Nintendo still vehemently denies that it's working on an updated version of its Switch – despite a torrent of reports from analyst and industry insiders who claim new hardware is planned for the coming months to boost sales as the home-cum-portable console approaches the middle of its lifecycle.
And now, we might have finally got our first look at one of the two new versions of the Nintendo Switch planned for later this year.
Popular Chinese accessory manufacturer HonSon has listed a number of new cases with renders of a new console that looks suspiciously like the long-rumoured Nintendo Switch 2 Mini – sometimes referred to as the Switch 2 Lite.
Whispers of this console started to trickle online back in April 2017, so this console revision has been a long time coming.
This version is expected to lose the ability to connect to a HD TV using the dock. As such, it'll likely replace the Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS as the only handheld option in the Nintendo line-up. According to reports, the console will be a little more compact than the existing Nintendo Switch hardware.
Speaking to technology blog NintendoLife (opens in new tab), accessory maker HonSon has revealed the design of the console is based on "secret information" it has obtained. However, it has admitted that it might not be 100% and says it will wait for Nintendo to confirm the system before putting these cases into production.
According to HonSon, it will then be able to "adjust the model to ensure it can perfectly suit the console". That suggests that HonSon is completely confident in its source and so-called "secret information".
However, we've never seen a render of the Switch 2 Mini with this level of detail before, which is definitely notable.
As well as an undock-able, more affordable Switch 2 Mini, Nintendo is purportedly planning a more powerful, upgraded Switch 2 Pro. While the current-generation Nintendo Switch only has a 720p LCD display, the refreshed model is rumoured to ship with a 1080p OLED panel.
The existing Switch model is already capable of outputting content at 1080p – as it does whenever it is connected to a HD television using the dock, so Nintendo wouldn't even need to update the internals to drive the upgraded display on the Switch 2. OLED panels offer a number of improvements over LCD, including deeper blacks and more vibrant colours. They can also be more battery efficient, especially when using a dark mode.
Clearly, these improvements would ratchet up the price of the Nintendo Switch, which currently retails for around £279.99. However, pundits have pointed out that there is undoubtedly an opportunity to sell upgraded hardware with a better display for improved handheld gaming to those willing to pay for the privilege. And for those who don't think it's worth it, there will be the Switch 2 Mini... or second-hand first-generation Nintendo Switch consoles.