On March 25, 2019, the Wall Street Journal released a new report that gave some minor details about two rumored upcoming revisions of the Nintendo Switch. These two rumored new variants, unofficially being referred to as the ‘Switch Mini/Switch Lite’ and ‘Switch Pro’ are allegedly said to be scheduled for a reveal within the next new months. Of course, there’s no telling how accurate the report is, but now Eurogamer has stepped forward with some info from of its own sources.
According to Eurogamer, its sources have confirmed that they’ve heard similar details to that of WSJ’s report. But, Eurogamer’s sources have added a few more details into the mix, saying that Nintendo is allegedly following a similar course to what it pulled off with the 2DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL. Eurogamer’s sources say that Nintendo is hoping to capture the younger audience that’s been attracted to the low price-point and sturdy nature of the waining 2DS. Thus, resulting in the creation of the ‘Switch Lite’ which, similar to the 2DS, will have reduced features. This includes the reported removal of HD Rumble, and it also seems like it will be a handheld-only device.
As for the rumored ‘Switch Pro’, Eurogamer’s sources didn’t provide too much extra detail to what WSJ’s report already contained, though they did mention that its apparent spec-bump over the regular Switch would be similar to that of the New 3DS vs. the original 3DS. In other words, the difference will be noticeable, albeit not a huge upgrade. As a result, the ‘Switch Pro’ will still be less powerful than that of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. It does appear that this variant would still have the same hybrid design as the current Switch, so it isn’t too surprising that it lacks the power of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X as the mobile technology that powers the Switch still isn’t at that level yet.
Where do we go from here?
Even with Eurogamer’s vetting of the details, these reports will continued to be classified as rumors until Nintendo comes out and makes an official announcement. That said, this does remind me of the times before the Switch itself was formally revealed during the days of the NX. If you recall, just about every key detail surrounding the system was leaked months beforehand, including the fact that it turned out to be a hybrid console with detachable controllers and powered by an Nvidia chipset. So, it’s not too far fetched to take believe that these new rumors surrounding the ‘Switch Lite’ and ‘Switch Pro’ have a high probability of being true.
That said, the Switch Pro is one thing, but a ‘Switch Lite’ to me seems like a mistake waiting to happen. Nintendo was fortunate enough to give themselves an out that led to the creation of the 2DS; the fact that 3D was never required for any 3DS title. The Switch, however, would no longer be a ‘Switch’ if it becomes handheld-only. Therefore, Nintendo would have to create an interesting marketing strategy in order to help consumers understand what this ‘Switch Lite’ is all about. Not to mention the incompatibility of accessories it would encounter with things like Labo and the dock, which would make the situation even more complicated.