Nintendo Switch 2: Price rumors, release date speculation, possible games, and more

Nintendo Switch 2 concept
(Image credit: dhimage)

It's been six years since the original Switch released, and two years since the OLED model launched. To say Nintendo fans are ready for a new console is an understatement, and this excitement is only propelled by the constant stream of rumors surrounding the Switch 2, the name media outlets have temporary given to Nintendo's next-gen console.

The Switch 2 is widely thought to be an upgrade to the existing Switch rather than a new console design entirely. It's become the third best-selling console of all time, behind the PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo DS, and it's the first succesful hybrid console, so why would Nintendo mess with a good thing?

So far, Nintendo hasn't said anything about the Switch's successor, so all the information we currently have about this next-gen console comes from reliable tipsters and leaks. With that said, here's everything we've learned so far about the Switch 2, or whatever Nintendo ends up naming its next-gen console.

Latest news (Updated: Feb 6, 2024)

Release date and price

As with any potential console, we can't know its release date until the company itself announces an official launch date. However, recent rumors point to a possible fall 2024 release window, the same time we expect the PS5 Pro to potentially launch.

The best guess we have regarding the Switch 2's release date is thanks to a combination of leaks from an Altec Lansing press release and a leaker named SoldierDelta. The press release referenced September 2024 as the release date for the Nintendo Switch 2 as part of a GameShark AI announcement. The latter came via Discord, where SoldierDelta shared that the Switch 2, codenamed "NG" internally, might arrive on September 24, 2024. Supposedly, a secondary release placeholder for November 2024 also exists if the September 24 date ends up being too ambitious.

Nintendo Switch Ver. 10

(Image credit: Future)

While most rumors and tipsters seem to agree on fall 2024 as the Switch 2's most likely release window, there are a few rumors suggesting an early 2024 release. An article from research firm TechInsights seems to think a March or April 2024 release date could be possible, and a report from Chinese investment site MoneyDJ predicts boosted sales from the Switch successor launching in the first quarter of 2024.

An analyst report in January suggested that Nintendo's production plans for the Nintendo Switch 2 include at least 10 million units in its first year of availability, which should make it more readily available than recent console launches. However, the same report suggested that the rumored Switch 2 Pro won't arrive until 2025.

SoldierDelta also shared possible release prices in the same Discord message as release date predictions. They said there were two possible models of this next-gen console, a standard model for $449 and a digital option for $400 (or more likely, $399). If this rumor is true, this next-gen console would be the first from Nintendo to ever be released as a digital-only device.

Considering the original switch retails for $299 and the OLED model retails for $349, this price estimate doesn't seem too unlikely. If the Switch 2 receives an OLED display upgrade as well as improvements to internal specs, a $100 price increase seems spot-on, but we can only guess right now.

Display and other specs

With how successful the Switch OLED display is, you’d think that Nintendo would equip its next-gen console with an OLED display, possibly even with a higher refresh rate. However, it seems like the company might opt for an LCD display panel (albeit a larger 8-inch display) instead to keep costs down, according to gaming tipster NateTheHate. These LCD display rumors are further corroborated by Andy Robinson at Video Games Chronicle.

The rumor continues to grow with a report from Bloomberg, with Research Manager Hiroshi Hayase from analyst firm Omdia claiming the Nintendo Switch 2 will launch with an 8-inch LCD panel. Once again, no mention of OLED.

Nintendo consoles have always been affordable compared to consoles from Sony and Microsoft, so it unfortunately makes sense that the next-gen Switch would launch with an LCD display. After a little while, or perhaps even at launch, there would likely be a more expensive model with an OLED display for those willing to pay for the display upgrade. Whether the Switch 2 launches with an LCD or OLED display, we just hope it gets a refresh rate boost to 120Hz from 60Hz. 

Nintendo Switch Console

(Image credit: Unsplash)

The original Switch and the upgraded OLED model both feature a Nvidia Custom Tegra processor, and it’s likely that Nintendo would follow this trend in the Switch 2. While nothing has been confirmed yet, a rumor via Eurogamer indicates Nintendo may be receiving a custom variant of Nvidia’s leaked T234 processor.

According to this system-on-a-chip rumor, the T239 processor is based on an “[octa-core] ARM A78C CPU cluster, paired with a custom graphics unit based on Nvidia’s RTX 30-series Ampere architecture.” While we can’t guess the chip’s power or clock speeds, we do have an idea that the Switch 2 could match performance of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, thanks to 2022 emails between Activision Blizzard executives (via Game Developer).

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There have also been rumors suggesting Nintendo’s next-gen console could have a co-processor chip that would boost power and video output when the console was docked and connected to a 4K TV. Then, existing onboard storage for the Switch and Switch OLED is 32GB and 64GB, respectively, and current rumors hint that the Switch 2 could have 512GB of onboard storage.

