Skip to main content

Nintendo is already working on new Switch Lite model amid Joy-Con drift concerns

Nintendo only released the Switch Lite less than two weeks ago, but the company is already working on a new model of the handheld console.

According to new documents the company filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday, Nintendo has a new version of the Switch Lite on the way, though it may not be meant for consumers yet. The new model has been given the FCC identification number BKEHDH002 – the earlier model was submitted with the ID number BKEHDH001.

The FCC filing comes just days after Switch Lite owners joined a class-action lawsuit against Nintendo over the ongoing Joy-Con drift problem. Players say the joysticks on the Switch Lite register movement even when they’re not being touched, an issue that many experienced with the original Nintendo Switch. One player said that their Joy-Cons began to drift after just 20 hours of playing time.

The console was released on September 20, and these filings come 10 days later, an unusually fast turnaround time for a new model.  A teardown of the existing Switch Lite by YouTuber Spawn Wave found that the Switch Lite’s analog sticks are remarkably similar to the ones used in traditional Joy-Cons – which means the drifting issue is likely still a problem.

Nintendo Switch Lite Internal Image
An image of the internal components of the Nintendo Switch Lite from an FCC filing. FCC

After this story was initially published, eagle-eyed readers spotted a revealing line deep in the documentation: the system is “intended to be use for software development or events.”

That said, FCC documents don’t give us the whole story on a new model – especially if there’s no major internal changes. If the company made a change to the external material or reinforces the Joy-Con on the Switch Lite, it likely wouldn’t appear in the FCC filings, which largely deals with the wireless aspects and radiation output of the console. The company could also be using a new model to test changes to a future version of the Switch Lite.

Nintendo Switch Lite FCC Filing
The Nintendo Switch Lite’s wireless module, from an FCC filing. FCC

We’ve reached out to Nintendo of America to see if it could shed some light on the new filing, but the company declined to comment and in a statement said it had “nothing to announce on this topic.”

Nintendo’s approach to Joy-Con drift has shifted over the past few months – after initially charging people to repair the problem, the company has begun to fix them for free and provide refunds to customers who have already paid for repairs. There’s a difference with the Switch Lite, however: since the console is all one piece, sending your Switch Lite to Nintendo means depriving yourself of your brand-new console instead of just one controller.

If Joy-Con drift is a widespread problem on the Switch Lite, it makes sense for Nintendo to address it early – hopefully that’s being done with this new model.

Update 10/01: Added additional notes from the FCC documents.

Mathew Katz
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Mathew is a news editor at Digital Trends, specializing in covering all kinds of tech news — from video games to policy. He…
Nintendo introduces a new Super Smash Bros. Switch OLED for Black Friday
Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Switch OLED.

Nintendo unveiled all of the Black Friday deals and bundles it plans to offer in the coming weeks. These offerings are headlined by a brand new Nintendo Switch bundle with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that has never been available before.
The Nintendo Switch -- OLED Model: Super Smash Bros. Ulitmate Bundle costs $350 and comes with a code for the fantastic 2018 crossover fighting game as well as three months of a Nintendo Switch Online Membership. The bundle's Joy-Cons feature a design based on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Unfortunately, this deal includes neither Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Fighter Passes nor the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. Nintendo says this bundle will be released on November 19, although they've already been spotted in some stores.
The other big new offering from Nintendo this holiday season is the Super Mario Party + Red & Blue Joy-Con Bundle. It costs $100 and includes a download code for Super Mario Party in addition to Red and Blue Joy-Con controllers. Keep in mind that this bundle includes 2018's Super Mario Party, not 2021's Mario Party Superstars, which remastered a lot of content from the series' older games.
https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/1721527869355049300
Nintendo also plans to offer bundles that have been available before, like the Nintendo Switch Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Bundle and Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Switch Lite.
Various game discounts for Switch games will also go into effect on November 19. In terms of Nintendo-published games, people can expect Everybody 1-2-Switch! and Nintendo Switch Sports to be discounted by $10, titles like Luigi's Mansion 3, Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 to have $20 discounts, and for Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Mario Strikers: Battle League, and Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes to all be available $30 cheaper than usual. Sadly, it does not look like Nintendo itself will offer any major deals surrounding this year's The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
All of these bundles and deals will become available on November 19.

