Nintendo Switch 2: Everything You Need to Know

The next Nintendo Switch could have a far bigger screen, though rumors note it could still be LCD instead of OLED. - Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo
The next Nintendo Switch could have a far bigger screen, though rumors note it could still be LCD instead of OLED. - Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

This post was updated 5/8/24 at 11:55 a.m. ET to include comments from Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa.

Nintendo Switch sequel speculation has hit a fever pitch despite how long we may have to wait for the long-expected update to Nintendo’s most popular console ever created. And now, we finally have confirmation that the Switch 2 is, indeed, real. As for specifics and specs, well, that’s still left up to the rumors.

While there’s been a bevy of initial rumors suggesting we will eventually see a Switch sequel release this year, several reports now offer a much longer wait until 2025.

As for what the console will eventually look like, most reports indicate it will have a bigger screen than the first Switch and cost more. They will have graphics capabilities equivalent to those of the previous console generation.

What Kind of Specs Will the Nintendo Switch 2 Have?

The Switch sequel is rumored to have a bigger screen than the original console had at launch, but new rumors suggest the next console could change up the size of the Joycons and even how they attach to the main body.

As first reported by the Spanish tech news site Vandal (via Eurogamer), the Switch 2 will use magnets to attach its Joycons, rather than the rails Switch users are used to. Vandal reported this based on word from accessory manufacturers, who often get console hardware details before release. The next console will still support current Switch Pro controllers, which is a nice change of pace for owners who still want to get a few more years out of their current controllers once the new console comes in.

The Spanish site didn’t say exactly how big the new Switch will be but noted it will be larger than the current Switch and still smaller than a Steam Deck.

When is the Switch Sequel Supposed to be Released?

Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo
Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

Anybody holding out hope that Switch will still manage to squeeze itself into 2025's release schedule should probably accept the reality of a longer wait. Most recently, Nikkei Asia reported, based on several anonymous sources with knowledge of Nintendo’s plans, that the Japanese game maker will release the Switch sequel in around March 2025. The company is reportedly trying to give publishers and game studios more time to release actual games for launch day.

Instead, Nintendo will try to keep pushing the first Switch as much as possible, possibly with new console tie-in versions with popular franchises.

It confirms earlier reports that Nintendo has decided to push the Switch 2 release. Brazilian journalist Pedro Henrique Lutti Lippe claimed on his podcast that five sources from within the industry say that Nintendo is now aiming for a Q1 2025 launch after initial expectations slipped from 2024. If that wasn’t enough to set your teeth on edge, Eurogamer also confirmed similar rumors from separate sources within the industry.

Eurogamer mentioned that the Switch date is to ensure a full slate of launch titles to complement the new console. It all seems to indicate Nintendo has told its partner developers about the new launch date, and these rumors have filtered down to those with scarce industry sources.

It seems Nintendo will remain aloof from the entire hardware market for 2024. Nintendo confirmed to Eurogamer on April 15 that it does not plan to attend Gamescom, the annual conference held in Cologne, Germany, which is normally a center point for the world’s games and hardware developers. The company told Eurogamer, “After careful consideration from all perspectives, we’ve made the decision not to be present at Gamescom 2024. Players will have opportunities to try out Nintendo Switch games at other events throughout the year.”

That’s an interesting move, considering Nintendo normally attends the conference. Gamescom 2023 was also where some of the first concrete rumors reared their head, where some publishers reportedly received development kits.

If Nintendo does opt for the first half of the 2024 Switch 2 announcement, it would be rather premature considering the expected launch date. Nintendo previously said that the Switch 2 wouldn’t debut in 2023. However, the company had nothing to say about the upcoming console in its latest quarterly financial report released this past Wednesday. Instead, the company noted how hardware sales have decreased by about 8% yearly. This was despite Switch becoming the best-selling console of all time in its seven-year lifespan, with a total of 139.36 million units sold as of the end of last year.

Most rumors have suggested the Switch sequel will see the light of day in the second half of this year. Those rumors go back to July of 2023, reinforced after news that some developers had a chance to demo the new console in several closed-door meetings at Gamescom.

This won’t necessarily have a Christmas release, as speculation has consistently noted that it could be available for pre-order in August or September. That could coincide with the rumored PlayStation 5 Pro model, which would be a big step up from the original PS5’s internals with ray tracing upgrades and better CPU and GPU specs.

