The next Nintendo Switch could release as early as Summer 2019, according to recent reports. After releasing in March of 2017, the Switch has turned out to be a huge success for Nintendo. Boasting a comfortable and expanding library of well-received first party and third party titles, the Switch has sold millions of units. It’s a complete reversal from Nintendo’s previous console the Wii U, which by most accounts was a complete failure for the House of Mario.
With all that success, it’s natural that Nintendo would want to keep the momentum going and put a new Switch on store shelves. Before gamers get too concerned, though, the Nintendo Switch 2 (if, indeed, it winds up being called that) isn’t quite a replacement for the current model. Rather, it's more of a companion.
The rumors of a new Nintendo Switch originate with a report by BGR. According to the online publication, Nintendo is aiming to release an updated Switch sooner rather than later in Summer 2019. The Switch 2 will also come with some new features. The specifics of the new Nintendo Switch, including a name, aren’t known. However, the speculation is that Nintendo will release an even slimmer model of the console/handheld hybrid and possibly include a better LCD screen for the Switch owners to use in handheld mode. The new Nintendo Switch will likely play all the same games as the previous model, but probably allow them to run smoother and look better (especially when the Switch is removed from its docking station that hooks up to the TV).
Though Nintendo has typically marched to the beat of its own drum, a newer Nintendo Switch would put the company in line with its main rivals Sony and Microsoft. During the current console generation, Microsoft and Sony have both released new models of their Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively. Microsoft started with the slimmer Xbox One S, but then followed it up with the much more powerful Xbox One X. Meanwhile, Sony only just released the PlayStation 4 Pro, which is a more technically impressive version of the original PS4. A new Switch with more bells and whistles would be similar to both of those examples.
Still, there’s a possibility that the new Nintendo Switch will take its cues from Nintendo’s own history with the Nintendo 3DS. After the 3DS’ launch in 2011, Nintendo came out with a multitude of new handheld models. Some were larger (like the 3DS XL) and others removed the 3D capability all together (a la the 2DS). At the same time, the models branded the New 3DS (and New 2DS) were a little bit different. The New 3Ds were more powerful than any previous version and, as such, played specific games like the remake of Xenoblade Chronicles and Super Nintendo titles on the 3DS’ Virtual Console.
The Nintendo Switch recently launched its first online service, Nintendo Switch Online. The subscription allows for online play and offers exclusive access to a collection of Nintendo Entertainment System games, thus making it the replacement for Nintendo's backwards compatibility program of the Virtual Console. Yet, even with that, the Switch still has but a fraction of the content that Nintendo's previous consoles had to offer. If Nintendo were to block access to newer retro games from the Super Nintendo's library and beyond on the new Nintendo Switch, it wouldn't be the friendliest move, but it could move more units of an updated Switch.