Mere days after the Nintendo Switch 2 Mini hit headlines thanks to a case for the console being listed for sale by Chinese accessory maker HonSon, we've been treated to an even clearer look at the eagerly anticipated console.
Originally reported by Dutch tech blog LetsGoDigital, the Nintendo Switch Mini console is shown off from the front and is compared to the original Nintendo Switch, emphasising the size difference between the two systems.
The Switch Mini is not only shown off to be noticeably smaller than the original console, but also to have fixed Joy-Con, with the left and right controllers built into the smaller Switch's chassis. Check out the image in full below:
Other changes include repositioned thumb sticks and buttons (note specifically how the right thumb stick is now mounted parallel to the left one, and how the Home and Screenshot buttons are further up the body), as well as redesigned screen bezels.
Since the Joy-Cons cannot be detached and used an individual controllers for each player, Nintendo has more freedom to create a layout that just works for handheld gameplay for a single player. As such, the controls look much closer to those on the Wii U.
Now clearly this latest rendered depiction of the Switch Mini is based on the HonSon concept (see image below), and it does look very similar in terms of chassis size and shaping. However, it does differ in button and joystick layout, and unlike the HonSon render for its case product we can't see if bottom of the device has changed.
Neither Nintendo Switch 2 Mini concept has yet shown the top of the device either, however, by analyzing the HonSon case, as well as the maker's Switch Mini carry bag imagery (see below image), it appears that the cartridge, headphone and power slots appear to have remained in their original Switch positions.
This version of the console is also thought to be a purely handheld machine, too, with it not having the ability to connect to a television via Nintendo Switch dock. Whispers have indicated that this is because Nintendo wants the Mini to be the true heir to the 3DS and 2DS handheld consoles.
HonSon confirmed to NintendoLife that their design is based on "secret information" it has obtained.
Where this leaves us in terms of understanding exactly what the official Nintendo Switch 2 Mini will look like and when it will launch remains to be seen. After all, right now Nintendo hasn't even confirmed the product exists, and there was no new developments at E3 2019, either.
The fact of the matter is that Nintendo has been predicted by analysts and industry insiders to launch two new Nintendo Switch consoles this year for months, with the Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki stating in March that "Nintendo Co. plans to launch two new versions of its Switch gaming console as early as this summer".
Those two consoles are thought to be the Nintendo Switch 2 Pro and Nintendo Switch 2 Mini, which has also been referred to as the Nintendo Switch 2 Lite.
In terms of discerning when these systems will launch, summer is now here and so far there has been no sight of the consoles. Interestingly, though, Nintendo has a totally stacked game line up for the second half of 2019, with much wanted Nintendo Switch games like Astral Chain, Pokemon Sword and Shield, Luigi's Mansion 3, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Super Mario Maker 2, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening incoming. This suggests to us here at T3 that Nintendo is readying a Fall or Winter launch for its new Switch consoles.
We can't wait to get our hands on any new hardware here at T3 as we absolutely love the original Switch (which has a maximum 5-star score in our Nintendo Switch review) and have very high hopes for the two new consoles, which could really help Nintendo compete both against the PS5 and Xbox Two when they launch next year, as well as tie-up the handheld gaming market for another generation.