Report: Nintendo will release two new Switch models in 2019

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Nate Barrett/Digital Trends

Nintendo is gearing up to release two new Switch models this year, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Both models are expected to be unveiled at E3 in June and possibly be out within months of the reveal. The Wall Street Journal spoke with both parts suppliers and developers for its report.

Though both of the models will fall under the Switch umbrella, Nintendo appears to be looking to cater to a wider variety of users with these new models.

One of the new models “will have enhanced features targeted at avid video gamers.” Sources stated, however, that the upgraded Switch wouldn’t be as powerful as the Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro. But according to those knowledgeable about Nintendo’s plan, the upgraded Switch isn’t trying to mimic the enhancements seen in consoles like the PlayStation 4 Pro. Instead, the enthusiast-focused Switch will be an upgrade closer to what Nintendo did with the New Nintendo 3DS models, according to a follow-up report from Eurogamer.

When The Wall Street Journal first reported on a new Switch model in October, it said Nintendo was looking into modernizing the screen to make it brighter and more energy efficient.

Best Product of 2017 Nintendo Switch

The second new Switch goes in the opposite direction. It’s described as “a cheaper option for casual gamers that Nintendo sees as a successor to its aging handheld 3DS device.” Numerous concessions to the design will have to be made to make it a budget Switch. The Joy-Con rumble feature is one of those concessions, according to the report.

Sources told Eurogamer that the budget Switch has a “kid-proof” design and appears to be handheld only, removing the ability to connect the console to a TV. Based on these reports, it seems that the Joy-Con controllers will either be permanently attached or absent altogether in favor of a solid, single piece of hardware. Nintendo’s philosophy behind the kid-friendly Switch is similar to its mind-set regarding the 2DS, according to Eurogamer.

On Twitter, Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki said that those who have seen the new designs describe them as “different from the original and you’d be surprised.”

It appears Nintendo wants to make a Switch family of systems much like what the company did with the Nintendo 3DS. Critically, these two new models, as described, wouldn’t appear to displace the current Switch. The current Switch would seem to fall somewhere in the middle of the three in terms of price and features.

The Nintendo Switch posted staggering sales in 2018, and it certainly appears as if Nintendo is thinking of multiple new ways to keep the Switch selling like hotcakes.

Updated 3-26-2019: Added new details from Eurogamer’s report.

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