The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo Co. is planning to launch two new Switch models in an effort to keep the console’s sales momentum going into the third year. Sources familiar with the matter claim that the console will release as soon as the summer.
One model is going to be a cheaper option for casual gamers, and may lack a vibration feature — which could mean that this iteration won’t have the detachable Joy-Con controllers. This model is reported to be the successor to the 3DS, with a focus on portability.
The second model still doesn’t have any specifications, but The Wall Street Journal source implied that it will feature more than just a boost in performance. But the Switch will definitely benefit from one — as The Verge reports, it uses Nvidia’s four-year-old Tegra X1 processor.
The Wall Street Journal report claims that the new Switch models will be announced at E3 2019 in June.
As Time reported, the Nintendo Switch was 2018’s best-selling console. Although this is definitely in large part due to the company’s own popular titles — like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey — the company is shifting focus to independent games from smaller studios to compensate for lower 2019 sales projections.
Nigel Lowrie, the co-founder of indie developer Devolver Digital, spoke about Nintendo’s shift to indie games.
“It became very clear when the Switch came out, Nintendo, who have been really fantastic since, had started reaching out aggressively. They were contacting us, other devs, other pubs, engaging with us at PAX and GDC, making a conscious effort to see what we were up to… and to this day are pretty active in checking in to see what we have coming and working to promote our games side-by-side with their games, which is impressive to see.”
While the Switch lacks the processing power of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it makes up for this with a variety of indie titles — offerings which have been getting more and more popular. There is little doubt that the new, smaller Switch console will be a great way for gamers to play indie titles on the go.
The report of the technically improved model appears to be Nintendo trying to appeal to gamers that they might be missing out on due to the Switch’s lower processing power. Although the more powerful model is reported to remain less technically impressive than the PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X, it will still provide a new Nintendo option for more serious gamers.