Nintendo’s long-awaited follow-up to the blockbuster Switch console could arrive in the second half of next year, according to VGC.
The company is already distributing development kits to key studio partners, VGC reported, citing unnamed sources. The report also indicates the next-gen console will have the same kind of portable capabilities as the current switch, and may include a lower-cost LCD screen instead of the higher-quality OLED display to cut down on its price.
The report said the new console will also utilize a cartridge slot similar to the Switch, eschewing the larger disc-based systems of its main rivals.
The report is the latest drip of information that we’ve gotten on the state of Nintendo’s next-generation console. While Microsoft and Sony forged ahead with its own next-gen consoles in the Xbox Series X and S and the PlayStation 5, respectively, Nintendo has held pat given the continued success of the Switch.
But the Switch, which launched in 2017, is clearing nearing the end of its cycle as the hardware struggles with the increasing graphic and gameplay demands of gamers. The company has has minor refreshes including adding a “Lite” version and the upgraded Switch with an OLED display.
Despite having sold 125 million units worldwide, making it Nintendo’s best-selling home console, sales throughout 2023 and beyond are expected to slow and decline.
A spokesman for Nintendo wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Nintendo has expressed a desire to move its large base of Switch customers to the new console, which raises the questions of how affordable it will be and whether it will support the Switch’s old library of games.
The company has proven, as recently as this year’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, that it doesn’t necessarily need the extra horsepower to create compelling games. But a new console will eventually be needed to spark renewed interest in hardware sales again.