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Topic: WSJ report: Nintendo to launch two new Switch models in 2019

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premko1

My uncle works for Nintendo, so:

Switch Mini - clamshell design (like 3ds), called "Pocket", can attach joy-cons,but its not necessary to play.

Switch Pro - NO screen (so no portable gaming), still can use existing dock

so the consoles can keep Switch name.

YOU HEARD THAT HERE FIRST

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redd214

@Octane as a complementary switch I absolutely think the "mini" would work. Use myself as an example, I already have a 2 regular switches and multiple joycon. Have no use for more controllers or another dock. If I could get another one without all the unneeded bits for far cheaper that could still technically be docked, that would be attractive. My kids play their switches 90% of the time portable and it's really only docked for MK8, Smash, Towerfall etc. I know I can't speak for everyone, but in my use case the switch mini makes tons of sense.

redd214

Grumblevolcano

@Octane Very easy, just the reduce the length of the base Switch unit (the part you connect the Joy-Con to) and make the screen smaller to keep normal screen dimensions (surround it with more of the material that surrounds the screen in the current Switch). The other 2 dimensions of the Switch are already rather similar to the New 3DS XL so doesn't really need changing.

Grumblevolcano

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Octane

@redd214 In that case it wouldn't necessarily be smaller, right? Because if you want to dock it properly, the screen needs to have the dimensions of a regular Switch. It's just the Joy-Con that would be fused. Anyway, whilst I can understand your situation, you're probably in the minority, so I have to wonder if that's the market that Nintendo is after.

And that's what I'm trying to wrap my head around, because I find it hard coming up with one example of a new SKU, let alone two.

1. If the Joy-Con are fused, you're going to lose access to quite a few games. Not a deal-breaker for everyone, but that's not what Nintendo generally does. Are they going to recall every game and make sure it says ''Only compatible with these SKUs!'' on the box? Labo wouldn't work with this configuration either.

2. A smaller model in general would require smaller Joy-Con (assuming they aren't fused, but that raises also the issues as I explained above). It would also require a smaller dock (or no dock at all). And again, Labo wouldn't work with a smaller Switch either.

Now, both of these options would be cheaper SKUs we're assuming, and I also think they would be targeted towards younger children in that case, but lacking the ability to play party games, specific motion control games and especially Labo would be a big deal breaker; for Nintendo as well. Especially now they're doing a whole Labo VR for kids thing with their upcoming Labo set.

3. Another option would be a ''Pro'' model. The most reasonable out of the bunch I think. However, the Switch is only two years old at this point, so I have to wonder how much of an improvement it would be. Nintendo isn't playing the power game with the Switch, so they have even less reason to upgrade their SKUs every couple of years, let alone two. I mean, you could maybe reach base Xbox/PS4 performance at this point, maybe. But at a cost, and how much is that worth considering those two consoles are going to be replaced relatively soon? Like I said, they aren't playing the power game, so why do that all of a sudden? On top of that, Switch Pro exclusive games? Is that going to be a thing? How are people going to react to that? Because you're essentially splitting the user base in that case.

A fourth option would be a deal with Microsoft, err, the devil, and they're releasing a digital-only Switch

Would that lower the price though? Or bring any sort of improvement? I don't really think so to be honest. It would just exist as an option.

So yeah, I find it hard to come up with two separate SKUs they can launch this year without any sort of trade-offs, or splitting the user base. I dunno, maybe they made a deal with Google and they're releasing a Switch Stadia that's compatible with Google Stadia. I dunno, but it feels like I'm scraping the barrel with these ideas.

Octane

Grumblevolcano

@Octane Reduce the width of the base unit, keep the other 2 dimensions intact. That way the Joy-Con aren't affected.

Edited on by Grumblevolcano

Grumblevolcano

Switch Friend Code: SW-2595-6790-2897 | 3DS Friend Code: 3926-6300-7087 | Nintendo Network ID: GrumbleVolcano

HobbitGamer

Octane wrote:

@redd214 In that case it wouldn't necessarily be smaller, right? Because if you want to dock it properly, the screen needs to have the dimensions of a regular Switch. It's just the Joy-Con that would be fused. Anyway, whilst I can understand your situation, you're probably in the minority, so I have to wonder if that's the market that Nintendo is after.

