The Nintendo Switch marked Nintendo’s move towards a combined home and mobile console platform. Unveiled in October 2016 and launched across the world in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch comprises a handheld tablet device that can be docked and played through a television, or attached to removable controllers that can be used as mobile devices.
The launch has been plagued with issues, with high budget games not being released on launch and even reports of devices becoming warped after prolonged exposure to the TV dock. This has not stopped Nintendo from selling 2.4 million units in its debut month – and now, it looks like the legendary gaming company is planning the launch of a mini version.
According to analysts from Citigroup Inc., the Switch hardware is simply too large to be widely adopted as a portable gaming console, being significantly clunkier and heavier than Nintendo’s famous GameBoy and DS lines. Analysts believes that Nintendo is currently planning a smaller version of its Switch game console, which could be released “in the fiscal year through March 2019.”
Citigroup experts, however, say that this won’t simply be a scaled down version of the Switch. Instead, the analysts believe that Nintendo will be creating a Switch device that is primarily focused on the portable market, meaning it will be lighter, smaller, and easier for children to hold in their hands – and will potentially be a similar size to the 3DS. They even went on to suggest that it could be a successor to the 3DS, which has seen many incarnations since the launch of the original DS in 2004.
If Citigroup’s predictions are correct, it could mean that Nintendo will ditch the dual screen format in favor of a more traditional handheld format, similar to the Sony PSP and PS Vita.
The problem the company will face, however, is ensuring that the device maintains its 3-6-hour battery life, which is achievable only because of the current Switch’s large battery. Traditional Nintendo handheld devices have allowed for reasonably long battery life because of the low-powered internals that allow it to run only less graphic-intensive games. Should Nintendo aim for a longer battery life, it would mean using less powerful internals or switching to more efficient chips.
If Nintendo is to release the device in two years, it gives the company plenty of time to turn to a Tegra X1 SoC, providing greater efficiency.
In Other Switch News
On April 17th, Nintendo rolled out the 2.2.0 software update for the Switch, which provides “general system stability improvements to enhance the user’s experience.”
Users who have their Switch connected to the Internet should find their device automatically downloads and installs the update, though it can also be manually updated if required. Nintendo hasn’t been clear about what the update specifically changes, though regular updates are common for games consoles and typically mend glitches noticed after release.