Update: Parts of US Gamer’s translation have been called incorrect by outlets with a better track record for Japanese translation. Corrected information has been included below.
The rumor mill has been buzzing with reports of new Nintendo Switch models on the horizon in recent months, and today yet another one surfaced. The latest comes from Japanese publication Nikkei, the world’s largest financial newspaper and the same group that reported Nintendo was working on a smaller, cheaper Switch in January. They’ve since acquired more information from their sources about both the “Switch Lite” and a second, more powerful model.
Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that two new Switch models are in development. That story stated that the lighter, cheaper model would cut out rumble features. Eurogamer corroborated some of those details and added some more claims of their own. According to Eurogamer, the cheaper Switch will be handheld-only and re-designed to be more “kid-proof.” Both sites reported that the other model would feature improved hardware, but not on the level of PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X.
The latest Nikkei report is in a similar vein, but it contradicts some of the finer details. According to Nikkei’s sources (as translated by US Gamer), the cheaper model is indeed coming this year (specifically this Fall), but it will be compatible with a dock and TV. It’s unclear what sacrifices this model will have to make to reach the cheaper price point.
As for the rumored “Switch Pro,” Nikkei believes its release is further out. According to their sources, a “next-generation” version of Switch is in development, but its planned release has been pushed back due to technical issues that include troubles with the operating system and power consumption. It’s unclear whether this “next-generation” Switch is the same as the Switch Pro or an entirely different piece of hardware, but it’s hard to imagine three separate iterations of Switch all deep in development at the same time.
As usual with these types of unconfirmed reports, we advise a healthy dose of skepticism. It seems extremely likely that Nintendo has new hardware in the works, but the exact details are unknown. Perhaps Nintendo’s E3 Direct will clear things up.
Update: According to Dr. Serkan Toto and Gematsu the information about power consumption problems is an incorrect translation on the part of US Gamer. They both see the second, more powerful console as being a next generation device rather than a “Pro” Switch. The confusion about a “delay” seems to stem from the fact that Nintendo is still in the experimental phase, and it’s unclear who will be heading up development. Gematsu reports that Nintendo is experimenting with operating system changes, but any claims of it causing a “delay” are false according to Dr. Toto.