For months now, the video game industry has been buzzing with rumors of new Switch hardware. These numerous, often contradictory reports tend to agree that a cheaper “Switch Lite” model is on the way, and some believe a “Switch Pro” could also be on the horizon. With E3 less than two months away (and Bloomberg claiming a new Switch will launch that same month) many anticipate a reveal, but they may be disappointed.
Following the publication of Nintendo’s 2019 earnings release, President and CEO Shuntaro Furukawa issued some additional information. On the topic of new Switch hardware, he reaffirmed Nintendo’s tradition of always working on new hardware ideas internally but said he had nothing to announce. Additionally, he stated that Nintendo has no plans to make such an announcement at this year’s E3.
Does this mean the alleged Switch Lite isn’t coming after all, or is Nintendo simply waiting for a more optimal time to unveil it? There doesn’t seem to be any consensus on the new model’s launch window (Summer, Fall, and vague “2019” dates have all been proposed), but it’s possible that Nintendo’s just not ready to show it off yet.
Nintendo just published its earnings release for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2019. That means the last 12 months of sales data is in the books, including updates on hardware totals. Nintendo’s latest numbers show that Switch sold another 2.46 million units last quarter (January – March), which brings its lifetime total to 34.74 million.
If you’re familiar with the sales performance of Nintendo’s past consoles, you know that number marks a major milestone: Nintendo Switch has passed Nintendo 64’s lifetime sales. Nintendo’s flagship console in the late ’90s sold 32.93 million units in its lifetime, and it took Switch just two years to beat that mark. Switch still trails Nintendo 64 when it comes to software units sold, though. The classic console moved 224.97 million units of software, and Switch software sales are at 187.52 million. Switch still has a long life ahead of it, of course, so it will certainly close the gap in due time.
When compared to Nintendo’s most successful home consoles of all time, Switch still has a long way to go. Wii is still the champ with 101.63 million units sold. If we factor in handhelds (Switch is portable), DS dominates with 154.02 million sold. Those are tough numbers to match, but Switch’s pace of 17 million per year is impressive in its own right.
Nintendo Switch is on a hot streak right now, outselling its 2018 numbers every single week in Japan thus far in 2019. Back in January, we reported that Switch passed 7 million units sold in Japan alone and that it was closing in on PlayStation 4 in that region. Although it hasn’t quite passed up Sony’s console yet, it’s likely to do so in just one or two more weeks. In the meantime, Switch just hit another milestone in Japan.
According to the latest sales data, Switch moved another 40,000 units in Japan last week (easily enough to top the charts), bringing its grand total to just over 8 million. That means Switch has sold over 1 million units in Japan alone since early January. It now trails PlayStation 4 by just over 33,000 sales, so it should eclipse it next week.
We also know that Switch has been the top-selling hardware in the US for the last four months in a row. These stronger than expected sales worldwide over the past few months should boost Switch’s life total considerably. Nintendo infamously lowered their hardware target from 20 million to 17 million earlier this year, but they’ve since been outselling all projections. They’ll likely still fall a bit short of the 20 million target, but they might be closer than previously thought. Nintendo will release their year-end financial data soon, as they’re meeting with investors and reporters over the next few days.
Over the past few months, we’ve reported on numerous claims that Nintendo is preparing to launch new hardware in the near future. Some of these reports have contradicted each other on key details, but they’re largely in agreement that Nintendo has a smaller, cheaper version of the Switch planned for 2019. According to the latest scoop, this time from Bloomberg, the alleged Switch Lite is coming even sooner than previously thought.
In a Bloomberg article detailing Nintendo’s recent stock surge (triggered primarily by the news that Nintendo plans to release Switch in China) and its impact on short sellers, the rumored cheaper Switch model was discussed. Bloomberg noted that they have two sources confirming its existence, and they went on to say that one of those sources provided them with a release window of late June.
Although not officially confirmed, Switch Lite is one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry. It almost certainly exists, but which report contains the correct details? Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei issued their own report just last week, but their sources report a Fall release window rather than June. Other reports have settled on a vaguer “2019” window. There has also been confusion over whether or not this device will be able to dock and play on a TV. Bloomberg did not comment on this contested detail, but they did state that they are unaware of any plans for a more powerful Switch model.
This rumored “Pro” model has been circulating in tandem with the “Lite” rumors, but Nikkei believes it’s actually the next generation of Switch (rather than a half-generation step) and that it’s only in the very early stages of experimenting. Others have claimed that it’s a Pro model launching in 2019, and Bloomberg doesn’t believe it exists at all. E3 can’t come fast enough!
