Nintendo hit a home run with the Switch game console, something it desperately needed after the failure that was the Wii U. While the Switch continues to sell strongly, Nintendo isn’t resting on its laurels, and a new report claims that an update is coming. The Wall Street Journal reports an updated Switch is coming next year according to sources with direct knowledge of the project. According to those sources, Nintendo is still in debate on what new hardware and software
Possible updates include a new display, according to the sources, something that would be welcome by fans and could push people who own a Switch to upgrade their console to the new version. The screen used in the Switch isn’t bad, but it does lack features that are common in smartphones today. When it comes to mobile gaming, the smartphone is the major competitor that Nintendo is facing. Cramming an updated, more efficient screen inside the Switch could also help the console thin down and increase battery life, both key aspects of any portable gaming device.
Nintendo is reportedly looking to launch the updated console as soon as summer 2019; that launch window fits with previous rumors that Nintendo was waiting until 2019 or later to launch any hardware revisions to the console. While not mentioned, this update would be a good time to improve the processor inside the console, as it lacks the performance needed to support video capture in the incredibly popular Fortnite game. Epic Games had to disable the video capture feature in the Switch version of Fortnite to address performance issues. The sources did not comment specifically about the processor.
The update isn’t expected to be a generational change as Nintendo did with the move from the Wii U to the Switch; think of it more as the progression from the Xbox One to the Xbox One S. The updated Switch will be software compatible with existing games, and the WSJ report claims the updated console would share "many features" with the original. Past reports claim most of the changes in the next-gen Switch are expected to be focused on improving the online service.