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WSJ: Nintendo Switch upgrade and a cheaper Switch console are coming soon

Published Jun 12th, 2019 11:44AM EDT
Nintendo Switch 2019 Release Date
Image: James Sheppard/Future Publishing/Shutterstock

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Every few months, a rumor comes around claiming that Nintendo is working on a brand new Switch console, focusing either on an upgrade for the current model, a cheaper Switch, or both. Nintendo then promptly shuts down those rumors, insisting it has nothing to announce. More recently, however, Nintendo said that “as a general rule,” it’s always working on new hardware and the company will announce it when it’s ready to be sold.

Nintendo said back in April that it won’t have any Switch hardware news for E3 2019, and that’s precisely what happened earlier this week. However, in the aftermath of the event, a report says that Nintendo is indeed preparing to launch new Switch hardware, including both the upgraded model and the cheaper one.

The news comes from The Wall Street Journal, which learned from unnamed sources in the supply chain that production in Southeast Asia has started for the Switch, “including the current type and the two new models.” That’s an indication that Nintendo will introduce them soon, although no timeframe was given in the report.

Other details about the new Switch consoles aren’t provided, as the focus of the article is Nintendo’s decision to shift Switch production from China to other markets in order to avoid having to deal with any potential tariffs from Trump’s trade war with China. Nintendo wants to avoid having to pay a possible 25% tariff to import the consoles in the US, in which case it would end up selling the Switch at a loss in the country.

The Journal does say that Nintendo is making a Switch model that looks just like the current one, although it will have “beefed-up” components, while the less-expensive one would feature a new design. The report also notes that the holiday season is a key period to lock in sales for Nintendo, especially considering that Microsoft will launch a massive Xbox update next year. Sony’s PS5, we’ll add, is expected to drop around the same time.

When it comes to prices for the new consoles, analysts expect Nintendo to sell the cheaper model for around $200, down from the $300 price tag on the current Switch, in an effort to “propel sales.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.