The existence of a new upcoming Nintendo Switch console model has been one of the worst-kept secrets in video games for months now.
While Nintendo has yet to publicly confirm anything about these new Switch rumors, the latest credible reports claim assembly could begin as early as this summer. The alleged release plan would be for either a September or October 2021 launch, according to the sources familiar with the matter that spoke to Bloomberg News but wished to remain anonymous.
A Nintendo spokesman did not respond in time for publication when Mashable reached out for a request for comment on this latest report, and nor has Nintendo provided any previous statements regarding the slow drip of rumors around a new Switch over the past year.
The reports describe it as a full-blown new and upgraded replacement console for the 4-year-old Switch, which would likely be priced higher than the original’s $299 price tag. The Bloomberg report deduces that an official announcement would likely occur ahead of E3 in June, so that Nintendo and its video game publishers could spotlight the slate of new games that’d presumably be releasing around the console’s launch.
The Bloomberg report further detailed that:
Assemblers will start shipping the new model — whose commercial name is known only to a handful of people within the Kyoto-based company — as early as July and production is planned to ramp up to a peak in the October-December quarter. This is despite widespread semiconductor shortages that have affected the supply of everything from automobiles to TVs, headphones and games consoles, including the Switch itself.
While, again, absolutely nothing has been confirmed by Nintendo, a new Switch launch would actually make a lot of sense.
For one, the alleged timeline for the release would allow Nintendo to dominate E3 at a time when Sony and Xbox very likely do not have much of any positive console-related announcements. The pandemic has caused a prolonged shortage around their most recent console releases, particularly for the PS5, which Bloomberg also reported would continue into 2022.
But also, the Switch was kinda always fated for a strange lifespan from the start.
Ever since it released back in 2017, the timing of the original Switch’s arrival was atypical. Usually, the three major console players (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo) release their new generation of systems around the same time as one another. But Nintendo’s 2012 Wii U, which released months ahead of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, did such abysmal sales that it threw Nintendo’s business into financial freefall with an uncertain future.
So the Switch, a brand new and radically different and revolutionary console, was born.
Released in 2017 only a few short years after the Wii U launched, it entered the scene basically in the middle of the rest of the industry’s usual console generation cycle. Nintendo’s gamble more than paid off, with the Switch becoming one of the best-selling consoles ever. Meanwhile, the Wii U was officially retired, going out of production in the same year and, shortly after the Switch’s release, becoming an all-but-forgotten blunder in the video game tycoon’s history.
But now, a year into Sony and Microsoft’s latest generation of consoles, Nintendo is in a weird spot.
There’s a cap on how many more sales the original Switch or even SwitchLite models can sell, no matter how great they are. Also, there’s plenty of new technology Nintendo could leverage to better keep up with the upgraded capabilities of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Though, to be clear, super beefed-up cutting-edge technological horsepower has never been Nintendo’s thing — which could be an advantage when high-tech software is still in short supply from the pandemic.
More than anything, however, a new Switch model would allow Nintendo to regain the attention of gamers in order to keep up with the hype that its competitors are basking in right now. And, hey, we certainly aren’t complaining.
We do have one request, though: Like the rest of the internet, we’d really love for this alleged new console to be named the Super Nintendo Switch — if only for old times’ sake.