Features

We haven’t heard many rumors yet on possible Switch 2 features, like design, battery life, speakers, or built-in sensors. However, here's an educated guess on what we could see.

In the past, Nintendo has loved to switch up designs majorly in between consoles, but with the Switch being the third best-selling console of all time, they might stick with a similar design to the original Switch. If the rumors are true that the Switch 2 could have a larger 8-inch screen, we'd hope the Joy-Con design is more ergonomic for long handheld sessions.

We'd also love to see upgraded Joy-Cons deal with the current drift issues. A pair of $80 Joy-Cons eventually becoming unusable due to drift is a common Switch user complaint, and hopefully, Nintendo has come up with a solution in the past six years.

The current battery life estimate on both the original Switch and the Switch OLED is 4.5 to 9 hours. For more demanding games, like Breath of the Wild, it's often a stretch to reach 4.5 hours on a single charge, even when display brightness is completely lowered. With more powerful internals, we're expecting a larger battery, but hopefully the battery is big enough to increase the current estimated battery life as well.

No rumors have addressed possible connectivity in the Switch 2, but for faster streaming or downloading games, we'd love to see a jump from Wi-Fi 5 to Wi-Fi 6. Similarly, the current Switch models support Bluetooth 4.1, and we'd expect a next-gen console would hopefully support Bluetooth 5.1.

Nintendo Switch deals

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Lastly, there's the backwards compatibility conundrum. Some rumors have suggested that Nintendo's next-gen console won't be backwards compatible with the Switch, while many others argue that not building the Switch 2 to support backwards compatibility would be a detrimental, senseless decision from Nintendo.

In a Reddit discussion about backwards compatibility on the Switch 2, user Sentinel10 wrote "With how much the president of Nintendo has stated that they need a smooth transition to whatever is next, I'd say backwards capability is at least 90% assured."

At least one instance of Nintendo's president saying this was at an investor Q&A (via Ars Technica), where he said "as for the transition from Nintendo Switch to the next-generation machine, we want to do as much as possible in order to smoothly transition our customers, while utilizing the Nintendo Account." 

At the very least, this quote implies backwards compatibility for digital games. And if the Switch 2 is indeed an upgrade from the original Switch and not an entirely new console, it doesn't seem like a smart decision from Nintendo to cut off Switch 2 users from bringing their old Switch game cards with them when they upgrade. 

Of course, business decisions aren't always made with end-user convenience in mind, so we could be wrong about the Switch 2 being backwards compatible with Switch games. But until we hear otherwise, we'll hold out hope.

Games

There are a lot of rumored games for Nintendo's next-gen console, but they all mainly come from one tipster, who goes by the name of Zippo online. Zippo only has an okay reputation for accurate Nintendo leaks, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

Nintendo Switch

(Image credit: Future)

Zippo has predicted a new Mario title, saying "a little birdie has told me that a brand new major Mario title in the works for Nintendo's next system will be using Unreal Engine 4." Because it's almost a given that Nintendo will release a new Mario game for its next-gen console, the juicy part of this rumor is that the game could use Unreal Engine 4. With how successful Super Mario Odyssey was on the original Switch, it's not crazy to think there could be an Odyssey 2 in the works for the Switch 2.

A few other games Zippo is anticipating include a new 2D Donkey Kong title, a new Monster Hunter game, a possible Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Rebirth port, a new Super Monkey Ball game, a new Pokémon game, and possibly the seventh Far Cry game. None of these predictions seem too out there to be true, but none have been confirmed by Nintendo.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was released alongside the Switch in 2017, and the original Mario Kart 8 was released almost 10 years ago in 2014. It's time for a new Mario Kart game, and it'd be great to see Mario Kart 9 launch on Nintendo's next-gen console. Similarly, with enhanced hardware, we'd be interested to see Baldur's Gate 3 come to the Switch 2 as well.

Another series of games that could be making their way to the Switch 2 is the Bayonetta Trilogy, as recently rumored. While not the fourth (numbered) entry to the series, a remastered trilogy would pave the way for a fourth title to follow that fully makes use of the new hardware available.

Outlook

While we won't know anything definitively until we hear from Nintendo directly, there's a good chance the Switch 2 could launch in 2024. There are usually five to six years between Nintendo console launches, so we're due for a new one.

With the original Switch's success, it's highly likely that Nintendo will simply upgrade the existing hybrid console model rather than completely replace it with a new console. A similar build and the recent launch of the highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom make us think this next-gen console could be backwards compatible as well.

It'd be awesome if we hear details of the Switch 2 (or Switch NG, whatever Nintendo chooses to call it) at the next Nintendo Direct, which most people seem to think will happen in February. Until then, we'll just keep playing games on our Switch OLED and waiting on the edge of our seats.

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