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.
We’ve been hearing rumblings about a new Xbox model since last year, and the rumors of a disc-free Xbox One really picked up last month with talk of an imminent reveal. While this isn’t always the case with rumors, this time all that smoke was coming from a very real fire. During the ongoing episode of Inside Xbox, Microsoft has just unveiled a new Xbox model.
As previously reported by multiple sources, Microsoft will indeed be launching a cheaper Xbox One model that only plays digital games. This new model is called Xbox One S All-Digital Edition and it launches on May 7th. Thurrott had predicted that it would cost “$200 or less,” but the actual price tag is $250. You can check out the somewhat bizarre reveal trailer above.
Update: According to Tech Crunch the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will come with download codes for three games: Sea of Thieves, Minecraft, and Forza Horizon 3. This adds some solid value to the bundle despite its higher than anticipated price tag.
Last night, millions of Nintendo Switch consoles around the world were upgraded to Version 8.0.0. A variety of new features were added, including new icons, the ability to sort software, and a zoom feature in the System Settings, but the biggest new addition is the often-requested ability to transfer save data from one Switch to another.
In the past, it was possible to transfer an entire user profile from one Switch to another, but you couldn’t (for example) simply grab your Super Smash Bros. Ultimate save file and take it to a new Switch by itself. Now you can! This addition came at an interesting time when you consider the fact that Nintendo is reportedly launching new Switch models this year. This new feature should make it easier for people who plan to pick up a new model to distribute their save files however they please. In the meantime, you can check out the full patch notes below.
Added the following system functionality:
A Sort Software feature is available after selecting to view All Software from the HOME Menu
Software can be sorted by time last played, total play time, software title, and software publisher
The All Software option displays when there are 13 or more software icons on the HOME Menu
A View All Available News option is available within News, allowing you to view all news items currently being distributed
Go to News > Channel List > View More
Select from 15 new icons from the Splatoon™ 2 and Yoshi’s Crafted World™ games for your user
To edit your user icon, head to your My Page on the top left of the HOME Menu > Profile
A feature to Transfer Your Save Data is now available, allowing you to transfer your save data for individual games between your Nintendo Switch systems
Go to System Settings > Data Management > Transfer Your Save Data
Save data will not remain on your source system after the transfer process completes
A Zoom feature can be enabled from within System Settings
Go to System Settings > System to turn Zoom ON
Once enabled, you can use the Zoom feature by pressing the HOME Button twice
An option is available to prevent the system from waking from Sleep Mode when an AC adapter is disconnected
Go to System Settings > Sleep Mode > Wake When AC Adapter is Disconnected
This also applies when undocking your console
A VR Mode (3D Visuals) restriction is available within Parental Controls
This will also be available in the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app through a later update
Go to System Settings > Parental Controls
These settings can also be changed from within Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit
Hong Kong / Taiwan / South Korea is available for selection in Region
Go to System Settings > System > Region
The following names have been changed (functionality remains the same)
Save Data Cloud Backup > Save Data Cloud
Transfer Your User and Save Data > Transfer Your User Data
We’ve known for quite some time now that the next PlayStation is on the way, but today we received an unexpected update. Rather than revealing PlayStation 5 (name unofficial) details during a State of Play video or at E3 (which Sony isn’t attending), architect Mark Cerny decided to spill the beans by inviting Wired to come check out a development kit and learn about its hardware.
Although we don’t know the console’s name or what it will look like, Cerny revealed a surprising amount of detail about its inner workings. For starters, Sony is promising a “true generational shift,” and not merely another stopgap upgrade like the PlayStation 4 Pro. However, it will still be backwards compatible with PlayStation 4 games.
Their next console will be powered by a CPU that is “based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture.” Meanwhile, the GPU is a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family. One of its big upsides is that it will support ray tracing, greatly increasing the realistic types of lighting it can produce.
The AMD chip is also equipped with “a custom unit for 3D audio that Cerny thinks will redefine what sound can do in a videogame.” Cerny claims this will be a massive leap in sound quality, as opposed to the “frustration” of how little PlayStation 4’s audio improved over PlayStation 3’s. Cerny believes Sony’s next console will offer a much more immersive experience.
Sony’s next big reveal is a feature that Cerny calls “the key to the next generation.” Sony’s next console will feature an SSD that has “a raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available for PCs.” Cerny demonstrated its speed by running Insomniac’s Spider-Man game on both a PlayStation 4 and the next-gen dev kit to test load times. Fast traveling took around 15 seconds on PlayStation 4, but less than one second on the new hardware.