Read more
Don’t expect a Switch Pro or new Nintendo console within the next year
preorder legend of zelda tears the kingdom nintendo switch oled gameplay

If you were hoping that a new Nintendo console was right on the horizon after the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, think again. Nintendo has confirmed that it plans to release no new hardware over the next 12 months.

On May 9, Nintendo shared its financial results for the last fiscal year with investors. Console and software sales both lagged by a bit compared to the year before, with Nintendo crediting a semiconductor shortage and a weaker holiday season for that. Looking to the next year, the company hopes to sell 15 million new Nintendo Switch consoles on top of the 125.62 million that are already out there. Those forecasts are all based on existing hardware, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Read more
Don’t expect Zelda’s $70 price to become the new Switch standard, says Nintendo
Link looks at his hand in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be Nintendo's first Switch game to be priced at $70. News that Tears of the Kingdom, a sequel to one of the bestselling and most critically acclaimed titles on the system, will have an increased price compared to its predecessor came as a surprise over three-and-a-half years after its announcement. It also raised questions about what the future of pricing for Nintendo games will be, especially as Sony, Microsoft, and third-party publishers all upped the cost of their new games in recent years. 
While Nintendo will release Tears of Kingdom at $70, a spokesperson for the company tells Digital Trends that this will not always be the case for its first-party games going forward. 
"No," the spokesperson said when Digital Trends asked if this is a new standard. "We determine the suggested retail price for any Nintendo product on a case-by-case basis." 
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Official Trailer #2
To get more insight into the price shift, I spoke to Omdia Principal Analyst George Jijiashvili, who explains what has caused the price of games to go up in recent years and how Tears of the Kingdom demonstrates that Nintendo will "remain flexible about first-party title pricing." Ultimately, Nintendo fans are finally starting to feel the impact of inflation that's been sweeping across the game industry, even if it's only "on a case-by-case basis" for now.
The price is right
Nintendo claims that not every one of its significant first-party game will be $70, and we can actually already see that in action. Preorders just went live for Pikmin 4, which launches on July 21, after Tears of the Kingdom, and it only costs $60. Still, Zelda's price tag indicates that going forward, Nintendo will at least consider raising the price of its most anticipated games to $70. But why start with Tears of the Kingdom?  
When asked why it chose Tears of the Kingdom as its first $70 Nintendo Switch game, a Nintendo spokesperson simply reiterated that the company will "determine the suggested retail price for any Nintendo product on a case-by-case basis." Still, it's a surprising choice for Nintendo to make that pricing change to just one exclusive game almost six years into the Switch's life span. Jijiashvili thinks the choice to do this with Tears of the Kingdom was a pretty apparent one for Nintendo, although it won't apply to everything going forward.
"If you are going to make a game $70, it's going to be the follow-up to one of your most critically acclaimed and bestselling games ever," Jijiashvili tells Digital Trends. "I don’t think that this means that $70 will become the standard price for all major Nintendo releases. It's worth noting that Metroid Prime Remastered is priced at $40. It's clear that Nintendo will remain flexible about first-party title pricing."

It makes basic financial sense for Nintendo to ask for a little bit more for a game it knows will be one of the biggest releases of 2023. But what factors in the game industry and world's economy at large caused Nintendo to make this decision? 
Priced Out
For more than a decade, people got comfortable with AAA video games being priced at $60. Of course, there were occasional exceptions to this rule, but it was seen as an industry standard until the dawn of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Publisher 2K was one of the first to announce a price increase, and companies like EA, Sony, and Microsoft have all followed suit. Jijiashvili chalks this up to inflation-related pressure on game publishers.
"The games industry has already been experiencing a lot of inflationary pressure," he explains. "AAA games are much more expensive to make now than they used to be, but prices have actually been declining in inflation-adjusted terms -- if prices had risen with inflation since 1990, they would now be over $90. On top of that, we’ve had a big burst of general inflation, meaning that publishers are looking at big increases in everything from salaries to tools. It’s going to be really hard for most publishers to avoid passing on all those extra costs at some point."
Jijiashvili provided us with a graphic created by Omdia that "shows what the typical price points for each generation would look like if you adjusted for inflation." As you can see, the inflation-adjusted prices are only exponentially growing, and the big game pricing shifts the graph highlights were all technically not even enough to keep up with inflation when they happened. 

Read more