Speculation, rumors, and reports have been flying around for an upgraded Switch dating back to 2017, but last year things really came to a head with reputable journalists contacting over 11 developers for information on Nintendo’s next hardware move, supposedly an upgraded Nintendo Switch. It has had many names with Switch Pro and Switch 2 being most prominent, but as always these are entirely made up placeholders.
While we haven’t had much updates on things since last year, a user over on Famiboards called Polygon appears to possibly have a developer source who’s working on a game for the new system right now and they decided to divulge details of what the system is actually capable of, including some specs. Also, a possible release timing, at least according to his sources. All of this is tentatively backed up by renowned Nintendo Insider, Nate Drake, who stated the suggested specs fall in line with what he heard from developers last year.
As you can see, they first mention that the new Switch hardware has 16gb of ram for dev units, while the final retail units will have 12gb of ram. This is a 8gb increase from the base Switch as we know it today, a fairly large leap forward. Also, it’s apparently planned to release in Spring of 2023, which falls in line with many who speculate it will release alongside Breath of the Wild 2, a game currently announced for Spring of 2023. That’s not all Polygon had to say, however:
As you can see, he implies the system, according to his source, is essentially on par with a PlayStation 4, however that’s without running DLSS. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story – PlayStation 4 is running on even old technology than the Nintendo Switch, so Zomble, also from Famiboards, went on to clarify that it’s much closer to a Steam Deck for actual performance metrics:
This is relatively good news. Sure, Valve has stated plainly they are currently working on a Steam Deck 2, which will presumably be even more powerful, but Steam Deck today is having almost no issues running modern AAA games, including Eldin Ring, the likely Game of the Year winner at most outlets this year. Steam Deck is also a PC platform, and as such will get new integrations much more frequently than a traditional console cycle.
Either way, Spring 2023 to release what may effectively be a Nintendo Steam Deck of this year is pretty solid and reaches a point where you have to wonder if it is more of a next generation system than a simple upgrade. Of course, according to Polygon, Nintendo is telling developers to still treat it as a Switch… for whatever that is worth. It’s highly doubtful with such a power increase that developers will be required to make their games run on the base Nintendo Switch we have today.
Also, with this sort of power Nintendo could keep the Switch brand going for many more years to come, as this would slot in very well next to a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Series X. While still rumors at this point, we can’t help but home this is the one that comes true.