Cerny went on to explain that an even bigger benefit is the rate at which worlds can be generated, which he once again put to the test with a PlayStation 4 and the next-gen console side by side. Cerny explained that Spidey’s max swinging speed is capped by the PlayStation 4’s loading capabilities. In other words, if Spidey were to swing any faster, he’d be swinging into a barren, unloaded New York. On the new hardware, the camera zips through the game “like it’s mounted to a fighter jet,” with Cerny periodically pausing to prove that the demo still looks good when stopped. The demo took place on a 4K TV, but Cerny says the new hardware will be compatible with 8K TVs as well.
Sony declined to discuss software, services, and various other features during this meeting. He confirmed that the next console will not launch in 2019, but no true release window was given. Unsurprisingly, Cerny also stopped short of revealing a price tag. Given that it’s not coming this year, Sony still has plenty of time to solidify and unveil all of those details.
Last November, Nintendo launched Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! alongside a special edition Switch console. Sporting yellow Joy-Cons and a Pikachu and Eevee themed dock, this limited bundle sold out quickly and vanished from store shelves. If you missed out on your opportunity to snag one back then, you’ll be happy to know that it’s temporarily back in stock.
GameStop is currently selling the special bundle for $399.99. For that price, you get the custom console, a digital download code for either of the two games, and the Pokéball Plus accessory. If you’re interested, you can place an order for yours by clicking here.
Welcome back to another episode of Switched On! Join Ben, Tess, and Jeff as they break down all of the latest Nintendo news, including the Nindies event, Nintendo’s budding relationship with Microsoft, and the rumors of Switch Lite and Switch Pro models.
If you enjoy this episode of Switched On!, feel free to check out our previous episodes, where we tackle recent Nintendo Directs, explore Nintendo franchises that need a reboot, and more. We also have a second podcast called Gamnesia After Dark that features non-Nintendo discussion, including video games, TV shows, movies, and the lives of the Gamnesia staff in general.
First revealed at last year’s SEGA Fes, SEGA had announced that they would be releasing a SEGA Mega Drive Mini (or Genesis Mini in North America) by the end of 2018, but the year has come and gone with little fanfare or details on their own retro plug-and-play console. It took another SEGA Fes for word to finally come on the delayed legacy system, as the company finally gave eager fans at Akihabara an inside look at the anticipated platform.
Packaged with 40 classic games, you’d best mark your calendars and start saving up, as the SEGA Genesis Mini will finally launch globally later this year on September 19.
This isn’t SEGA’s first crack at a throwback console, having released the SEGA Mega Drive Classic and Genesis Flashback HD in partnership with AtGames. Those consoles were nigh universally panned, however, with critics citing poor emulation and shoddy hardware. While AtGames was initially meant to collaborate with SEGA again on the Genesis Mini, it appears that partnership has dissolved, with SEGA now working on the system internally alongside developer M2.
M2 is the same studio responsible for a lot of enhanced retro ports of classic games we see on modern platforms nowadays, such as the SEGA 3D Classics for Nintendo 3DS and the SEGA Ages games for Nintendo Switch. As such, the Genesis Mini is already shaping up to stand on par with Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classics when it comes to quality. Streets of Rage composer Yuzo Koshiro is also working on the Mini, having composed the menu music for the system.
As for the games lineup, SEGA has announced that Japanese Mega Drive Mini will include the following among the confirmed 40 titles:
Madou Monogatari Ichi (Story of Sorcery 1)
Puyo Puyo 2
Space Harrier II
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Meanwhile, the North American Genesis Mini will include the following, among others:
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Ecco the Dolphin
Sonic The Hedgehog
Space Harrier II
ToeJam & Earl
As an added bonus? On top of save states, some games will come with regional variations that you can choose to play from. It’s certainly a nice touch to those who might appreciate some of the minute differences between certain localizations and outright changes between international versions of the same game.
The console will release in two variations in Japan. One edition will come with a single six-button Mega Drive Mini USB controller, with an MSRP of ¥6,980, while the second version comes with two controllers retailing at ¥8,980. This won’t be the case in North America, as the U.S. version will launch with two three-button Genesis-style controllers, totaling to $80.
Would you consider picking up a SEGA Genesis Mini later this year? What other games would you like to see packaged with the retro system? Personally, just give me Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and I’m good, but share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below!
