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Nintendo boss says ‘no plans’ to unveil cheaper Switch at E3

Does not address reports of a price drop announcement, though

The Nintendo Switch in its dock, with the Joy-Con grip.
The Nintendo Switch hasn’t changed, in price or hardware configuration, since its March 2017 launch.
Photo: James Bareham/Polygon
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Nintendo’s president today told investors that “we have no plans” to announce a new Nintendo Switch configuration at E3 2019, implying the company is sticking with the current Switch. Earlier reports suggest a new model of the console is coming this year.

Shuntaro Furukawa, according to Bloomberg, told reporters that the company is “always working on new hardware and we will announce it when we are able to sell it.” However, “We have no plans to announce that at this year’s E3 in June.”

Furukawa did not address reports that a price cut was coming for the Switch in June. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the company was “likely” to release a cheaper version of the console, which launched at $299.99 in March 2017 and has held at that price since.

Bloomberg noted that Nintendo’s share price on Tokyo exchanges suffered as disappointed bettors left the stock. In the United States, it was down about 4 percent an hour after the morning bell. Nintendo also issued earnings guidance and Switch sales projections below analysts’ estimates, further chilling ardor for a stock that had risen about 33 percent before the news.

Furukawa’s remarks about a new configuration bat down a Wall Street Journal report from October that Nintendo planned to put a higher quality screen on the handheld display. In March, the Journal also reported that a cheaper hardware option was coming.

Furukawa also confirmed reports that the company is working with Tencent Holdings to sell the Switch in China, but added that they have no timeline for a launch yet.

“Our current applications are just for the hardware, but we’ll also need inspections of our software,” Furukawa said. “We will need many more applications to the government and others, so from that perspective the launch period is still unknown.”

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