The Nintendo Switch “Lite” will be smaller and less expensive than the current console. It is reportedly aimed at “casual gamers”. The newer Switch would still be able to plug into a television, but it would be more portable. One source hinted that the smaller Switch contains new hardware that is “different from the original”. Rumor has it that this console will be available by the end of June 2019.
Sources have also confirmed that the “existing Switch will receive a modest upgrade.” Nintendo will does not plan on releasing a more powerful version of the Switch any time soon. A report from the Wall Street Journal stated that the new Switch will not be more powerful PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. This slightly upgraded device should be available by the 2019 holiday season.
We currently know nothing about the size or specs of these new consoles. Nintendo has been keeping any information about these devices under wraps. The company will likely announce the two new consoles at E3 2019 in mid-June.
The two new consoles may be part of Nintendo’s attempt to gain a foothold in the People’s Republic of China. According to Bloomberg, Nintendo currently does not sell the Nintendo Switch in China. The console still needs a “China Compulsory Certificate” and the games must be approved by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. The Switch is still selling quite well, but Nintendo did not sell as many consoles as they expected in 2018. It appears that the company is betting that updated versions of the console will keep their momentum going and give them an edge in China.
Nintendo may release updated versions of the Switch this year, but their main focus appears to be on games. The company plans to release new versions of Animal Crossing and Luigi’s Mansion. They have also stated that they will migrate all Pokémon games over to the Switch and will release Pokémon Sword and Shield later this year. Other notable titles include Super Mario Maker 2, Mortal Kombat 11, and a remastered version of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Nintendo also believes that their upcoming Mario Kart Tour mobile game will do well internationally. These games could not only help to solidify their hold in places where Nintendo is already popular, but cement their place in the Chinese gaming market.