Rumor: Cheaper Nintendo Switch model to release in June

A product that has not been confirmed by Nintendo has even more rumors today. Bloomberg reports that a new cheaper Switch will release this summer.

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Nintendo Switch continues its march to world domination, but that hasn't stopped rumors about new versions of the handheld hybrid console device. The latest report comes from multiple anonymous sources who claim that Nintendo will release a cheaper version of the Switch in June. That would line up with E3 2019 as well as the tentative Super Mario Maker 2 release date.

The Bloomberg report claims two people familiar with the matter believe that a cheaper Switch model is to be expected in the next year. One source claimed that the smaller, cheaper Switch will likely release in June with a modest upgrade coming to the regular system by the end of the year. These sources also told Bloomberg that a new more powerful Nintendo Switch is not currently being developed. They requested to remain anonymous, but there are definitely murmurs of new Nintendo hardware swirling around financial analyst circles. Many of them are jockeying to figure out just how many Switch consoles were sold in Nintendo's last fiscal year.

Analyst expecations for Switch sales are all over the place. | Bloomberg
Analyst expecations for Switch sales are all over the place. | Bloomberg

The low estimate on Wall Street is for Nintendo to only have sold 15.5 million Switch consoles in the full year ending March 31, 2019. The highest estimate is at 18.3 million units. More intriguing is the disparity in fiscal 2020 Switch sales expectations, which range from 16 million to 22 million units. A lower price model could definitely throw these numbers out of whack as demand for a $200 Switch would likely be a lot higher than the current $300 version. Nintendo slashed their full year Switch sales guidance earlier this year to 17 million units which is still below consensus estimates.

It will be interesting to hear what the Big N has to say when they report earnings results later this week. The stock already jumped on the news of a deal with Tencent, and recent NPD data points to a very strong first quarter for the Nintendo Switch. We hope these rumors are true, and fans will be able to get a Switch in their hands for even less money as soon as this summer. 

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Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 23, 2019 7:20 PM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Rumor: Cheaper Nintendo Switch model to release in June

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      April 23, 2019 7:33 PM

      For once I agree with analysts: we are not going to see a "pro" version of the Switch with beefier stats. Not this year, anyhow.

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        April 23, 2019 8:29 PM

        I've very little doubt we will eventually, but there's no reason for them to rush.

        I imagine it'll have more to do with when Nvidia moves to a new process for SOCs or something like that.

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          April 23, 2019 11:16 PM

          That and when they're inexpensive enough to put in a $300 console sold for profit. We're a ways away from that.

          Switch Mini is a slam dunk though, releasing a new Pokemon game around their portable hardware revision happened with both DS Lite and the 2DS.

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        April 24, 2019 8:25 AM

        We absolutely will I think within the next 2 years

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          April 24, 2019 8:36 AM

          I could see it launching alongside the PS5 in 2020.

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          April 24, 2019 8:39 AM

          Frankly, I think the "new" 3DS spec bump was a fluke. Or an experiment.

          I don't know who fabs the chips for the 3DS (TSMC maybe?) but they probably did a die-shrink and enough optimizations that the lead engineers were probably like, "if we set the base clock to this, it'll have the same battery life but like 10% better performance... should we underclock it to save battery life or...?"

          And someone in Nintendo Marketing was probably like, "no, leave it! We can sell a new SKU!" without a great deal of thought about splitting the dev targets etc

          I think a "pro" version of the Switch will have the same performance specs, just a slightly larger screen, a thinner bezel (right now that bezel looks pretty thick) and maybe either lighter weight or longer battery life or a brighter/higher contrast screen.

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            April 24, 2019 8:40 AM

            I'd pay full price for a new Switch, even if it just meant making the big bezels dissapear haha

            Oled would also be nice

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              April 24, 2019 8:46 AM

              🤔 the screen could go from 720p portable to 1080p portablr, possibly. Then it just runs as if docked all the time, clockspeed-wise.

              Might be kinda hot in your hands, though. No idea what that would do to battery life.

