Report: Get Ready For A New Switch This Year

Report: Get Ready For A New Switch This Year
Image: Alex Walker (Kotaku)

While the heavily rumoured Switch Lite finally eventuated last year, the biggest bust of 2020 was talk about the long awaited Switch Pro, a more powerful model of the smash handheld console. But we might finally see that console later this year, according to reports out of Taiwan.

DigiTimes, a Taiwanese tech publication, reported Tuesday morning (behind a paywall) that the more powerful Switch will come with an improved CPU and a magnesium alloy chassis, rather than the plastic body currently used for the Switch and Switch Lite.

People have been expecting a more powerful Switch for a while. Back in March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Nintendo was working on two new models of the Switch, one of which ended up being the Switch Lite. The more powerful model, which never released in 2019, was meant to “have enhanced features” targeting “avid videogamers”.

Report: Nintendo Is Releasing Two New Switch Models

Expanding on a rumour they first published last year, The Wall Street Journal now reports that Nintendo is planning on releasing two new models of the Switch, and both may be out in 2019.

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Switch fans, however, did get an upgraded version of the original Switch last year with noticeably improved battery life. The console could still use a screen upgrade – the bezels are enormous and the brightness is woeful compared to most modern devices, which takes a toll on battery since you have to play with a higher brightness setting to make up for it. Better wireless range wouldn’t go astray sometimes either: I swear my JoyCons start to lag the second I move five feet away from the damn dock.

DigiTimes reckons “volume production” on the new Switch will begin at the end of the first quarter, allowing for a launch of the console around mid-2020, which knowing Nintendo, would probably be around E3.


  • I am so dirty about this.

    I bought one on boxing day because I was convinced that there wouldn’t be an update until at least Christmas.

    • Well nothing’s been announced by Nintendo yet, though I’m sure they have something in the pipeline. Even if it happens this year though why should it matter? It’s the same thing as holding off buying a new phone because next year’s model will be so much better.

      You can just enjoy the Switch like everyone else has been doing, then if this Pro model does get released, and you decide you want it, you have options such as selling the old unit.

      And if it does happen, will it even be worth it? I never upgraded to a PS4 Pro and kept my original PS4. I didn’t see any point in spending the extra money. In fact I’m not sure if I know anyone that purchased a PS4 Pro if they already owned a base PS4. Might be the same case with the Switch.

      • In fact I’m not sure if I know anyone that purchased a PS4 Pro if they already owned a base PS4.

        You do now. 🙂

        But I’m an edge case for sure. I picked up a Pro when we bought a 4k HDR TV (wow HZD is pretty on that), and my launch PS4 lives in the bedroom for Netflix on the not-so-smart TV or gaming when I feel like quiet, and goes with me to parties for Jackbox action or to hotels when I’m travelling for work for a few days at a time.

      • It probably won’t be worth it, which is precisely my point. I don’t want to buy multiple incremental upgrades with quality of life improvements. I want to buy it once.

        If a new model comes out that fixes a lot of my gripes with the current version (screen brightness, bezel, battery life, build quality, gorilla glass) I’ll be annoyed because I would have been happy to wait a few months and pay more to get the best version. That’s what I waited two years for. If it turns out they’re doing what every asshole corporation does like flat out lying about a new model because it doesn’t fit their marketing hype timeline, I’ll be annoyed.

        I don’t understand how that’s unreasonable. I’m not going to threaten anyone or fly off the handle, but i will feel like i was misinformed on purpose by Nintendo so they could try and hit me for two purchases.

        • The part I’m wondering about it why you believe you were deliberately misinformed by Nintendo.

          Nintendo haven’t ever said an upgraded Switch is or isn’t coming. Rumours about an upgraded model have been circling around basically since launch (example: ) and the only reason they are gaining traction again now is because some analyst predicted it will happen this year as a response to the PS5 and Xbox whatever-they-are-calling-it and that DigiTimes claims to obtained leaks about the supply chain. Okay.

          Whenever Nintendo have been asked about it, they’ve just given the generic response that they don’t comment on rumours and speculation. The closest we got was when Reggie said before he retired that they recognise their competitors utilised a tactic of releasing an updated system mid-cycle, but asserted that their focus was 100% on the current execution.

