Smaller Nintendo Switch handheld reportedly in the works

Nintendo could be working on a Switch with features removed to drop the price and focus on portability.


Hot off the news that Nintendo has moved over 33 million Switch units worldwide, a rumor has sprung up claiming that the company is working on a smaller version of the hybrid console. In its current state, the Switch can be docked for playing at home and also played on-the-go in its handheld form. This rumored Nintendo Switch focuses on the portability and scraps some features to "reduce the price" and "expand the userbase."

Nintendo Everything reported this rumor via Japanese publication Nikkei, translating these tidbits from the outlet:

“They’re taking measures as for what is to come – one of those being a smaller version of the Switch. The company said that ‘couldn’t comment’ on their plans for the product, but has informed multiple suppliers and game development companies that they intend to release them as early as 2019. According to their affiliates, they are ‘miniaturizing the console with portability and playing outdoors in mind, as well as cutting features to reduce the price and expand the userbase.'”

“The Switch’s monthly online service launched in 2018, and plan to launch a new service aimed at game enthusiasts willing to pay more sometime in 2019.”

The Nintendo Switch is a really strong home console, but the ability to snatch it off the dock and play it anywhere is an incredibly appealing option. Some Nintendo Switch users have probably used the device in its handheld form more often than being plugged into a television, so it isn't farfetched to imagine Nintendo would create one strictly locked into being a handheld. Gutting the device of the parts that allow for docking and tossing in a higher capacity battery would be appealing, but we have no official word on what Nintendo could be considering if this turns out to be true at all.

nintendo switch online new service wii shop subscription game pass

As far as the service "aimed at game enthusiasts willing to pay more", Nintendo may be working on something similar to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass. The service gives players access to a large library of games, including a majority of the game's new exclusive releases, for a monthly fee. Its a reach, but Nintendo's service could do the same while also adding in the titles that are no longer available via the Wii Shop Channel.

Nintendo isn't one to respond to rumors, but stay tuned to Shacknews for additional gaming and tech updates.

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 31, 2019 2:35 PM

    Charles Singletary Jr posted a new article, Smaller Nintendo Switch handheld reportedly in the works

    • reply
      January 31, 2019 3:57 PM

      Called this ages ago. The Switch is using the same playbook as the 3DS, a March launch with a software run up towards it first holiday followed by a cheaper model coming out the same day as its first mainline Pokemon game.

      Pokemon has a younger audience and releasing an $80 2DS was important to it selling so much. I don’t think they’ll be getting the Switch down to $80 anytime soon but a $150-$200 Switch Mini seems possible. It also helps them achieve their stated goal of having multiple Switches in a single household.

      • reply
        January 31, 2019 4:04 PM

        Yeah as long as they’re still making Switches that are full sized, able to dock and use detachable joycons, and so forth in addition to the smaller ones - something of a 2DS/3DS strategy, I’m fine with it.

        Imagine if you’re Milleh and you’ve got 3 kids and you need to buy multiple Switches. This would be easier to swallow.

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          January 31, 2019 4:33 PM

          Yea, I'm definitly interested. Once my Wii U dies my kids will need something else!

      • reply
        January 31, 2019 4:42 PM

        Yep, the previous rumors of it being a larger more premium device seemed silly when they didn't have a $150 sku.

    • reply
      January 31, 2019 4:04 PM


    • Zek legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
      January 31, 2019 4:04 PM

      I've always thought they should make a portable only version that's smaller with no detachable joycons. The Switch is a bit too large for a conventional handheld, and cost + durability is everything for parents buying it for their kids. And the Switch is plenty powerful to be a great handheld for years to come.

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      January 31, 2019 4:05 PM

      It's already too damn small. They can't make the screen smaller IMO, I'd actually prefer one a bit larger.

      • reply
        January 31, 2019 4:37 PM

        Fear not. Soon we'll have:

        Switch Mini
        Switch XL
        Switch U
        Switch U XL
        New Switch U XL
        New Switch U XLi

        And don't forget the New Switch U XLi VR

      • reply
        February 1, 2019 8:57 AM

        They could make the overall unit smaller while packing a bigger screen in. Lotta bezel space to work with.

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