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WSJ: Two new Nintendo Switch models coming this year

The current Switch could become part of a three model line up. (Source: Nintendo)
The current Switch could become part of a three model line up. (Source: Nintendo)
Nintendo has two new Switch gaming consoles in the works for launch this year. According to the Wall Street Journal, one will be a cheaper entry-level model and the other targeted at more serious gamers.

The Nintendo Switch has been a smash hit for Nintendo with in excess of 32 million consoles sold by the end of 2018, around 18 months after it first launched. To help keep momentum going, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Japanese gaming giant is lining up two new variants for launch this year. Both are expected to be revealed at the E3 Gaming Expo in June this year.

The first is said to be a more compact version of the existing model. It is said to be considered by Nintendo to be a replacement for the 3DS, but could lose the rumble function and even detachable Joy-Cons. Targeted at a more affordable price point, it is possible it mightn’t ship with a dock and function not as a hybrid console, but a more portable standalone device.

The second is said to be potentially more expensive than the current model, but include “enhanced features targeted at avid video gamers.” Given that its Nvidia Tegra X1 chip is now around 4-years old, an upgraded model with more advanced graphical performance is not out of the question – possibly something akin to a Switch-equivalent to the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. This could make it backwards compatible, but also able to play more advanced titles.

The current Switch lags well behind the PS4 and Xbox One for graphics performance. When docked it can support 1080p graphics on a TV, but is limited to 720p when used as a handheld console on the in-built display. An upgraded, more contemporary SoC would easily be able to handle 1080p graphics on a 1080p in-built display with better frame rates and fidelity on a TV that the current model.

We only need to wait another three or so months to find out all the details, but will keep you posted if any more details slip out in advance.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-03-25 (Update: 2019-03-25)