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                April 24, 2019 8:49 AM

                Tbh I'd much rather keep 720 mobile and go oled than go 1080p, I'd rather have more fps / smoother experience at that size

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                April 24, 2019 8:51 AM

                As I've mentioned elsewhere, hacked existing Switch hardware has apparently had the max clock speed doubled with little effect on battery life. I think a die shrink might take care of any heat issues.

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                April 24, 2019 10:06 AM

                Screen might as well be 1440p since most games use dynamic res anyway. Games that output a locked 720 would look the same as long as they used integer scale in those cases

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      April 23, 2019 9:39 PM

      One day left for earnings!

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        April 23, 2019 11:18 PM

        NPD numbers for March: https://twitter.com/BenjiSales/status/1120809712725917698

        - Switch is number 1 hardware 4 months in a row
        - Switch is up a massive double digit % YoY For Q1
        - Switch has the best Q1 of this entire generation (higher than PS4 peak or X1)

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          April 23, 2019 11:30 PM

          Huh. I figured they were doing well, but I didn't expect that well.

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            April 23, 2019 11:43 PM

            Neither did the analysts, because for some reason a holiday season with Smash and Pokemon (plus a terrific backlog) was supposed to be underwhelming.

            Smash sold 12M units in its first month and its season pass going live brought the eShop down for the first time. Not even Fortnite's or Odyssey's launches managed that.

            I think the Switch Mini + Pokemon Sword/Shield is going to blow away anything we've seen from Nintendo or Sony.

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              April 24, 2019 12:35 AM

              Just saw that Switch cleared total N64 sales sometime around December/January

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          April 24, 2019 3:43 AM

          That third bullet point: whoa.

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            April 24, 2019 8:37 AM

            This year and next year are going to be probably the fastest selling of the Switch's entire lifecycle, as is normally the case with consoles.

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      April 24, 2019 3:46 AM

      I’d just like to see cheaper games. I’d love to use it more. It I don’t want to pay £20+ for remakes of games I’ve finished several times before and most first party or unique games also cost more than that.

      I guess I’m in a weird headspace about this particular console.

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      April 24, 2019 4:24 AM

      I keep wondering what they’re going to do to make it cheaper. Are they going to get rid of some features in the joycons? I can’t really see where they’re going to be able to cut corners where the screen is concerned.

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        April 24, 2019 4:31 AM

        Honestly, it will probably be a die shrink of the parts where yields are better.

        No dock packed in. No AC adaptor included (maybe).

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          April 24, 2019 4:33 AM

          I don't think they will fuck with the screen size because then the screen wouldn't be flush with the joycons. That'd be weird.

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            April 24, 2019 5:16 AM

            If they have built in joy cons, they could adjust the size of them to whatever they want.

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              April 24, 2019 5:18 AM

              The joycons won't be built-in. That is antithetical to the Switch's mission of Sharing the Joy.

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              April 24, 2019 5:19 AM

              they won't build in the joy cons. that's eliminating a LOT of functionality that many games depend on.

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                April 24, 2019 5:24 AM

                You can always buy regular joycons and sync them to the unit. Its just whats packed in to reduced costs. I have no real idea just guessing.

              • Zek
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                April 24, 2019 6:01 AM

                Is it really? How many games can't be played in handheld mode? If anything that's the thing that's antithetical to the Switch. I think a smaller handheld system for kids is a necessity in Nintendo's business, the Switch is too expensive for that because of the joycons and the docking.

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                  April 24, 2019 6:53 AM

                  Mario Party comes to mind. 1, 2 Switch also.

                  • Zek
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                    April 24, 2019 7:29 AM

                    I think the reason they did that in Mario Party is because they figured nobody wanted to play it in handheld mode by themselves. So by the same token it's not a huge deal if the handheld product doesn't support it, though maybe they could patch it with some quick and dirty support so parents don't get ripped off.

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                April 24, 2019 7:01 AM

                Plus the entire premise of the platform is that it can “switch” between hand held and tv-based console

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                  April 24, 2019 7:24 AM

                  Conveniently, Nintendo has a whole line of external controllers for you to buy!

