Nintendo Switch 2: Rumors and everything we know about the next console

Nintendo Switch 2 concept art by Rebecca Spear
Concept art for a Nintendo Switch 2. Not a real product. (Image credit: iMore)

Since the first Switch released in 2017, there have been rumors that a more powerful New Switch, Super Switch, or Switch 2 would come out. The idea being that this suped-up console could handle a 4K display, offer higher processing power, have an increased storage capacity, and come with several other improvements. 

Being honest, it's very unlikely that something like this will release this late into the Switch's lifecycle. It's far more likely that Nintendo will release a next-gen console within the next three years to replace the Switch that could have some of these features. But that doesn't stop fans from being hopeful for a Switch 2 nor does it prevent rumors from floating around about it. 

If you want the latest in Switch tech, you really ought to go with the Switch OLED, which was referred to as the Switch Pro before it was officially announced. The improved screen makes visuals pop and look far crisper despite offering the same resolution as previous Switch consoles. Nevertheless, if you're interested in Switch 2 rumors, we've gathered them all here for you to enjoy.  

Nintendo Switch 2 specs

When it comes to specs for this rumored console, the sky seems to be the limit since Nintendo has never confirmed its existence. But the most recurring ideas out there are that the Switch 2 would offer a display that can handle 4K, Joy-Cons with grips, greater battery life, improved storage, higher processing power for faster load times, and an improved UI experience. 

Now, it's hard to determine what Nintendo is up to since the company never seems to do what you would expect. In fact, it often does the opposite or completely comes out of left field with its ideas. 

Curbing expectations

Nintendo Playstation Xbox

(Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Nintendo holds a very interesting place in the gaming industry. Instead of competing with the latest tech like Sony and Microsoft, it tends to focus on a unique family-oriented playing experience that doesn't cost as much. This is partially why it has far outsold any other console in the last couple of years and is one of the top five best-selling consoles of all time.

It's also long been Nintendo's style to work with older (far less expensive) technology to create unique gaming experiences. This has been happening for years like back in the day when Nintendo decided the N64 would use cartridges while Sony decided to use CDs. This was one of the reasons why the N64 was a commercial failure despite leaving a strong and impactful legacy. More recently, we saw another example of using older tech with the original Switch which launched with only a max of 1080p resolution in TV mode despite 4K being common. Not to mention that it used the Nvidia X1 Tegra Chip, which was already outdated at the time. 

So unless Nintendo suddenly decides to change its usual course and go after the latest tech, we can assume any potential Switch 2 will be behind the curve technically. But as we saw with the hybrid console, that doesn't mean it can't be innovative in other ways. 

At any rate, it seems that Nvidia is no longer producing the Tegra Chip used in Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED (thanks PCMag). However, NintendoLife reported that Nintendo had doubled its 2019 spending on raw materials. Perhaps this means that it has stockpiled several of these last Tegra Chips for its own use. Because if not, this might force the Japanese gaming company to upgrade, even if only slightly.

When will the Nintendo Switch 2 release?

Switch Oled Splatoon Edition

(Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo has never said anything about a Switch that will have greater processing power, offer 4K, and have all of the other improvements the rumors have been talking about. At the moment, the New Switch 2 is just a rumor and a fan wish. We will update if this changes. 

That being said, if Nintendo does end up releasing another Switch iteration it won't be until next year. As tweeted by Takashi Mochizuk, Nintendo said in a Nikkei report that "there will be no new Nintendo hardware this fiscal year, which ends on March 2023" (thanks GamesRadar). 

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Even then, "new Switch hardware" could refer to another Switch OLED iteration like the Splatoon 3 OLED rather than an upgraded Switch. Considering that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is slated to come out in "spring 2023," it's also possible that new hardware could just be another OLED iteration but with a Zelda theme to mark the sequel's release.

What will make the Nintendo Switch 2 worth it?

Nintendo Switch Hori Split Pad Pro

(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Despite being Switch 2 cynics, we'd still love to get one if it offered these features: 

Improved Joy-Con grips: It's no secret that the Switch controllers are incredibly uncomfortable in adult hands since they are small and don't offer ergonomic grips. The next console would do well to fix this. It would probably help prevent people from having to buy any of the best third-party Switch controllers.