Yesterday there was a report from the Wall Street Journal stating that two new Nintendo Switch models are coming in 2019. One is expected to be a pricier model with improved hardware, while the other is a simpler, cheaper model that removes some features to cut costs. Today Eurogamer is stepping forward to corroborate that info based on their sources, and they’ve also added some more to the story.
According to Eurogamer’s sources, Nintendo is essentially targeting something similar to the divide between 2DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL. As such, the cheaper model is designed to be a sturdy, “kid proof” alternative to the standard Switch. Eurogamer believes it will be exclusively a handheld device, cutting costs further by taking out its TV connectivity. The more expensive model will continue to function both as a handheld and home console and will likely see a modest power boost, but it won’t be on the level of the competition.
As with any report that hasn’t been confirmed, this should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. That said, Eurogamer was one of the first to get the scoop on the original Switch hardware, so they definitely have sources with inside knowledge of Nintendo’s hardware manufacturing plans. Nintendo has yet to issue any comment and likely won’t until they’re ready to reveal the new hardware themselves.
For months now there have been rumors circulating that suggest Nintendo is preparing to launch a new Nintendo Switch model. Some speculated that this could be a more powerful version, while others speculated it would instead be a smaller, cheaper version. These two hypothesized models have become known by the nicknames Switch Pro and Switch Lite. If the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, they’re both real and both coming in 2019.
According to the sources of Takashi Mochizuki at The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is likely to unveil two new Nintendo Switch models at E3 in June. They are expected to launch a few months later. One “will have enhanced features targeted at avid videogamers” but won’t be as powerful as PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X. The other model is “a cheaper option for casual gamers that Nintendo sees as a successor to its aging hand-held 3DS device.” This information is said to come from part suppliers and developers.
One of Mochizuki’s sources stated the following about the upcoming models: “You would be wrong to think the enhanced version is similar to what Sony did with PS4 Pro and the other is just a cheap alternative that looks very similar to some past hand-held machines, say, Sony’s PlayStation Vita.” It’s unclear what the price will be for either model, but the cheaper option will eliminate some features to cut costs. This reportedly means it won’t feature the HD Rumble vibration of the normal Switch.
At this time Nintendo has not commented on this story, and they most likely won’t. As such, it should be taken with a healthy serving of skepticism. That said, it seems highly likely that at least one new Nintendo Switch model will be introduced in the near future based on multiple sources, and an E3 reveal would make sense.
Last November, we reported on a rumor from Thurrott that indicated Microsoft is working on a cheaper, disc-free version of Xbox One. Thurrott claims this upcoming model will only play digital games and that Microsoft will partner with retailers to let players trade in their discs for digital download codes. According to the latest from the rumor mill, we’ll see this new console revealed quite soon.
A new article from Windows Central claims that the disc-free model, previously code-named “Maverick,” will be called “Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.” They expect pre-orders to open sometime in mid-April with the actual launch coming in May. They also believe it will launch simultaneously in nearly all existing Xbox markets. Unfortunately, they do not know what the price point will be, although Thurrott put it at “$200 or less.”
Windows Central has also heard rumors of a special edition Fortnite Xbox. This would be a bundle that includes a custom-designed Xbox, though Windows Central is not clear on whether this is an S model, an X model, or an All-Digital Edition model. As usual, we advise you to treat unconfirmed rumors with a healthy dose of skepticism. That said, Thurrott has a pretty good track record on Xbox scoops, so we think a disc-free Xbox model is likely.
BioWare’s Anthem recently launched to lukewarm reviews, but the online loot shooter might have bigger problems on its hands right now. Over the weekend (and continuing today), there have been countless reports from PlayStation 4 players claiming that Anthem is giving them error messages, booting them to the console’s dashboard, and even crashing the console altogether.
It appears players using both the standard and Pro models of the PlayStation 4 have experienced random crashes that act as though the power cord has been unplugged. One player claims that he continued playing after a crash and another crash followed that completely bricked his console. Although far less frequent, there have also been some reports of Xbox consoles crashing as well.
The official PlayStation Support Twitter page is currently flooded with angry players demanding answers and/or refunds. According to Reddit users, there have been mixed results on the refund front. Some claim the process was simple and painless, while others say their requests were rejected. Kotaku reached out to Sony and EA for a comment on the situation, but neither has replied at this time.
