After seven years on the market, 130 million systems, and more than 1 billion games sold, it looks like 2024 could be the year that Nintendo announces a follow-up to the Switch.
In this post, we’re rounding up everything we know, and what’s been speculated, about the next system from Nintendo. It covers the system’s potential form factor, release date, price, launch games, backward compatibility, and more. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll refer to the new system as the Switch 2, although it seems likely that, based on Nintendo’s history, it will have some kind of new, original name for the console.
What is it?
One of the biggest unknowns about the next piece of Nintendo hardware is what exactly it will be. Former Nintendo employees have predicted it will have a similar form factor to the Switch and that it can be used as a handheld device and also dock to your TV like the existing model does. Nintendo, for its part, has said nothing at all about what to expect from its next system, apart from how the aim is for it to “surprise and delight” fans, so we only have predictions and guesses to go on for now.
Digital Foundry reported that the Switch 2 may use Nvidia’s new custom variant T239 processor. The site compiled a PC based on what it believed the Switch 2’s specs could be and found that it could capably run Death Stranding at 1080p at an average of 35 fps.
A smoother transition
Nintendo’s previous consoles had their own account systems and players had to create new accounts for subsequent hardware launches. But the new overarching Nintendo Account changes this, and this could help ease the transition to the next Nintendo console.
It “allows us to communicate with our players if and when we make a transition to a new platform, to help ease that process or transition,” Nintendo’s Doug Bowser said.
“Our goal is to minimize the dip you typically see in the last year of one cycle and the beginning of another,” he added. “I can’t speak to the possible features of a new platform, but the Nintendo Account is a strong basis for having that communication as we make the transition.”
Nintendo’s CEO, Shuntaro Furukawa, said in 2023 that the next Nintendo console will use the same Nintendo Account system as the Switch, so hearing Bowser suggest something similar is no big surprise.
When will it be announced?
Nintendo has provided no indication as to when it might announce new hardware, but some have predicted an announcement could be tied to Nintendo’s fiscal calendar. Nintendo’s new financial year begins on April 1, so some are expecting an announcement just before then to help pump the stock price and generate momentum heading into the next quarter. Nintendo’s share price recently reached a record high, and some are expecting even stronger results ahead if Nintendo does in fact announce new hardware soon.
When will the Switch 2 launch?
We don’t know. The Switch launched in March 2017, but there is no guarantee that Nintendo would follow a similar playbook with its next piece of hardware. The Wii and Wii U, for example, launched in November. One theory is that Nintendo might look to release the Switch 2 in the first half of 2024 so that any potential stock shortages could be sorted out before the ever-important holiday shopping season when Nintendo wants to have ample supply in the market.
Recently, a September 2024 release date for the Switch 2 emerged in an official press release from the newest interaction of GameShark. But it’s probably not legitimate.
Nintendo Switch 2023 Winter Commercial 2 – Splatoon 3
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How much will it cost?
The Switch 2 has not been announced, so everything is guesswork at this stage. But one analyst recently predicted that the Switch 2 will cost $400 and that its top-tier games will sell for $70. The original Switch launched at $300, and its relatively low price point no doubt helped the system perform exceptionally well in the market. Whether or not the next Nintendo console launches with just one SKU or multiple editions, at various price points, remains to be seen.
In terms of the prediction about game costs rising to $70, that wouldn’t be very surprising. After all, Nintendo already charged $70 for Tears of the Kingdom, and it was a sales juggernaut at that price point. Nintendo said that was a one-off for Switch game prices, but charging $70 for Switch 2 games would bring Nintendo in line with what companies like Microsoft and Sony, as well as a variety of third-party publishers, charge for their leading titles.
Mario Kart 9 and other games
It’s widely expected that Nintendo will release a new Mario Kart game for its next home console–there are not many safer bets in gaming that one could make. A report said Mario Kart 9 will have some kind of “new twist,” and fans are eagerly waiting to see what that might be. If a new Mario Kart game is in the works, it would seemingly make business sense for it to be a launch title for the next console. A report from 2023 said a number of developers already had the new Nintendo console at their offices and were beginning to build games for it, but none have been announced or even hinted at thus far.
Will it be backward compatible?
A major question fans want to know is whether or not the next Nintendo console will support games from the Switch. We don’t know. But Nintendo’s previous statements about the Nintendo Account system carrying forward to the next system might suggest Nintendo is going to offer some level of backward compatibility. One theory floated by a former Nintendo employee is that the Switch 2 will be backward compatible with digital eShop games.
Keep checking back with GameSpot for more as we learn more about the next Nintendo console, as we’ll continue to update this story as more information comes to light.