The Nintendo Switch has clearly been one of the biggest hits in the gadget charts over the last couple of years – it's a well-built, versatile, funky-looking bit of kit with some top-tier games and a lot of broad appeal. The affordable price doesn't hurt it either.
However, its success does mean that the pressure's on for the sequel, the Nintendo Switch 2. Can Nintendo repeat the magic formula second time around? Or should it forget the Switch approach and do something completely different? Here's what we've heard so far.
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Nintendo Switch 2: release date
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 very least. Nintendo hasn't said much about a Switch 2, but it has said that it wants the console's life-cycle to stretch beyond the usual five-year window. As a result, don't expect a proper Nintendo Switch 2 until 2022 at the earliest.
We haven't heard a peep out of the rumour mill so far about a Switch follow up, which further confirms the theory that such a device is still a while off. A small specs bump might be on the cards before then, though.
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 under the £300/$300 mark.
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.
We got plenty of news about the Nintendo Switch at E3 2018, mostly around new games titles (of which more in a minute). That suggests the Switch is now really hitting its stride, and Nintendo doesn't need to discount the price yet.
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.
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.
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 – maybe even 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 YouTube and Netflix support are on the way.
Nintendo Switch 2: other rumours
Only a year-and-a-bit after the Switch launched, it's still early days for rumours about a Switch 2. 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. 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.