During last year’s E3 presentation, Microsoft confirmed that they are working on new consoles. Little else was said, but sources since then have claimed that Microsoft is developing a true successor to Xbox One and a cheaper model that will rely heavily on Project xCloud to run more intensive titles. These two consoles aren’t expected to launch anytime in 2019, but we may be hearing more about them quite soon.
According to the latest from Thurrott, Microsoft is planning to show off the two consoles, code-named “Lockhart” and “Anaconda,” at this year’s E3. They’re not expected to confirm a price point yet, but they want to “begin to peel back the onion on these two devices.” Thurrott expects the consoles to launch sometime in the Fall of 2020. French gaming outlet JeuxVideo has published a separate article stating much the same.
Thurrott also claims that we’ll be getting a big update on Halo Infinite during Microsoft’s show, and it will be confirmed as a launch title for the next-gen devices. Thurrott claims the game’s story will adapt to player choice, and it may feature more RPG elements than past entries in the long-running franchise.
In the two years since it launched, Nintendo hasn’t been too keen on offering Switch below the $300 price point. The hybrid console has sold well at its current price point, so Nintendo simply hasn’t felt the market pressure to offer many cost-saving bundles or discounts. However, they’ve just unveiled a pretty sweet deal for North America.
Starting on Friday, February 15th, you’ll be able to get a standard Nintendo Switch for the usual $300 price tag, but with the included bonus of a $35 Nintendo eShop gift card. Most first-party Nintendo games cost $60, so this would cover just over half the cost. Alternatively, the eShop is full of fantastic indie games in the $10 – $20 range, so you could easily pick up two or three of them. Here’s a few we recommend.
PlayStation 4 has been massively successful for Sony this generation, and the popular console is quickly approaching a major milestone. Critically acclaimed exclusives like God of War and Spider-Man helped drive hardware sales in its fifth year on the market. Thanks to another solid holiday season, PlayStation 4 is now sitting at 94 million units sold.
Sony sold 8.1 million units during their third quarter (October 1st – December 31st), which is lower than last year’s numbers and lower than Nintendo’s Switch sales for the same quarter, but it’s still an incredibly impressive figure for a console’s sixth holiday season. Sony expects to sell 17.5 million PlayStation 4 consoles for the fiscal year, which ends on March 31st.
At this point, PlayStation 4 only trails the original PlayStation by about 8 million sales, so it will almost certainly reach the mark over the course of the next year. If Sony wants it to catch up to PlayStation 2, they’re still quite an uphill battle to be fought there, as PlayStation 4 would need to sell over 60 million more units late in its life.
Nintendo Switch is nearing the end of its second year on the market, and with 32 million units sold, it’s on a similar pace to Wii, Nintendo’s highest-selling home console of all time. That said, Nintendo did fall short of its Switch sales target for the year, and at $300 it’s a bit pricey for some fans. We’ve speculated in the past that Nintendo could launch a cheaper, portable-only console, and according to the latest rumblings, they may be preparing to do exactly that.
Back in October, the Wall Street Journal reported that Nintendo was planning to launch a new Switch model in 2019. Their report contained no hard details, but they speculated that the new model would “upgrade the screen to make it brighter, thinner, and more energy-efficient.” Others speculated that this could be a more powerful “Switch Pro” model or a cheaper, portable-only device. Nintendo had no comment.
Fast forward to today, and Japanese publication Nikkei is again claiming that a new Switch model is in the works with a 2019 target. According to their sources, Nintendo plans to make a smaller version of the console focused on portable play that cuts features (presumably including the ability to dock, although that’s not concretely stated) in order to achieve a lower price point.
Much has been made of Nintendo’s sales goal for the Switch console over the past year. Nintendo went into 2018 with the lofty ambition of selling 20 million Switch units over the course of the fiscal year, which started on April 1, 2018 and ends on March 31, 2019. Analysts initially expected Nintendo to fall well short of the goal before seeing it as more possible thanks to strong holiday sales.
With the release of Nintendo’s third-quarter report, we now have a more clear picture of the situation. Nintendo performed well over the past quarter, and Switch passed up 30 million units sold, but it looks like it won’t quite be enough for Switch to reach its target. Nintendo is now forecasting 17 million Switch units sold for the fiscal year.
As of September 30th, 2018 Nintendo had sold just 5.07 million Switch units through 6 months, putting them well behind their target. After the holiday period, that number now stands at 14.49 million, meaning Nintendo sold 9.42 million Switch consoles from October 1st through December 31st. They would have to sell another 5 and a half million in the January – March quarter to hit their initial target, so they’ve scaled that back to just 2 and a half.