Nintendo’s newest console is already in the hands of developers and will be targeting a late 2024 commercial release. The company is aiming to avoid a launch plagued by shortages, such as what happened when Sony’s PlayStation 5 first debuted and was incredibly hard to purchase (a situation that scalpers made a field day of).
The upcoming system will feature a portable mode, much like the existing Nintendo Switch, as well as have a cartridge slot for physical media, sources familiar with Nintendo’s plans told VGC. The new device is leaning toward an LCD screen over an OLED in order to keep production costs down. “Key partner studios” have access to development kits for the console, allowing them to get a head start on developing projects for the system.
It’s not yet known what Nintendo plans to do regarding backward compatibility, otherwise known as the ability for a new console to play games from older consoles.
With over 120 million Nintendo Switches sold over the system’s lifetime, it’s likely the company will attempt some form of backward compatibility in order to give existing customers a strong case to stick with the brand. Whether the upcoming system is a proper sequel to the Switch, e.g. a “Switch 2,” or something wholly new remains unclear. Even if Nintendo does break away from the Switch branding, that doesn’t preclude backward compatibility potential; the Wii was able to play GameCube games despite being its own entity.
The Switch, despite being technologically long in the tooth compared to Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X & S, continues to do well with consumers. One of the most recent big-budget, flagship releases for Switch, “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” sold over 10 million copies in three days. It also became the fastest-selling Nintendo game in North and South America. Beyond its strong sales, the title racked up stellar reviews from critics and fans alike.
Nintendo representatives did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the contents of VCG’s report.