It’s not as unlikely as you might think.
The existing Nintendo Switch is a well made system, with incredible flexibility and modularity of form factor that truly sets it apart from everything else on the market. However, by being a hybrid, it is undeniable that the Switch also ends up being a bit of a compromise as a console and a handheld, both- it’s a bit too weak to be a proper high end console, and a little bit too big to be an effective, pocketable handheld. This isn’t even bringing up its relatively high cost, which locks out Nintendo’s most traditionally lucrative market- kids.
It looks like Nintendo may release a new SKU of the system to address all of these problems. At least, that’s what the analysts at Citigroup seem to think (via bloomberg.com). According to analysts Minami Munakata, Kota Ezawa and Alicia Yap, Nintendo may release a smaller, budget SKU targeted at children of the Switch, that would presumably be handheld only.
“Although the Nintendo Switch can be used as a handheld device, we think smaller children could struggle to use it comfortably in that format due to its size and weight, Accordingly, we think Nintendo will launch a lighter, dedicated handheld version of the Switch, possibly to be called the Switch Mini,” the report reads.
Given Nintendo’s penchant for constant iteration and revisions for its existing hardware, this doesn’t sound as far fetched as you might think- the only question, then, is whether or not it will indeed release in 2018. That sounds a bit too early to me.