In March of 2024, the Nintendo Switch will be seven years old. Already, it’s had one of the longest lifecycles for a Nintendo console ever, which, of course, means that it’s about time for a Switch successor. Sure enough, there has been a deluge of leaks in recent months that have claimed that a Switch 2 is indeed in the works and targeting a release in the relatively near future, and those leaks have also spilled the beans on plenty of potential details on the console. Obviously, when it comes to leaks and rumours, some healthy skepticism is always justified (especially when dealing with a company as notoriously secretive and unpredictable as Nintendo), but here, we are, nonetheless, going to go over some of the biggest and most prominent details on the Switch 2 that might have a good chance of actually being accurate.
Let’s start with the basics. Nintendo revolutionized the industry and the way we engage with hardware with the Switch’s hybrid model, allowing users to decide whether they want to use it as a console or a handheld. According to a report published by VGC in July, the next Nintendo console is also set to be a hybrid device, and will also have use cartridges for physical media. That’s probably the one detail that most would have expected anyway, but given how experimental Nintendo likes to be with its hardware, you can never really take anything for granted.
The Switch’s aforementioned hybrid model is obviously one of its biggest strengths, but it does come at the cost of significantly weaker hardware, which means technology-wise, games on the platform are lagging several years behind the current industry standards. Now, Nintendo has been out of the power race for a long, long time, but with the Switch 2, it seems like the company is paying a bit more attention on that front.
Speaking on his podcast in September, prominent insider NateTheHate claimed that at Gamescom, a “souped up” version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of two tech demos for the Switch 2 that Nintendo allegedly showed off behind-closed-doors to select developers. That version of the game, interestingly enough, was apparently running at 4K and 60 FPS. Now, an upgraded version of a nearly seven year old game running at 4K and 60 FPS on the Switch 2 doesn’t mean that all games will be able to, but it does mean that the console is capable of that output, which isn’t something you would have expected from a Nintendo console.
Yet another example of the Switch 2 putting more emphasis on the technical side of things than its predecessor is its alleged support for ray tracing. In a report published in September, VGC claimed that Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 tech demo was also one of the things Nintendo showed running on Switch 2 hardware to developers at Gamescom, and that that tech demo featured advanced ray tracing.
Another key feature that the Switch 2 is supposedly utilizing is Nvidia’s AI supersampling technology, DLSS, which is something that multiple leaks have been claiming for quite some time. That seems to be the one thing that pretty much all leaks deem irrefutable, in fact. More specifically, according to NateTheHate, the Switch 2 will use DLSS 3.5, and that will also go hand-in-hand with support for Ray Reconstruction, which is supersampling technology enabled by DLSS 3.5 that enhances ray traced lighting and reflections.
VISUALS COMPARABLE TO PS5 AND XBOX SERIES X/S
To give you an idea of how effective DLSS can be when paired with decent hardware, it’s been claimed that the Switch 2 will be capable of outputting visuals comparable to what you see on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. To be completely clear, that doesn’t mean the Switch 2’s specs will be in the same ballpark as Sony and Microsoft’s consoles- when it comes to raw power, the Nintendo device is likely still going to be lagging behind.
THIRD PARTY SUPPORT
If the Switch 2 will indeed be capable of rendering current-gen quality visuals, you’d expect it to have much stronger third party support than its predecessor, and it seems like that is indeed going to be the case. In October, prominent leaker Tom Henderson said that we’ll be seeing a lot of multiplatform third party titles getting simultaneous Switch releases alongside PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. Meanwhile, Felipe Lima, editor-in-chief of Brazilian outlet Universo Nintendo, has claimed that Far Cry 7 (which is allegedly targeting a Fall 2025 launch) will release day one for the Switch 2, and that Monster Hunter 6 will also release for the console.
The Switch OLED model has an absolutely gorgeous screen, one that almost makes the base version of the console feel obsolete in comparison, though disappointingly, it seems like the Switch 2 won’t be following suit. Back in July, VGC claimed that the Switch 2 would feature an LCD screen, similar to the base Switch model, with Nintendo looking to compensate for larger costs required elsewhere for the console. On the other hand, according to NateTheHate, the screen is allegedly going to be an 8-inch one, as compared to 6.2 inches for the base Switch and 7 inches for the Switch OLED.
One of the aforementioned aspects of the Switch 2 that will require more manufacturing costs is apparently going to be its internal storage, which makes sense, given the fact that the console is going to be running games with much larger storage requirements, if its leaked hardware details are accurate. NateTheHate speculated in August that it could have 512 GB of internal storage, though there isn’t a lot of concrete information on this front just yet.
Another tidbit related to the Switch successor’s hardware that has leaked out (courtesy of Universo Nintendo’s Felipe Lima) is that it’s going to have 12 GB of RAM, which isn’t terrible by any means by modern console standards. For comparison’s sake, the PS5 and Xbox Series X both have a 16 GB of RAM, while the Xbox Series S has a 10 GB RAM. What kind of RAM and clock speed we’re looking at for the Switch 2 exactly remains to be seen though.
Unlike pretty much everything else we’ve spoken about here so far, this one is all but confirmed. Nintendo has said on a couple of occasions over the past year that the Nintendo Accounts service is going to be used to make the transition between the Switch and its successor smoother than it has been in the past between Nintendo generations. That would mean that this will be the first time that two Nintendo consoles will share the same underlying network base.
Interestingly enough, it seems like Nintendo might also have plans to release multiple variants of the Switch 2 together, similar to what Sony and Microsoft have done this generation. According to leaker SoldierDelta (who has previously leaked details on Team Ninja’s upcoming PS5 open world action RPG Rise of the Ronin), Nintendo will have two SKUs of the Switch 2 available at launch– a regular edition that will cost $449.99, and an all-digital edition that will cost $399.99.
Even in the absence of leaks, most would have predicted that the next Nintendo console would be launching sometime in 2024, and sure enough, that’s what multiple leaks have claimed as well. In all likelihood, we’re looking at a release in the second half of the year, with some leaks even having mentioned a narrower launch target of September or October. Of course, if that is accurate, we’ll probably be getting an official announcement in the next few months. Or that’s the hope, anyway. Again, you never know with Nintendo.