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Nintendo Switch 2: expected release date, leaks, specs and price
Nintendo's next console is on the horizon. Here's everything we know about the upcoming successor to the Switch
The Nintendo Switch 2 is finally on the horizon after years of rumors and speculation. And that means we can expect to receive a deluge of information about what to expect from Nintendo’s successor to the Switch over the coming months, including countless leaks and rumors. But what do we know so far?
Nintendo is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to what its next console will offer, and it also has a habit of going against the grain. Just because the Nintendo Switch was a phenomenal success doesn’t necessarily mean Nintendo will follow suit with an almost identical device. In fact, we’ve seen Nintendo consistently try to bottle lightning with every new console generation, often with mixed results.
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That means that even if the Nintendo Switch 2 is largely similar to its predecessor – a hybrid console that can be played on the go or hooked up to a TV – expect some fun and unique surprises. Nintendo’s desire to offer something new is what makes it impossible to predict exactly which direction Nintendo will go with its follow-up to one of the most popular consoles of all time, and that’s what makes the prospect of a new Nintendo device so exciting.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t make some educated guesses about the Nintendo Switch 2. Let’s dive in to see what the future holds for Nintendo fans.
When will Nintendo Switch 2 be revealed?
Traditionally, consoles tend to be released in November, just before the holiday season really gets underway. However, the Nintendo Switch bucked that trend when it launched in March 2016.
We already know that won’t be the case this time around, as Nintendo has said it won’t be launching any new hardware until at least March 2024. That being said, it could use its upcoming September Nintendo Direct to start the hype train rolling and give us our first look at the console.
Nintendo has held a Nintendo Direct in September almost every year, and it’s usually a time when Nintendo makes some big announcements about games and hardware we expect to see in the future.
When is the Nintendo Switch 2 release date?
The PS5 and Xbox Series X launched during the first few weeks of November, and Nintendo’s last console before the Switch – the Wii U – launched on November 19. We can predict, then, that the Nintendo Switch 2 release date will be sometime during November 2024.
A new Nintendo Switch 2 leak says the company is planning to release the Nintendo Switch 2 in the second half of 2024 to avoid the types of stock shortages consumers experienced with the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and that development kits are in the hands of key partners.
With the Nintendo Switch approaching its seventh anniversary on sale and hardware sales continuing to decline, there’s no doubt that Nintendo will be ready to introduce its next entry into the home console space in 2024.
How powerful will the Nintendo Switch 2 be?
This is a question that many gamers will be interested in, but we can already hedge our bets that the Nintendo Switch 2 won’t be the most powerful console on the market. Nintendo pivoted away from trying to compete with Sony and Microsoft in terms of graphical horsepower after the GameCube and has instead focused on creating compelling features, like new ways to play, first and foremost.
The Nintendo Switch launched with roughly the same power as the Wii U that came before it, but due to optimization and advances in technology, it’s probably closer in power to a paired-back Xbox One and PS4.
While we can almost bank on the Nintendo Switch 2 being less powerful than the Xbox Series X and PS5, we got our best hint yet at the sort of graphical quality we can expect. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said that Nintendo’s next console will target the same specs as a PS4, meaning it’ll be closer in alignment with Gen 8 platforms instead of the Gen 9 consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
Kotick’s revelation may be disappointing news for some, but it’s important to remember that there have been countless advancements in video game design that allow developers to get more power from similar hardware. Whether it’s resolution scaling or more efficient graphical engines, we’ve already seen the Switch receive games that appeared to be beyond the scope of its limited hardware, like The Witcher 3, Doom, and many more.
However, a new report hints at the Switch 2 being more comparable to a PS5 or Xbox Series X. Nintendo showed some tech demos to developers at Gamescom, including one where the console was running The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 tech demo. There was also a demo of the Switch 2 running an enhanced version of an existing Switch game.
