Gaming console manufacturers, most notably Sony and Microsoft, are known for releasing upgraded versions of their current-gen consoles as means to extend their sales cycles. These extensions are usually done through hardware and software changes that allow increased visual fidelity and better overall speed and performance of the console, extending its use for years to come. Japanese-based Nintendo just announced their plans to release an upgraded version of their Nintendo Switch console, and soon.
According to Bloomberg, Nintendo plans to begin assembling its upgraded Switch replacement as soon as July of this year, issuing several hardware upgrades that will drastically improve the overall Switch gaming experience. And though the production is expected to ramp up to a peak in the October-December period, Nintendo plans to have the upgraded Switch on the market as soon as September or October 2021. The new Nintendo Switch is likely to cost more than the $299 original and won’t affect the price of Switch Lite, which is currently priced at $199.
Nintendo Switch is a massive success, and the console sold over 85 million units after its release, with its current sales at an all-time high. The console outsold both versions of PlayStation 5 by two-to-one and is currently en route to become the most popular handheld console of all time. According to console market analysis, Nintendo Switch will likely continue to outsell the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, which begs the question: if it’s so good, why upgrade it? Well, the reasons behind the upgrades might be two-fold.
Nintendo has to compete with the gamer’s attention with a new console generation, in light of Sony’s announcement of a new PS5 model and potentially upgraded Xbox consoles. The company plans to upgrade its flagship Nintendo Switch console with a new, 7-inch Samsung OLED 720p display and Nvidia’s DLSS graphics chip technology, making the console capable of outputting 4K resolutions when docked to a TV. Nintendo made no official announcements regarding the new console at the time of writing, but it’s likely to do so before the upcoming E3 set to start on June 12, allowing video game publishers to announce their games for the system during the event.
Another reason behind the upgrade might lie in the ongoing global semiconductor shortage, which disrupted supply chains of computer components, gaming consoles, TVs, and even cars. Nintendo Switch also took a hit, though the company made no official comments regarding their supply of silicon-based semiconductor components and made their console readily available, opposing the PS5 and Xbox Series X worldwide supply issues. In retrospect, the console’s massive success could be fully prescribed to its availability, despite the ongoing semiconductor shortage.
Nintendo gave no official statements and/or announcements regarding the improved Switch console, supposedly scheduled to release in September or October this year, if the source’s information is correct. We usually advise our readership to take all unofficial information with a grain of salt, but this story might hold some truth – Nintendo’s shares jumped 7.6% in the last ten days, in apparent expectations of an imminent announcement of the new-and-improved Nintendo Switch console.