Nintendo Switch 2 Rumor Roundup: Release Date, Price, Launch Games, and More

Here's everything you need to know about Nintendo's Switch rumored successor.

Nintendo Switch OLED
Photo: Nintendo

The worst-kept secret in the video game industry is that Nintendo intends to launch a Switch successor sometime soon. When it comes to making sense of all of those Nintendo Switch 2 reports, though…well, things quickly get much more complicated. There are a ton of Nintendo Switch 2 rumors out there at the moment, and the legit/current ones often look just like the reports that are utter nonsense.

So, while I will emphasize now and throughout this article that there are so many things about Nintendo’s next console that remain unverified (including its very existence), here is a rundown of some of the most substantial rumors regarding Nintendo’s next console.

What Is the Nintendo Switch 2’s Name?

While we’ll be referring to Nintendo’s next console as the Nintendo Switch 2 for reasons I will get into shortly, we don’t know the console’s full official name as of this time. While there were some rumors that Nintendo may drop the Switch name entirely, no notable source has corroborated those reports at this time. Besides, it’s unlikely Nintendo will drop the highly successful Switch name so soon, and circumstantial information suggests a direct Switch successor is more likely. 

Nintendo Switch 2’s Price and Release Date

The Nintendo Switch 2’s price is a bit of a mystery at the moment. Noted gaming industry and Nintendo analyst Dr. Serkan Toto previously suggested that Nintendo may be targeting a $400 price point for their next console. Historically, Nintendo has typically aimed for slightly lower hardware price points, and that figure would certainly make the Switch 2 cheaper than the PS5 and Xbox Series X at their launch (and, likely, Microsoft and Sony’s next hardware releases as well). Beyond that, it’s tough to speculate about the console’s price with reasonable certainty.

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The Switch 2’s release date is much more interesting. Until very recently, it was rumored that the Nintendo Switch 2 would be released in late 2024 (likely September 2024 or November 2024). However, VGC’s Andy Robinson recently reported that those close to the hardware’s development expect it to be released in early 2025 instead. That report was later supported by outlets like Bloomberg and Eurogamer who also noted that a March 2025 release date seems most likely at this point. It’s also now been corroborated by Japanese publication Nikkei (via IGN), which reports the date is being pushed to March of next year to ensure that there are enough units on shelves to satisfy demand at launch.

While these reports haven’t been officially confirmed by Nintendo at this time, it’s worth noting that Nintendo suffered a notable stock drop shortly after they were released. That tends to suggest that investors also believe the next Nintendo console isn’t going to be released this year. However, Nintendo may reveal their next hardware in the year before it is released (2024, in this instance) as they have done in the past. 

Will the Nintendo Switch 2 Be a Handheld Hybrid Console?

Most Nintendo Switch 2 rumors suggest that the console will retain the Nintendo Switch’s handled hybrid design. The aforementioned Serkan Toto report specifically suggested that the console will be more “iteration rather than a revolution” and even noted that the power of the Pokémon franchise and its association with handheld hardware may encourage Nintendo to continue offering handled functionality with their next home console.

VGC and other outlets have also previously reported that the Switch 2 will likely retain its predecessor’s handheld functionality. There have also been reports that the Switch 2 will even be backward compatible with Switch games, though those are unconfirmed and unreliable at this time. They’re also quite unlikely considering Nintendo’s historic approach to backward compatibility.

For what it’s worth, though, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser did previously state that the company wants to use its Nintendo Account program to ease the transition between Nintendo hardware, which could suggest that the company is looking for ways to offer expanded cross-generational functionality and accessibility.

How Powerful Will the Nintendo Switch 2 Be?

While the Nintendo Switch 2 will be more powerful than its predecessor, there have been very few solid reports regarding the Switch 2’s suspected specs. 

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However, a reliable series of reports suggest that the Switch 2 will utilize a custom Nvidia processor and GPU, which shouldn’t be a complete surprise given Nvidia’s prominent place in the industry and prior relationship with Nintendo. The surprising part of that part is the implication that Nintendo will be utilizing a custom Nvidia chipset rather than an “off the shelf” option. 

Theoretically, a custom chip such as that could allow the Nintendo Switch 2’s performance to exceed its raw technical specs. So, while former Activision CEO (and noted villain) Bobby Kotick previously stated that he was briefed on the Switch 2 hardware and that it was about as powerful as a “Gen 8 platform” (meaning PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), that might not mean much. As Digital Foundry notes, a customized chipset that utilizes machine learning and cloud technology could still allow the Nintendo Switch 2 to run Unreal Engine 5-quality games in certain circumstances. 

The more pressing rumors at the moment involve the Nintendo Switch’s screen. Most recent reports from substantial sources suggest that the Switch 2 will feature an 8-inch LCD screen rather than an OLED screen. While an 8-inch screen is larger than the 7-inch screen on the Switch OLED (the largest currently available Switch screen), LCD screens are generally considered to be inferior to OLED screens (at least in terms of sheer performance output). That could hinder the Switch 2’s ability to deliver 4K output in handheld mode, but again, it’s hard to say anything for sure given that we seem to be dealing with a custom screen that hasn’t been revealed yet. 

For what it’s worth, though, an LCD screen would theoretically allow Nintendo to keep the Switch 2’s cost down and would also not prevent the device from producing 4K visuals while docked (which would probably be the biggest priority from a power perspective). 

Will Nintendo Switch 2 Support Physical Games?

Most reports suggest that the Switch 2 will still support physical games via a built-in cartridge slot. If true, that could open the door to that rumored Switch 2 backward compatibility functionality (though that may be more of a policy decision). 

For what it’s worth, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has stated that they intend to continue supporting physical games. While plans always change, Spencer’s statement feels noteworthy given that Xbox is one of the more active contributors to cloud gaming technology and other digital gaming solutions. If they intend to continue supporting physical games as of now, then Nintendo (a famously “traditional” game company in a lot of ways) will likely continue to do so with the Switch 2. 

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What Are the Rumored Nintendo Switch 2 Launch Games?

Unfortunately, there have been no substantial reports regarding possible Nintendo Switch 2 launch games. Any current discussions regarding that topic would need to be based entirely on our best available guesses. 

However, we can certainly make some pretty reasonable guesses. Most notably, Nintendo has never launched a major home console without a new Zelda or Super Mario game being available on day one. Given that Tears of the Kingdom just came out last year and we haven’t gotten a significant new 3D Super Mario game since 2017’s Super Mario Odyssey (re-releases non-withstanding), most people are guessing that Mario will help kick off the Switch 2.

There is the Mario Kart variable to consider, though. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best-selling Switch game to date (it moved a whopping 60+ million units so far) and has come to define the Switch in some ways. Of course, it began as an updated version of a Wii U game that has continued to be updated since its release. Nintendo could certainly decide that Mario Kart 9 (or whatever it may be called) is actually the biggest possible system seller at this point. 

Finally, we need to talk about Metroid Prime 4. Since it was first teased in 2017, we’ve heard remarkably few updates about Metroid Prime 4. While it has reportedly suffered through some significant developmental issues in recent years, Nintendo still seemingly intends to release the game. 

At this point, Metroid Prime 4 would most likely be a Switch swan song game, a Switch 2 launch title, or (more likely) a hybrid cross-generational game that would be released for both platforms similar to what we saw with Breath of the Wild when the Switch launched. In any case, its release will likely not be too far off from the Switch 2’s reveal/launch.