2024 may not outdo last year in terms of the number of quality games released but it already has it beaten for corporate intrigue and industry machinations. Who knows what’s going on at Xbox at the moment (Microsoft certainly don’t seem to) while the biggest question of the moment is when will the so-called Switch 2 be announced.
It’s widely assumed (which is usually a bad idea with Nintendo) that the new console will be released this autumn but it’s difficult to guess when it might be revealed to the public, although a reliable rumourmonger suggests March is the most likely time.
It definitely won’t be at the Nintendo Direct rumoured for next week though, which may not even feature first party Nintendo games and could instead be a Partner Direct, that’s focused on third party games due out in the coming months.
These predictions come from the latest podcast of the generally reliable Nate The Hate, who’s joined this week by technical expert John Linneman from Digital Foundry.
The podcast is over an hour long and it’s unclear exactly how much the March prediction is based on insider knowledge, which the two are certainly party to, and how much is just an educated guess. However, Nate The Hate does refer to sources from Japan and Linneman to information he’s ‘heard’ from unspecified sources.
A reveal sometime after the launch of Princess Peach: Showtime! does seem the obvious guess – since that’s the last major Nintendo Switch currently announced at the moment, other than remasters.
Switch sales will drop sharply once a new console is announced but hardware sales always dip after Easter (which is late March this year) until they build up again in the run-up to Christmas. So somewhere between late March and late summer is the obvious time for Nintendo to have their reveal.
As the podcast discusses, the initial announcement may be very brief. For the Wii it was just a text-only press release and for the Switch it was a lifestyle ad (the one below – although it’s no longer available officially because the music licence expired) with no presentation from any Nintendo staff.
The podcast also mentions that GDC (Game Developers Conference) is in March, which will be a useful opportunity for Nintendo to demonstrate the new hardware to developers from around the world.
It’s also predicted that there will be a cross-gen period in 2025, with more original titles and/or remasters to come for the existing Switch. This period may last relatively long too since, as has been rumoured for a long time, the new console is expected to be fully backwards compatible.
The pair suggest that Switch games on the Switch 2 will likely not see an automatic boost, expect perhaps to increase the frame rate. Instead, they predict the release of new special editions of existing games, although it’s unclear if that’s purely speculation or based on inside knowledge.
Nate The Hate also suggests that Nintendo will have a major first party Direct in June, at the same time E3 would’ve been, that will offer a more detailed look at the new system and its games, with an appearance at the Tokyo Game Show also certain in late September.
Despite the presence of Linneman there’s little in the way of detailed technical talk, although he mentions that the new console is likely to have an 8-inch screen, as already rumoured, purely because it has to be bigger in order to pack in all the new internal components and a suitably voluminous battery.
Both seem to think that the new console might not have Joy-Cons, although this seems to be based more on them not liking them than any inside knowledge on the issue.
No source is ever 100% correct, especially when talking about Nintendo, but none of these suggestions are outrageous and it would be more surprising than not if the Switch 2 wasn’t announced sometime between March and August.
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