And that's what I'm trying to wrap my head around, because I find it hard coming up with one example of a new SKU, let alone two.

1. If the Joy-Con are fused, you're going to lose access to quite a few games. Not a deal-breaker for everyone, but that's not what Nintendo generally does. Are they going to recall every game and make sure it says ''Only compatible with these SKUs!'' on the box? Labo wouldn't work with this configuration either.

2. A smaller model in general would require smaller Joy-Con (assuming they aren't fused, but that raises also the issues as I explained above). It would also require a smaller dock (or no dock at all). And again, Labo wouldn't work with a smaller Switch either.

Now, both of these options would be cheaper SKUs we're assuming, and I also think they would be targeted towards younger children in that case, but lacking the ability to play party games, specific motion control games and especially Labo would be a big deal breaker; for Nintendo as well. Especially now they're doing a whole Labo VR for kids thing with their upcoming Labo set.

3. Another option would be a ''Pro'' model. The most reasonable out of the bunch I think. However, the Switch is only two years old at this point, so I have to wonder how much of an improvement it would be. Nintendo isn't playing the power game with the Switch, so they have even less reason to upgrade their SKUs every couple of years, let alone two. I mean, you could maybe reach base Xbox/PS4 performance at this point, maybe. But at a cost, and how much is that worth considering those two consoles are going to be replaced relatively soon? Like I said, they aren't playing the power game, so why do that all of a sudden? On top of that, Switch Pro exclusive games? Is that going to be a thing? How are people going to react to that? Because you're essentially splitting the user base in that case.

A fourth option would be a deal with Microsoft, err, the devil, and they're releasing a digital-only Switch

Would that lower the price though? Or bring any sort of improvement? I don't really think so to be honest. It would just exist as an option.

So yeah, I find it hard to come up with two separate SKUs they can launch this year without any sort of trade-offs, or splitting the user base. I dunno, maybe they made a deal with Google and they're releasing a Switch Stadia that's compatible with Google Stadia. I dunno, but it feels like I'm scraping the barrel with these ideas.

All of this. Pineapple Jack agrees, as well.

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Octane

@Grumblevolcano That would still remove the docking function and Labo compatibility. But alright, I see what you're saying. It would look like a big-arse square though

And considering the Switch is mostly battery, I wonder how a smaller SKU is going to affect the battery life. They could put in a better, but smaller, battery, but that would be more expensive and defeat the point of a ''budget Switch''. Unless they're also willing to lower the resolution to 540p or 480p or something like that.

Octane

redd214

@Octane not that hard to understand really. A switch with the same dimensions, fused joycons, no dock, grip, hdmi cable or even charger perhaps, ditch HD rumble (which is largely unimpressive imo). They could easily charge under $200 for something like that. Could still be docked and wouldn't lose access to anything provided you had a normal one. Sure perhaps Labo wouldn't work but given this week's 70%+ off fire sale of them I doubt they're really banking on that as a core pillar of their business moving forward.

Like I said as a secondary one it makes sense and aligns with them wanting multiple switches in each home. And I know both anecdotally on the internet and even in real life people who only use the switch in handheld mode so could be a cheaper barrier of entry for folks like that. Even myself if I'm not playing multiplayer it's very very rare that I play on the TV. Played 100s of hours of Zelda, Kart, SMBUDX, DKTF, Hyrule Warriors all handheld. If I'm in the minority on that front so be it but it's not exactly an outlandish idea in the slightest to me. Guess we shall see

redd214

NEStalgia

@Octane I think "Switch Mini" doesn't need to be "a Switch" just "Switch game compatible." And it might not be called Switch as a result. It could be the "Nintendo Adventure" that still uses the logo and design language of Switch without implying it "switches."

Fused controllers don't really present a problem so long as it still supports additional Joycon. Some WiiU games strongly recommended having a Wiimote, but the console didn't come with Wiimotes, you had to buy them as accessories. Heck half of Wii's games required 2 Wiimotes, a Motion Plus, etc. but didn't come with them. Nintendo loves mandatory optional accessories. 3DS doesn't even come with a charger.