Hopefully, the Nintendo Switch 2 will at least display games at 4K resolution when hooked up to a TV and it’ll retain the beautiful display we’re used to with the Nintendo Switch OLED. A greater emphasis on 60fps games would also be a welcome addition.
Will Nintendo Switch 2 be backward compatible?
Backward compatibility is incredibly important for the success of the Nintendo Switch 2. The Nintendo Switch has sold millions of units and has amassed an incredible library of games. It would be extremely disappointing if those titles couldn’t be played on the Nintendo Switch 2, or if Nintendo couldn’t figure out a way of offering enhanced versions of games people already own.
We’ve seen both Sony and Microsoft revitalize and improve countless games from the PS4 and Xbox One for its new hardware, and the prospect of being able to play some of the best Nintendo Switch games at a higher resolution or with a more stable frame rate is an exciting proposition. Nintendo apparently showed a demo of Breath of the Wild running on Switch 2 with a higher frame rate and resolution, but it wasn’t clear if older games will actually get enhanced.
Thankfully, Nintendo has a pretty good track record when it comes to backward compatibility support, with the Wii, Nintendo DS, and Wii U all offering support for the previous generation of games. The Nintendo Switch wasn’t backward compatible, but if the Nintendo Switch 2 follows a similar form factor and design, it would be a real shame if Nintendo decided to drop support for its second most successful console of all time.
What gives me hope that backward compatibility will be possible is that Nintendo has announced that account migration will be possible on the Switch 2, meaning players will be able to take their existing profiles and past purchases with them. Backward compatibility would make sense, then, as people could download or play games they already own, as well as purchase some titles they may have missed.
What Nintendo Switch 2 features can we expect to see?
This is where it gets tricky, as Nintendo always has a new trick or surprise up its sleeve. Whether it’s offering motion controls, a glasses-free 3D display, dual screens, stylus support, or a controller that seamlessly transforms into two gamepads for local multiplayer, you can count on there being some sort of unique selling point that separates the Switch 2 from the rest of the pack.
With more competition than ever in the handheld/hybrid console space from the likes of the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally, it’ll be interesting to see what feature Nintendo focuses on to give it that edge and childlike wonder we’ve come to expect from the Japanese company’s hardware.
Most of the recent Switch 2 leaks have revolved around the hardware’s specs, rather than its unique features. It may include a camera this time around, which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for Nintendo. The Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U GamePad all included a camera and used it in various ways. Honestly, I can’t wait to see what the Nintendo Switch 2 has in store for gamers.
How much will the Nintendo Switch 2 cost?
The Nintendo Switch launched for $299 back in 2016, which many considered to be too high at the time, partly because it was the same price as the much-maligned Wii U. However, it didn’t stop the console from flying off the shelves and becoming the second best-selling home console of all time.
We’ve since seen Nintendo launch the Nintendo Switch Lite for $199 and the Nintendo Switch OLED model for $350, and I feel like this price range will be the sweet spot for the Nintendo Switch 2. I can’t envision Nintendo making a console that costs more than $350, otherwise, it’ll draw an unfavorable comparison with the PS5 and Xbox Series X, which both launched at $499 but have since seen price increases. However, the Switch 2 could be the most expensive Nintendo console to date, according to a recent leak
If the Nintendo Switch 2 can indeed launch for $299 once again, that would give it a huge boost out of the gate and also keep Nintendo’s value proposition intact when compared to the likes of Valve’s Steam Deck, which starts at $399, and the Asus ROG Ally, which starts at $499.
Is Nintendo Switch still worth it in 2023?
If you’ve yet to pick up a Nintendo Switch and fear that there’s no point with the Nintendo Switch 2 launch looming, you may be wondering whether the Switch is still worth it in 2023. Despite being almost geriatric by console standards, the Switch is still a great system and well worth picking up if you can find it on sale. There are also three models to choose from, and our Nintendo Switch vs Lite and Nintendo Switch vs Switch OLED comparisons can help you make the right choice.
Last updated: September 8, 2023