Nintendo patents point to new Nintendo Switch with a surprising twist

There could be a final Switch released before the next-gen Nintendo console

Nintendo Switch Lite
(Image credit: Spencer / Unsplash)

Nintendo could be planning to release one more Switch before it "switches" to its next-gen console. Numerous patents reportedly point to a smaller model – a potential Nintendo Switch Pocket – to replace the Switch Lite.

Online leaker Nash Weedle claims the patents reveal a new Switch, which he also calls the Switch Mini or Switch Micro. He says (in Spanish) that they describe a change in the position of different buttons, including the top triggers, home and capture.

He also says the patents reveal a new screw system, protective shell and more compact cooling technology.

When added up, the evidence supports the idea that another, redesigned Switch could be on its way. It would make sense that it's a variant of the Switch Lite or another smaller device, especially as the current handheld-only Nintendo console was released more than four years ago.

Nintendo also has a history of eking out the lifespan of current-gen consoles while moving into the next-gen – it released a new 2DS XL a month after the Switch first hit stores in 2017.

Also, if there is to be backward compatibility with Switch, as rumoured, a new, miniature handheld will be an ideal complementary games machine.

The leaker, Weedle, has even suggested a release date and price for the prospective Nintendo Switch Pocket.

He predicts (via Notebookcheck) that it'll be released on 16 February 2024 (which is rather specific). He also claims it will cost in the region of €149 (around £128).

Weedle also suggests the new machine will have a battery life of up to 12 hours, support the existing Switch cartridges (as well as downloaded games) and come in a choice of colours, much like the existing Nintendo Switch Lite.

We could actually see a more easily pocketable Switch being hugely popular as the console range is gradually phased out, so all of the above makes sense. Mini handhelds are a big deal these days, especially with the retro gaming community (such as the excellent Super Pockets), so the tech and the market are there.

And, to be honest, we still get out the 3DS at times to replay some classics. We can't see the Switch being any different.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.