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Get your grain of salt ready: A new leak suggests that Nintendo is about to release its "next-gen" console. Insiders said it would be another hybrid like the Switch. However, the new device will ditch the OLED screen for an LED to save on manufacturing costs. Nintendo is shooting to launch the handheld in the second half of 2024, and devkits are already in the hands of developers.
Release dates for a new Nintendo Switch have been all over the place, but VGC sources expect it to arrive in H2 2024, corroborating a previous rumor. Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa also told investors not to expect new hardware until after fiscal year 2023, which ends on March 31, 2024 lining up not quite perfectly with the new information.
While not an official confirmation, the date at least jives with the company's stated expectations, unlike other rumors claiming launches as early as 2020 or 2021. The Switch celebrated its sixth anniversary in March, so the potential for new hardware toward the end of 2024 or early 2025 seems more in line with a typical console generation. Additionally, Furukawa-san recently said that Nintendo is prepared for a "smooth transition" to new hardware, all but confirming that an updated device is imminent.
The news also comes as Switch sales are declining. Shipments for 2022 were down more than 22 percent, and Nintendo's bean counters forecast another decline of 15 percent for FY2023. Furthermore, a report from Nikkei earlier this year proposed a similar timeframe based on ongoing talks between Nintendo and its parts suppliers.
Besides the potential launch window and the disappointing screen news, the insiders were stingy with any other details. They mentioned that it would have "a cartridge slot" for physical games, but it's unclear if that will be any different from the current SD-card-like port the current console has. Other than that, the rest of the specs are subject to our imagination.
Presumably, we can at least expect more powerful processors. While Nintendo's latest AAA release, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, runs beautifully on the aging system, Kotaku notes that the device has shown some difficulty running other recent titles, including Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.