The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Nintendo is readying two new Switch models, following up on its earlier reporting on the topic from last year. While that earlier report just suggested a new model with, perhaps, a new screen, today’s report specifies a two-pronged approach: one model will sport “enhanced features” for the core gaming audience, while the other will be a “cheaper option,” which Nintendo sees as a successor to the now 8-year-old 3DS handheld.
E3 in June is a likely opportunity to announce the models, with one source telling the Journal they could be “possibly released a few months later.” With Sony bowing out of the show this year, and Microsoft widely expected to begin unveiling its next-gen strategy — including xCloud — it will be an opportune time to focus on what’s next for Switch.
While it’s unclear what kind of “enhanced features” the higher-end model will contain, the Journal reports that Nintendo will cut features from the current Switch model to create the new, cheaper option. “The company judged the new Switch models won’t need the vibration feature because there wouldn’t be many games released using the full benefit of it,” one source told the Journal.
A lack of vibration suggests a console without removable Joy-Con controllers, fitting the strategy of a 3DS replacement. It’s been a relatively smooth two years with a consistent Nintendo Switch offering, but for anyone following Nintendo’s decades-old handheld strategy, it stands to reason that things are about to get weird.