If there’s one thing that’s setting the rumour mill aflame in the gaming world right now (not to mix metaphors), it’s the Nintendo Switch 2.
Whatever Nintendo ends up calling the successor to the Nintendo Switch, it’s got some huge shoes to fill; the Switch is sitting at almost 130 million consoles sold worldwide at time of writing, and that number is only going to increase with time.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped gamers and pundits alike looking ahead to what the Switch 2 might look like. After all, the Switch is a wonderful machine, but it’s also somewhat underpowered, struggling to run many modern games at an acceptable resolution or framerate.
With that in mind, Nintendo is almost certainly working on the Switch’s successor right now, so let’s take a look at what we know about the Switch 2: its potential release date, the features it might have, rumours swirling around it, and more.
Nintendo Switch 2 release date: when will we get a new Switch?
Right now, most industry rumours seem to point towards a 2024 release window for the Switch 2. We don’t have a specific Switch 2 release date yet, unfortunately, but releasing the console next year would make a lot of sense.
According to TechInsights, however, the Switch 2 could be on the cards for sometime in March or April next year, which would put it in line with the original Switch’s release date.
There are also rumours swirling that a Nintendo Direct could be held at some point in September or October 2023, revealing the specs and design for the Switch 2 and showing gamers what they can expect from this new machine.
Of course, since these are all rumours and Nintendo has not yet announced anything official, you should take everything you hear out there on the internet (including this!) with a pinch of salt.
Still, it would behove Nintendo to announce the Switch 2 soon; conversations regarding the platform’s long-term viability are getting louder, and games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, while excellent, are clearly struggling against the Switch’s low processing power.
Nintendo Switch 2 features: what will the console be capable of?
According to a report by Eurogamer, Nintendo actually held a private demonstration of its Switch 2 tech to developers at the recent Gamescom event, although the public naturally weren’t privy to what went on during that demonstration.
Eurogamer says that a “souped-up version” of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was chosen to show developers what the new Switch can do, although the site is also quick to stress that this doesn’t mean Breath of the Wild is getting a “Switch 2” port.
Still, this could indicate that Nintendo is looking into porting its Switch titles to the new console, perhaps complete with visual or performance improvements that could bring games up to speed with what the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S are capable of.
Another report by gaming site VGC cites an anonymous source, who says that the Epic The Matrix Awakens tech demo, which impressed so many people with its incredible visuals and performance, could be run on the Switch 2 using tech like DLSS.
Again, a tech demo doesn’t indicate the raw power of a console, and it’s not likely that the Switch 2 will be able to match the capabilities of the PS5 or the Xbox Series X/S in strict terms due to its status as a handheld.
However, what we have heard about the Switch 2 is exciting, so we’re looking forward to seeing what Nintendo is going to give us when this console is eventually announced.
What has Nintendo said about the Switch 2?
For its own part, Nintendo is adamant that the Switch still has plenty of life left in it. Talking to AP in March 2023, Nintendo’s Doug Bowser (yes, that’s really his name) reiterated that Nintendo’s plans still revolve around the original Switch for the foreseeable future.
According to Bowser (we’ll never get tired of writing that), “demand is still there” for the original Switch, and Nintendo is still “feeling very bullish” about the console.
It’s worth noting that these comments were made before the release of Tears of the Kingdom, which is arguably the Switch’s swansong in terms of technical performance and ambition.
It’s hard to imagine Nintendo releasing a bigger or more feature-packed game for the original Switch, so it could be that Nintendo has since started to look to pastures new for its future development efforts.
However, it’s fair to say that Nintendo has a strong slate of games lined up for the Switch in the future. Within the next few months, a Super Mario RPG remake, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, and versions of big hitters like EA Sports FC 24 and Mortal Kombat 1 are scheduled for release.
In addition, the Switch’s more distant future boasts luminaries like the unnamed Princess Peach game we saw during a recent Nintendo Direct, as well as Metroid Prime 4.
The existence of the Switch 2, however, could validate the wait for Metroid Prime 4; if Nintendo has chosen to shunt development of that long-awaited shooter onto a new console, it could explain the relative lack of information in recent years.
With next-gen gaming always seen as a hot topic within the world of gaming, in short, it seems that we’ll just have to wait and see what Nintendo is planning for the Switch 2. However, the rumour mill is beginning to turn with more speed, and generally speaking, that seems to happen when an announcement is imminent. Let’s hope we hear more soon!