Will the Switch 2 Be More Powerful Than the First Switch?

Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo
Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

All the current speculation points to the Switch 2 getting access to its special chip from Nvidia. It’s a rumor going back nearly three years to early leakers hinting that Nintendo would get access to a custom variant of the T234, scaled down drastically to fit inside a mobile design. The current Switch uses a modified Tegra X1 chip, but the next Switch could be far more capable than Nintendo’s first handheld console. Documents shown publicly from the Microsoft buyout of Activision Blizzard hint that Nintendo’s console could be as powerful, if not a bit more capable, than the last console generation—namely the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Reuters then dumped a lot of fuel onto those rumors by citing one anonymous source who claimed that Nintendo was indeed getting a new, custom chip. Late last year, Digital Foundry performed a deep dive into the supposed chip architecture and capabilities of this custom Nvidia chipset dubbed the T239. They performed benchmarks with similar architecture on the RTX 2050 running at 750 Mhz. Still, it’s better not to look at chip rumors and make assumptions about the next console’s full capabilities.

Instead, we need to understand better what kind of display it will have. Some of the most concrete reports from industry analysts noted that the Nintendo Switch sequel will have an 8-inch LCD. Compare this to the regular 6.2-inch Switch LCD screen, a significant size bump. However, a few fans are likely disappointed that the next console won’t maintain the Switch OLED’s beautiful, 7-inch organic display.

The LCD screen is likely a way to keep costs down, which served the first Switch well when buyers had to consider spending upwards of $500 on a new Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. Still, other handheld consoles like the Steam Deck OLED will have an edge on whatever comes out of Nintendo.

The following console could still interact much like the old one with the hybrid cartridge and online download system that served the first Switch so well, at least according to outlets like VGC and Eurogamer. It hints at backward compatibility, which would be a big incentive for current Switch owners.

However, that doesn’t mean the Switch 2 will be as cheap as its predecessor. Noted tipster Zippo has claimed it could cost around $400, which is $100 more than you can get the first Switch for. It’s still less than the two most significant, expensive consoles, but it would now cost more than an Xbox Series S. Instead, it would cost as much as a baseline LCD Steam Deck.

When Will Nintendo Finally Reveal the Switch 2?

Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo
Photo: Kyle Barr / Gizmodo

In early April, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa tweeted that the sequel switch could be announced anytime in the next fiscal year. But here’s the rub: Nintendo’s fiscal year ends in March of next year, meaning we could still have a long wait until 2025 to see any real hint of the new console.

Furukawa’s message was directly after the company announced its latest quarterly earnings. Noted industry analyst David Gibson wrote that the company’s president also told investors that the “Switch next model is the appropriate way to describe” the Switch 2. We still don’t know what it will be called (though I would love to see something like “Super Nintendo Switch”), but at the very least, it points to how Nintendo sees its next console as a continuation of the current-gen model.

Nintendo would likely announce this console alongside some new Nintendo Direct broadcast or game launch. The latest Nintendo Direct on Feb. 21 was one of its “partner showcases” that promotes 3rd party titles making their way to the Switch. While there were a few surprises, including the original two games of the Star Wars: Battlefront series making their way to the Switch and bringing back the classic 64-player online multiplayer, there was not even a morsel of news regarding a new console.

Drake doubled down on that Direct date in a tweet. This makes sense, especially as Nintendo’s first Direct of 2023 also took place in February, but that doesn’t mean we’ll see a console announcement as early as this month. The Nintendo tipster hasn’t fully backed off his claim that Nintendo plans to announce the console in March, but at this point, it seems increasingly unlikely.

The Mario parent could also announce its console during a media push for its next big game release. The only first-party title on the docket is Princess Peach: Showtime!, which is set to launch on March 22. Though that’s a new title from a staple character in the company’s most lucrative franchise, it doesn’t have the entire global appeal of a new Mario platformer like last year’s Super Mario Bros. Wonder that would add any pomp to a recent console reveal or–hell–even a teaser.

Want more of Gizmodo’s consumer electronics picks? Check out our guides to the best laptops, best TVs, and best headphones. If you want to learn about the next big thing, see our guide to everything we know about the iPhone 16.

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