The report also says Nintendo plans to launch a more expensive online service.
A new report suggests that a smaller version of Nintendo Switch will be released in 2019 which will cost less, but remove features to focus on portability as a result.
The report comes from Nikkei (via Gematsu) and says this move comes after Nintendo lowered its sales targets for the year from 20 million Switch units to 17 million, and is looking to launch this portable version early in order to expand its user base. Nikkei claims that Nintendo has told multiple suppliers and developers about the plans to release this smaller Switch. The rumor states this version of Switch will be made with playing outdoors in mind.
Nikkei also notes that Nintendo plans to launch a more expensive online service in 2019. Nintendo Everything reports this will be aimed at game enthusiasts that are willing to pay more for a higher tier service. If this is the case, the current Nintendo Switch Online service will likely remain in place alongside it.
All of this information is heavily rumored and should be taken with a grain of salt. Inverse to this recent rumor, Wall Street Journal Japan reported last year that Nintendo was discussing a new version of Switch that would upgrade the system’s low-end LCD display and could arrive in the second half of 2019. However, just last week Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa went on record saying that a price cut and successor to Switch are not currently being considered.
If there is a smaller, more portable Switch in development, it’s unknown exactly what that will look like. It’s possible such a system would forego detachable Joy-Con in favor of a singular device, one that would potentially not come with a dock or perhaps even the ability to be played on a television. These changes, among other possible adjustments, could feasibly allow Nintendo to sell a different version of Switch for far less than the current $300 USD price tag.
While that would go against the design philosophy of Switch, Nintendo made a similar move when it released the 2DS – a 3D-less 3DS that was a solid slate that sold for less.
Despite Nintendo adjusting sales projections, Switch has been selling very well, just recently passing 32 million units in total. Software sales for the console have surpassed 163 million units as well, and Nintendo has released sales figures for many of its best-selling games.
Switch deals can be hard to come by outside of the holiday season, so check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles in 2019.
Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.