The Wall Street Journal‘s Takashi Mochizuki claims, via Nintendo Everything, that Nintendo will release a budget Switch and a more powerful Switch this year, possibly as soon as summer.
Mochizuki says his sources are from «people who’ve seen them» and are familiar with hardware development, including software developers and parts suppliers.
Allegedly, the goal behind developing two new models is to increase sales by targeting two specific markets: the core gamer and the casual gamer. This move would likely be in response to earlier cuts in the Switch’s sales forecast.
The report says the budget model would include fewer features than the standard Switch, discarding the HD Rumble and some other elements, and it would keep the Joy-Cons attached to the system. In other words, it’d be a portable-only version of the Switch, with comparisons being made to the PlayStation Vita.
Mochizuki provided no firm details on how much this pared down Switch would cost, though he did say it would act as a replacement for the Nintendo 3DS, which isn’t seeing new releases after this summer. And considering the Vita has ceased production, there is room in the market.
The so-called Switch pro wouldn’t be as powerful as the PlayStation 4 Pro or the Xbox One X, but it would allegedly provide a substantial increase in the Switch’s capabilities. Mochizuki also mentioned there would be other new features meant to attract «avid videogamers.»
Rumors about a new Switch model have been swirling since last summer. Nintendo mentioned it plans to focus on expanding the Switch’s consumer base and not releasing new models, though this would hardly be the first time Nintendo said one thing and did the exact opposite a few months later.
However, it should be noted that unlike Eurogamer’s leaked information shortly before the Switch first launched, Mochizuki does not provide specific details from those working with the system or design information of any kind.
Summer isn’t far away, so it’s likely more rumors or official details will be released sometime in the next few months one way or the other. We’ll bring you the latest news as it breaks.