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Friday, February 1, 2019

Nintendo plans to release a smaller, cheaper Switch

A report from Japanese business daily Nikkei claims Nintendo is developing a smaller, cheaper version of its Switch console. The rumored Switch will focus on portability, and it will cut some features to bring the price down, but it’s not yet known what those features might be. 

The Nikkei report, translated by Nintendo Everything, states that Nintendo has begun working with multiple suppliers and game development companies, informing them that the console could be released as early as 2019. The report also hints at Nintendo’s plan to launch a new service aimed at “game enthusiasts willing to pay more,” sometime in 2019. That could potentially be a more robust classic games subscription, similar to the Virtual Console of the Wii and Wii U days. 

Some guesses as to which features will be removed might be the console dock, which would line up with the report’s suggestion that the new console will be more portable and easier to use outdoors. Losing the cartridge slot could also be an option, as Nintendo places more emphasis on downloadable content and its new online service, but at this point, it’s all purely speculation. 

Despite its previous quarter being its best ever for Switch sales, Nintendo cut its sales forecasts for the console from 20 million down to 17 million units for this fiscal year. Releasing a cheaper model could help Nintendo make up for a decrease in standard Switch sales, while also bringing the console experience to more consumers who were previously daunted by the $300 retail price.

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