Nintendo Reportedly Planning Updated Switch Console for 2019: WSJ

Nintendo is reportedly planning a revision of its super popular hybrid home/handheld Switch video game console for 2019.

That’s according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, which explains that the Japanese company is planning on releasing a new version of the popular Nintendo Switch hardware will be arriving next year. The report cites “suppliers and others with direct knowledge of the plan.”

There are few other details about what the new hardware revision would improve over the current model.

“The current Switch uses a lower-end liquid-crystal display without some technologies that are standard in more recent smartphone LCDs,” the report explains. “Updating the display with these technologies would make it brighter, thinner and more energy-efficient. The updated Switch isn’t expected to adopt the organic light-emitting diode or OLED panels used in Apple Inc.’s iPhone X series.”

The key to a successful transition to new hardware is ensuring that the new version is completely backward-compatible with existing games. Then, the company has to work with developers to ensure new games that take advantage of the refreshed hardware are still fully playable with legacy hardware. 

Sources told WSJ that the updated Switch model could launch as soon as summer 2019. It is expected and normal for platform holders to update their consoles over time in part due to new technology becoming viable and to drive interest and spur sales.

The console has sold almost 20 million units in roughly 18 months on shelves, meaning it’s already managed to surpass the Nintendo Wii U’s lifetime sales total of 13.6 million units by some margin.

In other video game news, Sony is bringing back its original PlayStation console nearly 25 years after its initial release as a miniature gaming device aptly called the PlayStation Classic.