          It’s entirely possible we’ll get a “Switch Pro”, but right now it’s all just rumours and hype generated by the media. I’m not sure why you believe Nintendo has lied to you when they’ve literally said nothing on the subject to date.

          • I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure there were words to the effect of “we have no plans for new hardware”. Which is one thing if someone just asks out of the blue, but if there are leaks and you still deny, that’s bullshit. That’s exactly what Sony did with the PS4 Pro and it was bullshit. At least one journalist had one in her house and was playing games on it while Sony still denied it ever existed.

            They have no obligation to me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be annoyed.

    • You’re joking right? It’s Nintendo. Expect 1-5 refreshes of their consoles of it’s life time. They love to milk their rabid fan-base as much as possible.

      • The only systems I can think of where they’ve done several refreshes are the DS (DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL) and 3DS (3DS XL, 2DS, New 3DS, New 3DS XL, New 2DS XL).

        Also let’s not pretend Nintendo is the only one refreshing their hardware during a system’s lifespan. The Xbox One has seen the Elite, S, S All-Digital and the X and many of those also have models with varying hard drive sizes from 500GB to 2 TB (also some came with Kinect and some didn’t). Sony’s not quite as bad, with the PS4 they’ve only had the Slim and the Pro, but both of those have had models with different hard drive sizes too.

        The Lite is basically the equivalent of a “Slim” model and this rumoured Pro would be the equivalent of a…uhh…”Pro” model. Outside of some revisions to the form factor (since it’s a handheld too after all) and maybe offering more on-board storage or better battery life, I don’t foresee there being much else for the Switch.

        • So if you want to count those minor refreshes of consoles then the Switch has already had TWO. One minor battery refresh to the normal Switch and an entirely different model, the Lite. The Lite isn’t the equivalent of a “Slim” model as it REMOVES core features. Don’t try and tell me the PS4 Slim removed core features. It’s basically not a “Switch” anymore. It’s a jacked up Gameboy/Tablet.

          The Switch desperately needs what they’re talking about. Since it currently uses cheap pathetic materials that repeatedly break and have issues like Drift, Joycons not sliding in properly etc. Why can’t we get a 1080p screen and some Gorilla glass? Also some better materials other than cheap plastic, like they’re talking about in the article.

          Also who’s to say they don’t do major hardware boosts like they did with the 3DS. Where certain games only ran on the new hardware.

        • GBA, GPA SP, GBA Micro

          Gameboy Color has about 90 different colours

          Wii even had a slim. Wii u launched with 2 different models. Switch already has 2.

          • Colour variations aren’t a hardware refresh, and many consoles have had different colours.

            Even if the Switch had 5 different hardware updates, so what? It’s not unusual. The world’s first console with programmable ROM cartridges, the Fairchild Channel F, had several models. The Atari 2600 had at least five models not even including the Sears Video Arcade variations. The Mega Drive had about a billion from first party products Mega Drive/Genesis II, Genesis 3, Multi-Mega/CDX, TeraDrive and Nomad to licensed third party stuff like LaserActive, Firecore, Mega PC and Wondermega.

    • I think that would really push me as well, 1080p handheld resolution and maybe 1440p on tv….. I don’t think I could stop myself

      • Nvidia’s about to hop on the 7nm bandwagon, and the GPU in Tegra parts is positively ancient. 2tflop would be on the upper end of possible, but I think its achievable.

        • The power might be there. But you still need the battery capacity. Because i don’t think nintendo would want to release a product that only runs in portable mode for barely an hour.

          Might be good for a non-portable switch though, Something akin to the PSTV.

          • The Scam Z was slated to use a Ryzen/Vega 12nm part w/ Quad at a 1.2 tflop, and they thought that’d give 3-7 hours of battery.

            With some downclocking like the Switch already does in portable, I think wemight see it.

          • Yeah, i wouldn’t trust anything coming out of those dudes. That whole project has been a disaster.

  • I doubt Nintendo would fracture the market, and the “Pro” concept has hardly been a raging success. It also came about due to the unique situation of 4K and HDR suddenly emerging in the early life of the current generation, so was quite unprecedented and doubt it will be seen again from anyone. I’m not saying Nintendo are not working on an upgrade; I’m saying it will replace the current model, much like the New 3DS did with 3DS. As for a “Pro” model, one heavily souped up and selling at a much higher price, I can’t see it.

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