Nintendo Switch

It looks like Nintendo is following Sony and Microsoft’s lead with a mid-generation system upgrade of their own. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Big N could debut an updated Switch console as early as next summer.

The system upgrade, according to anonymous “suppliers and others with direct knowledge of the plan” would help maintain sales momentum of the hybrid device, according to the article. The Switch has enjoyed immense popularity around the world and especially in its home market, where it has remained competitive with Sony’s PlayStation 4, this console generation’s overall leader. From its March 2017 debut to June 2018, the Switch had sold nearly 20 million units. This upcoming refresh is likely happening to ensure the system’s good fortunes continue.

Switching screens?

No details are available on which hardware upgrades Switch 2.0 might receive. The WSJ article (paywall) notes that insiders suspect display improvements could be at the top of the list of improvements. A display boost utilizing more recent smartphone technologies would result in a Switch screen that is brighter, thinner and more energy-efficient, according to the article. Inside sources believed the upgraded Switch would not include the “organic light-emitting diode or OLED panels” used in Apple’s iPhone X line, according to the article.

Nintendo Switch family

A Nintendo spokesperson declined to comment, according to the article.

An upgrade to the Switch makes general sense (it is dramatically underpowered compared to the PS4 and XBox One, which debuted four years earlier and have both received upgrades of their own). Despite Nintendo themselves reiterating the Switch was not in competition with those other systems, the real story is not so cut and dried. Nintendo has Mario. It has that unmistakable Nintendo charm. It also has Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which many expect will be a monstrous system mover when it arrives in December.

But, what the Switch has in that Nintendo magic, it lacks in raw horsepower. True believers might never care, but as this console generation continues toward its conclusion, more and more casual gamers might.

Will you switch?

All that being said, it’s a shame Nintendo feels Switch 2.0 is necessary. A smaller, lighter but essentially identical refresh is one thing. An upgrade that promises brighter, shinier bells and whistles is another. There will always be some folks happy to upgrade to the new hotness, while others who bought it on day one could wind up feeling a little burned.

Where do your opinions fall regarding the news of an upgraded Switch in 2019? Let us know in the comments!


John Dunphy
John Dunphy has written, edited and managed several newspapers, magazines and news websites in both the United States and South Korea. He's written about local government, food, nightlife, Korean culture, beer, cycling, land preservation, video games and more. His love of gaming began with the Atari 2600 but truly came of age on the Super Nintendo. Looking at his staggering surplus of console and PC games yet to be played, he laments the long-ago days of only being able to buy one $70 32-megabyte cartridge and playing it until his hands ached.


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