                  Every report about this model has emphasized that it's geared towards use outside the home, more durable, and cheaper to make. That strongly implies an integrated unit.

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                    April 24, 2019 7:51 AM

                    I agree with Rudds on this one. The joycons will be attached on this model.

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                April 24, 2019 8:39 AM

                Nah, build in the joycons and allow pairing of other joycon, that way if you want to play those games you need to buy another set, which they want you to do anyways, that plus removing the dock and possibly a die shrink of the parts should get you $100 in savings. They can't not include a power adapter but it wouldn't be the first time they did something that stupid.

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                  April 24, 2019 8:48 AM

                  It's actually pretty customary in Japan to sell handhelds without power supplies, weirdly enough.

                  I agree they won't mind selling extra controllers to people who buy the portable unit, but I sincerely hope it's compatible with the current dock. A cheaper Switch for the kids when you already have the big Switch, a dock hooked up and some extra joy cons/Pro Controller/whatever, is a pretty attractive proposition for parents.

                  • Zek
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                    April 24, 2019 9:12 AM

                    I don't think they can maintain dock compatibility unless the form factor is identical, but they could use a cable instead I'm guessing.

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          April 24, 2019 6:49 AM

          I’d buy another instantly if that was the case.

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            April 24, 2019 6:53 AM

            I could easily imagine a SKU like that shaving fifty dollars off the normal $299 price.

            Hell, doesn't the official dock cost like ninety bucks? 🤔 I know that's mostly margin but if I bought a cheapo Switch with no dock for only fifty bucks cheaper and ended up having to buy a dock separately, that means I should've just bought the normal one instead...

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          April 24, 2019 8:26 AM

          Man they better not exclude an ac adapter

          They've done it before, such a dumb move

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            April 24, 2019 8:28 AM

            they will

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              April 24, 2019 8:30 AM

              The existing switch has an issue even with just having the dock as the only charge option (many people buy a second ac adapter, I did), so releasing another switch without an adapter just worsens that issue X 10 since you would then have one charger for two devices and a bunch of controllers etc

              Madness

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            April 24, 2019 8:35 AM

            you can just buy the official one for thirty dollars...which always seemed really high to me? just for a 40W adapter.

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              April 24, 2019 8:37 AM

              I did, yes way too expensive I agree

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        April 24, 2019 5:12 AM

        Speculation: Switching to cheaper parts, integrated joy cons, no doc, and better manufacturing processes to reduce costs.

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          April 24, 2019 7:21 AM

          Yeah, non-detachable joy cons seems like a no brainer to make it more durable/kid-friendly and cheaper to make.

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            April 24, 2019 7:57 AM

            But then you lose a major selling point of the console and the ability to play Mario Party without buying additional controllers. It wouldn't affect my use case much at all, but I don't know if Nintendo would willingly take that on.

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              April 24, 2019 8:03 AM

              I honestly don't think Nintendo has a problem de-emphasizing the TV docking functionality, the whole point of this new model is to slide the Switch into the handheld market position that the Game Boy/DS/3DS have traditionally occupied.

              Switch hasn't fully become the successor to those systems yet likely due to price. If anything, releasing a model that people view almost exclusively as a handheld could help them make the case that anyone who had a 3DS should now get a Switch. Part of the system's appeal is console-quality games on a handheld, and Nintendo doesn't care if you never play a Switch game on a television as long as you buy the games.

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              April 24, 2019 8:05 AM

              Nintendo is no stranger to altering consoles and handhelds after launch to include or exclude functionality.

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              April 24, 2019 8:37 AM

              You can buy a dock and a controller though. A lot of people don't use the dock. I played all of Zelda and most of Mario on dock, but everything else has just been through handheld mode.

              It's just an option.

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      April 24, 2019 7:45 AM

      god i hope they integrate the joycons and make them adult-sized.

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      April 24, 2019 9:37 AM

      I heard they were partnering with Samsung to make the Switch even more bendable.