their service as a real competitor to PS Plus and Xbox Live, but one of the main things in its way is that the Switch dock does not have an ethernet port.
Like the Switch’s lack of Bluetooth functionality, the issue can be resolved with an adapter, but this is a frustrating solution to a problem other major console manufacturers have already solved. If Nintendo truly wants their system to be an online console, they need to give their customers the option of using a wired connection.
6 Confirmed: The High-End Model Will Not Be As Powerful As PS4 Pro or Xbox One X
With the ability to play the Switch in handheld mode as a central selling point of the console, Nintendo being able to make the new high-end model as powerful as a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X was always going to be a challenge. Not only is this very hard to accomplish, but it would also cause the price of the new Switch to be much higher than most customers would be willing to pay.
Luckily for Nintendo, most people who would be interested in a more powerful Switch know this and are likely not expecting the console to be on par with a Pro or X system.
5 Wish List: 4K When The High-End Model Is Docked
While the Wall Street Journal report did say that the new high-end Switch will not be as powerful as the PS4 Pro or the Xbox One X, it did not rule out the possibility of the console being able to output games or video in 4K.
This would almost certainly be a docked mode only feature, but it would likely still be a big enough addition to convince people that it is worth upgrading from their original Switch. Additionally, giving the new model 4K capability would future-proof the new Switch until Nintendo’s next console comes out.
4 Confirmed: New Screens
Arguably the most significant hardware update mentioned in the Wall Street Journal report is that Sharp Corp. will be providing “liquid-crystal displays for the new Switch machines.” These will replace the 720p multi-touch capacitive touch screens that can currently be found in Nintendo’s console.
At this point, there are no specifics known regarding the possible resolution or size of these new displays, but it would not be surprising if there were differences between the screens used for the two models to control prices.
3 Wish List: 1080p When The High-End Model Is In Handheld Mode
If Nintendo is planning on selling their new high-end Switch as a real upgrade from the current model, they need to make sure the console’s resolution in handheld mode is improved. As previously stated, playing games in 4K while in handheld mode is likely out of the question but bumping the resolution up from 720p to 1080p would still be quite noticeable.
Just like making the system 4K capable in the dock, if Nintendo makes the undocked experience better on the new Switch, it would also help to increase the overall life of their console.
2 Confirmed: Nintendo Is Targeting A 2019 Release Date
For anyone wondering when they can expect to get their hands on Nintendo’s updated consoles, the Wall Street Journal report states that the new systems “are likely to be unveiled at the E3 videogame Expo in Los Angeles in June and possibly released a few months later.”
It is worth noting that Nintendo has since said there will not be any hardware announcements at E3 this year. This likely means that the company has had to push their schedule back a bit, but a late fall 2019 launch would still be plausible on a delayed timeline.
1 Wish List: $250 Price For Cheaper Model
Similarly to how customers will expect the high-end model to have noticeable improvements, people interested in the cheaper Switch will expect the console to be notably less expensive than the current $300 price point. This is why the most Nintendo should sell the console for is $250.
A $250 price is perfect because it is high enough to not undercut the 3DS at $200 while still being low enough to win over anyone who was waiting for a Switch price cut.