Report: New Switch model launching in 2020

Photo: Nintendo

Nintendo is reportedly working on an updated Nintendo Switch model to be released sometime in 2020, according to Taiwanese electronics newspaper DigiTimes.

DigiTimes reported the new Nintendo Switch model will be released in “mid-2020,” with production beginning “at the end of first-quarter 2020” — which is sometime around March. The news lines up with a previous report from Wall Street Journal technology reporter Takashi Mochizuki. Mochizuki reported in August that “Nintendo has ideas for further updates to the Switch lineup after those two models to make the platform’s lifecycle long.”

According to the DigiTimes report, Nintendo intends to release the new Switch model with a magnesium alloy body and an update to the CPU.

Mochizuki’s August report outlined Nintendo’s intention to release two new Nintendo Switch models — the updated Nintendo Switch with a better battery, and the handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite, which were released in August and September, respectively.

There’s no concrete information regarding the potential upcoming model, but some are predicting Nintendo’s next console as a “Switch Pro” device. Dr. Serkan Toto, CEO of game industry consultancy Kantan Games, told “there’s no doubt in [his] mind that Nintendo will launch a ‘Switch Pro’ in 2020” — specifically, “after the summer holidays to counter the roll-out of the PS5 and next-gen Xbox later in the year.”

Toto suggested a retail price of $399, with “4K support, bigger cartridge sizes, and of course beefed-up components.”

Others are skeptical, however. IHS Markit Technology analyst Piers Harding-Rolls told that the likelihood of a Switch Pro device “has significantly diminished since the launch of an improved flagship Switch and the Switch Lite.” He also believes 2020 will be Nintendo’s best year for Switch hardware sales since its launch.

A Nintendo of America spokesperson told Polygon it “has nothing to announce on this topic.”

The original Nintendo Switch was released in March 2017, but the updated version with increased battery life began rolling out in August 2019. Since release, Nintendo’s been criticized for malfunctioning Switch controllers — “Joy-Con drift,” which is associated with analog sticks registering movement without player input. In 2019, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Nintendo of America over the Joy-Con malfunctions. An update filed in September 2019 added the Nintendo Switch Lite to the lawsuit, suggesting Nintendo had not improved the malfunctioning parts. For a while, Nintendo was offering to fix or replace problematic Joy-Cons.

Update: This post has been updated with a statement from a Nintendo of America spokesperson.

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