Nintendo’s Switch game console is one of the company’s popular devices in years, having sold 32 million units since launching a little less than two years ago.

But Japanese news organization Nikkei says Nintendo plans to launch a smaller, cheaper version of the Switch this year. The move could expand the reach of the console even further.

It’s unclear how small Nintendo plans to go or what corners the company would cut in order to reduce the cost. The original Switch consists of a tablet with a 6.2 inch touchscreen display, a set of controllers that can slide onto the sides or be used wirelessly, and a dock that lets you play games on a TV.

The system sells for $300 and the tablet measures about 9.4″ x 4″ x 0.55″ and weighs about two thirds of a pound.

Ars Technica speculates that one way Nintendo could save some money is to focus on the mobile/handheld gaming aspect and eliminate the docking station. An emphasis on mobile gaming would certainly make sense if Nintendo plans to reduce both the cost and the size.

I also can’t help but wonder if new hardware is at least partially a vulnerability discovered last year that allows users to hack Nintendo Switch devices as well as other products with an NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor.

Update: Apparently that’s no longer an issue, so the primary reason for any hardware change would likely just be aimed at broadening the appeal of Nintendo’s console.

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8 replies on “Nintendo Switch may get a smaller, cheaper sibling this year”

  1. I would definitely get a Switch if it were about the size of a Vita. Would be nice if the Switch didn’t take up my entire “personal item” allowance on flights. I never check luggage, I just do carry-on, and personal item. I have a camera shoulder-bag for my personal item. If I want to play games on a flight, I bring a Bluetooth controller for my smartphone.

    1. Sounds like it will be slightly smaller, but not significantly so.
      That means it’s still quite a bit larger than the PS Vita.

      This is simply the interim move. Nintendo is essentially killing off the 2DS/3DS stocks and replacing it with the Switch. And priming the market to introduce a New Nintendo Switch successor in the coming years. I suspect 2020, so maybe a year after the PS5 and Xbox V release, or maybe a couple months before it.

      I do hope the next Switch keeps the mobile aspect of the console, and builds upon it. Maybe introduce a 7nm Octacore Cortex A76 inside the handheld, with a small/weak/efficient GPU that rivals the original Switch. That way you can enjoy 720p/30fps/Low Settings games while on the go. And the mobile screen could even get upgraded too, better viewing angle, colours, brightness, and 1080p resolution. Then when the next Switch is docked, it delivers power to fast charge the battery, overclocks the Octacore CPU, and provides Active cooling. Also the dock houses a large GPU inside, something 14nm-cheap and around the performance of a GTX 1060, to do 1080p/60fps/Medium Settings…. or even 4K-Checkerboard/30fps/Medium Settings with HDR-enabled. That new/higher priced offer would seem more tempting than owning both a Switch/PS4 Pro if they market it right. And could really give the PS5 and Xbox V a run for it’s money.

  2. Isn’t a smaller, cheaper version of the Switch just a 2DS-XL?

    Although, seeing how my daughter has yet to want/need to connect her Switch up to a TV for game play, I could see a low-cost version with no console dock and non-detachable controllers being used by solo players

  3. Wouldn’t it be great if they made it a clamshell.
    Would be smaller but keep the same screen size. More robust with screen protection, and better viewing angles all while being pocketable

  4. Dangit, and I was just thinking about getting my SO one of those Pokemon Let’s Go sets that comes with a custom paintjob and colors. Hmmm… I guess since it’s a present I can’t really wait another few months.

  5. I would honestly probably buy a second Switch if I could get one that was about the same size as a PS Vita, provided it was otherwise the same under the hood. The Switch is, comparatively, not as comfortable in portable mode.

  6. The reason for the new version wouldn’t be the vuln. New Switches (past April 2018) have the X1 security issue fixed.

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