It looks like a second-generation Nintendo Switch is inevitable, even if Nintendo itself hasn't confirmed the news yet – the Nintendo Switch has been such a smash hit that there's no way it isn't going to be given a sequel when the time is right.
But when is the right time for a Nintendo Switch 2 launch? Exactly how will Nintendo change the design and specs from the original? And is it going to be worth upgrading to the new portable console when it appears?
We've been carefully gathering all the news, rumours and speculation about the Nintendo Switch 2, and we've presented it all here for your perusal. Get the latest on the follow-up to the best portable gaming machine of our generation.
- Wolfenstein II The New Colossus on Nintendo Switch review
- 11 essential Nintendo Switch tips and tricks
- Best Nintendo Switch deals
Nintendo Switch 2: release date
This is the big question, so we can all get saving up: when will the Nintendo Switch 2 launch? According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé, it doesn't sound like it's going to be in 2019.
Cast your mind back to March 2017, because that's when the Nintendo Switch first went on sale, having been announced the previous October. That means the Switch launched five years after the Wii U appeared on the scene – so is another five-year gap looking likely?
Well, we'd say five years at the least. Nintendo has specifically stated that it wants the console's life-cycle to stretch beyond the usual five-year window. As such, it could be a good few years before we see a reimagined Nintendo Switch.
In the meantime, Nintendo will launch a handheld-only Switch Lite, which is cheaper, lighter and more compact in September. As well as being unable to detach the controllers from the side of the device, the Nintendo Switch Lite has a slightly smaller screen than the standard switch-able Switch – 5.5-inches versus the 6.2-inch touchscreen on the original. However, Nintendo has kept the same resolution, so games should look a little sharper on the Switch Lite.
Nintendo Switch 2: price
Part of the appeal of the Nintendo Switch is its affordable price, competing with the likes of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X, and Nintendo will want to continue that trend in the future. Look out for a Nintendo Switch 2 device coming in around the £300/$300 mark, since the Switch Lite caters to the more affordable market.
As we've mentioned, it's possible that Nintendo is thinking about releasing a Switch with better specs to its name, but we wouldn't expect the cost to rise too sharply – it knows that it can make extra revenue through games and through add-ons for the console, like Nintendo Labo kits.
Nintendo Switch 2: design
Nintendo has hit upon a design that works well, so it's likely that you'll be seeing Switch-style consoles from the company for the foreseeable future. Portable gaming when needed, with the option to dock the console and play games on a bigger screen at home.
If the next-generation Switch is more of a mid-generation bump – the path Sony and Microsoft have followed lately – then the design will almost definitely stay unchanged. There might be a few refinements here and there though, especially with accessories. Some bugs might get ironed out and Nintendo might take steps to lock out Switch hackers.
Broadly speaking though, we'd expect the second Switch to look (and work) much like the first. Slim and svelte looks aren't so important for the device, as it's that chunky feel in the hand, and that tablet-sized screen, that help make the console work as well as it does. The Nintendo Switch Pro, if it's real, would presumably be the same size as the current Switch device.
Nintendo Switch 2: specs
You don't need to be an expert to know that hardware components are getting faster and smaller all the time, so there's no doubt the next Switch will be more powerful than the first. A new and improved Switch Pro might make more sense than a Switch 2, in fact.
We know from users digging into the Switch code that Nintendo is laying the groundwork for improved hardware, and that will mean better resolutions and more expansive gameplay. More memory and a faster internal processor will definitely on the cards.
At the same time, Nintendo has spoken about its reluctance to join the specs race with everyone else, so a 4K Switch might not appear for a good while yet. Reading between the lines, a minor hardware refresh in the next couple of years is the most likely outcome.
A 1080p touchscreen is one of the rumours we've heard floating around, and the Tegra X1 processor inside the current Switch is another component that a potential Pro upgrade might improve upon.
Nintendo Switch 2: games
Games could've been one of the weaknesses of the Switch, but it's become one of the console's strengths – all kicked off by Breath of the Wild, of course. Now the console is a hit, independent developers are rushing to get their titles out on the Switch hardware.
And the success of the Switch should mean some top-notch games for the Switch 2 – including a Breath of the Wild sequel. It's too early to talk specifics, but the next iteration of the Switch will have a much better launch line-up than the original did.
We do know about plenty of games coming to the original Switch soon: the likes of Starlink: Battle for Atlas and Trials Rising, for example. Fortnite has also recently come to the Switch as it keeps pace with the bigger consoles, and there are rumours that Netflix support is on the way to go with the YouTube support that's already been added.
One tidbit we have heard is that Nintendo Switch 2 multiplayer games might come with cross-platform compatibility, so you can share the experiences with your friends on the Sony PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Two.
Nintendo Switch 2: other rumours
We're still only a couple of years after the Switch launched, so a full Switch 2 upgrade is likely to be a way off yet. Console makers always want to get the maximum out of their current gen products before moving on to the next gen.
Nintendo hasn't said a Switch 2 is definitely on the way yet – it has confirmed it's busy working on new hardware of some kind, but that's hardly a surprising revelation.
With the Switch 1.0 proving a big success, Nintendo will want to ride the wave with games and accessories for as long as possible, maybe with a mid-gen Switch 1.5 upgrade in 2019 or 2020, as we've mentioned After that, the real work can start on putting out a Nintendo Switch 2.0 device.
We'll keep you posted with every Nintendo Switch 2 leak and rumour that appears, so watch this space.