Nintendo Switch 2 rumours have been cropping up in news, forum discussions, and social media for some time now, but the rumour mill has been particularly busy in the last few months. Will there be a Nintendo Switch successor announcement (or even a release) in 2024? What would it be called? What specs should we expect to see from such a new handheld?
The reality is there are many questions about a potential Switch 2 and not many answers. Nintendo has been especially tight-lipped about what exactly it might be working on and when players are likely to hear about it officially. We’ve rounded up all the recent rumours and reports about the inevitable Switch successor in one place – here’s everything we’ve heard so far about the Switch 2.
Altec Lansing seems to think a Nintendo Switch 2 is coming this year
Starting off with a Switch 2 rumour hot off the presses, a recent press release from audio electronics company Altec Lansing (first spotted by Digital Trends) stated that its cheat device GameShark would be making a return via an AI-powered version called AI Shark. In that same release, Altec Lansing mentioned the device’s “official launch is planned to coincide with the Nintendo Switch 2 in September 2024.”
Despite this rather definitive-sounding statement, the company quickly backtracked a bit. In a follow-up comment to Digital Trends, Altec Lansing did not deny the existence of a new console, saying that Nintendo had yet to pick a specific month for the Switch 2 launch and that it had a tentative launch window of Fall 2024. Altec Lansing then quickly backtracked on that statement (presumably after receiving a call from Nintendo’s lawyers), saying, “Nintendo has not officially clarified launch.”
And then, after all of that, an AI Shark spokesperson reportedly told Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier that it was “just guessing” about the Switch 2 release date. What a saga.
Our take: Take this one with a grain of salt for now. It could be that AL just spilled the beans, but it could just as easily have been talking out of its you-know-where.
Copies of popular Switch games appear to be out of stock in US stores, prompting repackaging rumours
Nintendeal, a Twitter account dedicated to finding sales and deals on Nintendo products, recently noted that several Switch games appeared to be out of stock across a range of retailers in the U.S. This led to some users theorising that these games were currently out of print while a packaging rebrand was underway – possibly with a Nintendo Selects-style repackaging, including branding that indicates games can be played across the Nintendo Switch and Switch 2.
Games like Fire Emblem: Engage, which only released last year, Metroid Dread, and Paper Mario: The Origami King are among the popular Nintendo titles that seem to be struggling for stock across the U.S. You can check out the full list of games currently out of stock (varying from title to title) at retailers including Amazon, Walmart and GameStop here, as compiled by AShadowLink on Discord and Neoxon on the ResetEra forums.
Nintendeal clarified that while some games were being described as ‘out of print,’ many of the titles remained available at other American retailers – but it did seem like something was going on given many popular Nintendo Switch first-party games were entirely removed from the system of stores like Target and GameStop. Whatever the case may be, there is no need to panic buy these games – they’ll likely be easily available again in the U.S. again soon.
Our take: It’s worth noting that, currently, there do not appear to be any stock shortages in Australia. Again, grain of salt.
Nintendo reportedly held secret Switch 2 demos at Gamescom 2023
According to a report by Eurogamer, and corroborated by VGC, Nintendo held Switch 2 demos behind closed doors at last year’s Gamescom event, while simultaneously promoting Pikin 4 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the show floor in Germany. Eurogamer claims the clandestine demos consisted of a special version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild running at higher specs, while VGC suggested that a second demo saw the Switch 2 hardware running the Unreal Engine 5 Matrix Awakens tech demo, which was originally used as a means of showcasing the capabilities of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. VGC also claimed the Switch 2 ran Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling technology, with a version of ray-tracing enabled.
Our take: We’d tend to believe this one. Gamescom is a huge show where many industry deals are made behind closed doors. With E3 dead and buried, Gamescom becomes the next best event to quietly demo a new hardware prototype for commercial partners.
Nintendo says no new hardware refreshes are planned before its 2023 fiscal year ends, denies showcasing new hardware
Despite all the rumours, Nintendo has gone on the record during a May 2023 earnings call to say that it was not planning any significant near hardware refreshes before the end of its 2023 fiscal year (set to wrap up in March 2024).
In November 2023, Japanese outlet Mainichi reported that Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa denied Nintendo had showcased a Switch 2 to partners at public events or in private meetings. Despite this, the FTC vs. Microsoft court case legal documents confirm that the company had been in contact with Activision about a successor console.
Our take: Seems like managing investor expectations to us. Nintendo’s gotta balance the budget like everyone else.
Sources say a Switch 2 release date is planned for the back end of 2024, development kits are with key partner studios
In a July 2023 report, VGC claimed that multiple people with knowledge of Nintendo’s Switch successor plans suggested the company was looking to release new hardware in the second half of 2024. The aim, these sources claimed, was to have enough stock to avoid shortages similar to the PlayStation 5.
Sources that spoke to VGC suggested that the Switch 2 could launch with “an LCD screen, instead of the more premium OLED, in order to bring down costs,” and that it “will also accept physical games via a cartridge slot.” Apparently, the choice to reportedly forgo an OLED screen was made to reduce costs, given the need for additional storage for games with higher specs. According to the same sources, development kits were already in the hands of some of Nintendo’s most important commercial partners.
Our take: Across all of the rumours above, the dots feel like they’re beginning to connect. Nintendo would want development kits in studio hands as early as possible to ensure a strong launch lineup. We’re inclined to believe this one.
There’s been plenty of speculation over when a Switch 2 will be announced, let alone launched, and what exactly a successor to the popular handheld console might look like or run like. A gallery of patents filed for a 3DS style handheld console appeared online late last year, fuelling even further speculation, but this also doesn’t guarantee that the next generation of Nintendo’s handheld consoles will look like this.
While Nintendo has been very coy about exactly what or when (or even if) fans can expect from a Switch 2, the rumour ball keeps on rolling, like a Katamari made of hearsay, insider info, and suspicious commercial decisions.
We’ll be keeping our eyes out for more concrete information on a Switch 2 as 2024 continues – if the rumours are to be believed, we may well see a new handheld device before the year is out.
Image: Nintendo, Kotaku Australia
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