With thousands of you visiting the Console Deals website to buy a Nintendo Switch in time for Christmas over the past couple of weeks, one of the questions we’ve been most frequently asked is “should I buy now, or will there be a new Switch out next year?”
It’s a good question, and one I’m afraid we don’t have a concrete answer on at the moment (if we get one, we’ll be sure to update this post!). However, we do have years of experience in the gaming industry and always have a close eye on the news, so this post contains our best guess at whether we’ll get a new version of the Switch in 2019.
The case for a new Switch
- Nintendo love updating hardware. Dating all the way back to the N64 and original GameBoy, Nintendo have been big on re-releasing existing hardware with a new twist, be it increased power, added features or a new design. Given the Switch’s modular design and the fact it’s a handheld/ home console hybrid, there’s plenty of directions in which they could take a new version of the Switch.
- Nintendo have said they’re planning updates. Based on a report in the Wall St Journal, Nintendo are already planning on updating the Switch with a view to 2019. However, the vague details of the report suggest that these plans are in the very early stages.
- Sony and Microsoft have done it. Though Nintendo have always been independent thinkers and refused to follow the crowd, the fact that Microsoft and Sony have both launched high-powered versions of their current consoles (the Xbox One X and the PS4 Pro) shows that there is a market for gamers who want to play in the very best conditions possible. A high powered Switch capable of playing exclusive titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Smash Bros Ultimate in ultra HD 4K resolutions would certainly have a market.
The case against a new Switch
- The Switch is still less than 2 years old. The current Switch only came out in March 2017, and is selling fantastically. Even if there was a new Switch, it almost certainly would be an additional model to the existing one rather than a replacement.
- There’s no need to update the Switch. As evidenced by the Wall St Journal report linked above, there’s little doubt that Nintendo will eventually update the Switch. However, the vague nature of the update is telling. Currently, there’s no consensus on what about the Switch should be upgraded. Some want an all-in-one unit closer to the 3DS and DS. Some want a bigger screen. Some want more power. Until Nintendo can identify a core group of gamers that the Switch isn’t appealing to, it’ll be hard for them to commit to one direction.
- Less is more. Though Nintendo have a history of launching hardware revisions, a widely held opinion was that when it got to the 3DS, things just got a bit confusing. In total, there have been 6 different versions of the 3DS, and Nintendo will likely want to avoid the complications that arise when trying to explain the differences between so many models. Instead of launching an alternative Switch model, they may instead wait longer and then aim to completely overhaul (and effectively replace) the current model.
While we think an announcement of future Switch models is possible towards the end of next year, it’s more likely than not that we won’t see a new console launched until at least 2020. If Nintendo do surprise people and launch a new Switch, it will almost certainly be an alternative model rather than a direct replacement for the current hardware, which is still performing well and is less than 2 years old.