It appears to be safe to buy the latest Zelda game, Tears of The Kingdom and the newly released Pikmin 4, without worrying about an upgraded Nintendo Switch console arriving before you have time to finish them.
Speaking to new outlet VGC, some insiders are clearly pretty confident that we'll see new Nintendo hardware in 2024, a shame for those hoping to have something to unwrap this Christmas. The same sources also claim that developer kits for Nintendo's next console are now with some partner studios.
These release date claims are backed up by sources within Nintendo itself. In May, in an interview with Bloomberg Nintendo President, Shuntaro Furukawa, mentioned that no new or upgraded hardware is considered in Nintendo’s forecasts for the next 12 months.
This would seemingly rule out both a Nintendo Switch 2 and a mid-generation refresh Nintendo Switch Pro, which is a shame considering Nintendo's system has been lagging behind rivals in terms of raw performance for some time now.
As for the launch itself, developer ReedPop’s head of games B2B, Christopher Dring, told VGC that "If Nintendo opts for a Q4 release next year, I’d expect the company to have multiple games ready to go for launch."
In terms of specs and features, it seems as though Nintendo is committed to the 2-in-1 portable console design that the Switch introduced but worryingly there is talk that it will forego and OLED display for LCD, to keep the price down. Considering there is already a Switch OLED, this seems like a missed opportunity.
The original Nintendo Switch launched in 2017 so it has had a good run, and Nintendo can claim it as a success, having sold 125 million units worldwide. However, sales are starting to dwindle, with profits reportedly more than halving, as everyone who wanted a Switch now seemingly has one.
Considering the increasing ease of obtaining a PlayStation 5, and the arrival of the Steam Deck (and ROG Ally), Nintendo is facing increased competition with an inferior machine. In the last few years, Nintendo’s software releases have been key to maintaining the system’s popularity as it hasn’t received a hardware upgrade since the 2021-released Nintendo Switch OLED upgrade.
Conversely, some are still confident that we could see an upgraded or even an entirely new model of the Nintendo Switch sooner rather than later. There is a sizeable gap in Nintendo’s launch schedule after Tears of the Kingdom, with Pikmin 4 one of the only major releases left in 2023.
The UK government’s Competition and Markets Authority also seems to think a new Nintendo Switch is on the way. Whatever the case, and even with Zelda to tide us over, the wait is still going to be agony...