No more drift:  Nintendo has been brought to court several times over Joy-Con drift, an issue where the controllers detect input without anything touching them. This can make your characters move on their own or drift to one side, which can be very frustrating. 

Flexible screen: Many people have noted that the Switch display is easy to damage since there's nothing to protect it. One solution is for the console to feature a clamshell design similar to the 3DS. A flexible screen could make this happen, but going off of Nintendo's past decisions, it's likely too recent a technology to use at this time. Maybe sometime down the road. 

4K resolution for TV mode at least:  It would be nice if both the Switch's handheld mode and TV mode could handle higher graphics, but it makes more of a difference on larger screens. We'd love to see some more details in our favorite games like in the massive world of the upcoming Breath of the Wild 2. If handheld mode could at least upgrade to 1080p, it would be a vast improvement over what we currently have. 

Increased storage: The original Switch and Switch Lite only offer 32 GB of internal storage (about enough for three large games) while the Switch OLED isn't much better at 64 GB (about enough for six large games). Instead of requiring everyone to grab a microSD card to increase storage capacity, it would be better if a new Switch offered more space to begin with. At least going up to the average 128 GB that most phones offer these days. 

Should I wait for Nintendo Switch 2?

Nintendo Switch OLED Model Next To Switch V2 Luigis Mansion 3 With King Boo

Switch V2 on top with Switch OLED on bottom.  (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

No way. There's absolutely no guarantee that Nintendo will release a Switch 2 before the next-gen Nintendo console launches. If you want the latest and greatest that Nintendo has to offer, you'll want to grab the Switch OLED, which offers a larger OLED display that really makes colors pop and details look more crisp compared to previous Switch iterations

Most consoles have an average lifespan of between three to five years, though some more popular ones can run for seven years. The Switch launched in March 2017, meaning that we're already over five years into its lifecycle.  As such, Nintendo must be preparing itself for the next-gen console and will likely release it in the next two to three years. So if you really want to wait for the next big thing, you'll need to keep on waiting. 

Fan-made Nintendo Switch 2 concepts

Of course, everyone has different ideas about what the next Switch iteration should look like and there are people out there who have created phenomenal concept ideas for it. Here are some of the most impressive ones. 

Olivier Raymond's concept art is a bit old as it was made before the Switch Lite and Switch OLED came out. However, it's still gorgeous and presents a look at what a refined next-level Switch could look like. My favorite feature is the flat dock that allows the Switch to lie down horizontally in TV mode. 

CURVED labs gives us a taste of Switch 2 that offers a touchpad in place of a D-Pad, Joy-Cons that slide down to become longer, and a USB-C port coming out of the back of the unit rather than underneath it. Perhaps my favorite thing is the built-in screen cover that wraps around the display. 

Red Phoenix's concept focuses on several improvements we'd like to see on a Switch device. These ideas include having a smaller dock, being able to play in tabletop mode while on the dock, front-facing speakers, and more. 

Concept art for a new Nintendo Switch console by Katarzyna Penar

(Image credit: Katarzyna Penar at Lightframes)

One of the complaints people have for the Switch is that the display remains unprotected when not in use. The solution Katarzyna Penar shows us would be to have a clamshell dual-screen similar to the 3DS. 

While I'm not a huge fan of the chunky design of this concept, I do find DZ Migo's idea of a pop-up screen to be very interesting. We've already seen a few ideas of a flexible Switch screen that turns into a clamshell cover like that of the 3DS, but this is another take on that. 

Switching things up

As I said before, it isn't likely that Nintendo will release a more powerful Switch with 4K and higher processing power this late in the system's lifecycle. If anything, it's far more likely that these kinds of improvements will be seen on the next-gen Nintendo console. That is if Nintendo decides to go with another hybrid console design. 

The best gaming experience Nintendo has to offer currently comes with the Switch OLED. It has an amazing OLED display that's larger than previous Switch displays and improves visuals in a stunning way. 

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.