My bigger issue with it is a smaller screen wouldn't work. It's small enough to read the text on many games. But there's a lot of bezel space and Joycon supporting structure in the steel frame that can be condensed for more of a "zero edge" type setup. Heck a lot of phones have 6" screens now, or near it, so it can still be small. (Plus the controllers would probably be circle pads, not sticks...)

NEStalgia

Magician

The 3DS is on it's way out of the portable gaming space. Portable gaming has been Nintendo's domain for years as MS has shown no interest in that space and Sony left it after the Vita flopped. Nintendo wants to sell 150-200 million Switches. That isn't going to happen until Nintendo releases a budget version of the Switch.

It doesn't have to be called Switch per se, the only important angle would be that Switch games will be compatible.

Edited on by Magician

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OorWullie

The WSJ article says that it's not simply a more powerful Switch. It seems to just be a redesign with enhancements. I think it will be more of an Xbox One S type of upgrade than One X. I also think the original model will be discontinued along with 3DS and that Nintendo's focus will be on 2 models with a clear difference between them but both able to play the exact same library of games.

From the WSJ article:
"Nintendo’s suppliers and game developers have been talking with their investors about the new Switch machines for several months. People who have used the devices say they aren’t just similar-looking new versions with a higher or lower performance.

“You would be wrong to think the enhanced version is similar to what Sony did with PS4 Pro and the other is just a cheap alternative that looks very similar to some past hand-held machines, say, Sony’s PlayStation Vita,” one person who has used the new devices said."

Edited on by OorWullie

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Edu23XWiiU

Here's the WSJ article on its entirety: Nintendo Co. NTDOY +3.41% plans to launch two new versions of its Switch gaming console as early as this summer, people familiar with the matter said, as the company seeks to sustain sales momentum for the product going into a crucial third year.

One version will have enhanced features targeted at avid videogamers, although it won’t be as powerful as Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 Pro or Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One X, according to parts suppliers and software developers for Nintendo who have access to a prototype of the machine.

The other version is a cheaper option for casual gamers that Nintendo sees as a successor to its aging hand-held 3DS device, the suppliers and developers say.

The new models are likely to be unveiled at the E3 videogame Expo in Los Angeles in June and possibly released a few months later, one person familiar with Nintendo’s plans said. Kyoto-based Nintendo declined to comment.

The Switch, introduced in March 2017, has been central to Nintendo’s recent business success. The company earns more than 80% of its total revenue from Switch hardware and software sales. Investors are focused on how long the console can remain a profit driver.

Industry watchers expect sales for the Switch to begin declining soon. Analysts polled by Visible Alpha, a provider of market forecasts, anticipate on average that 17.9 million units of the Switch will be sold in the fiscal year ending this month, followed by 17.4 million in the following year.

Videogame-hardware makers generally come out with new consoles every five to six years, and it is common for them to update the devices in the middle of their life cycles to keep the momentum going. Sony introduced the PlayStation 4 in November 2013 and updated it with a less-expensive version in September 2016 and a high-end model two months later. Sales of the PlayStation 4 remain strong.

Nintendo’s suppliers and game developers have been talking with their investors about the new Switch machines for several months. People who have used the devices say they aren’t just similar-looking new versions with a higher or lower performance.

“You would be wrong to think the enhanced version is similar to what Sony did with PS4 Pro and the other is just a cheap alternative that looks very similar to some past hand-held machines, say, Sony’s PlayStation Vita,” one person who has used the new devices said. The Switch is a hybrid device that can be played either as a hand-held unit or connected to a larger screen.

Prices for the new Switch models couldn’t be learned. To cut costs for the cheaper version, Nintendo plans to eliminate some of the functions used in the original Switch console, such as a vibration feature in its controllers, according to Nintendo suppliers.

“The company judged the new Switch models won’t need the vibration feature because there wouldn’t be many games released using the full benefit of it,” one official familiar with the plans said.

Nintendo is also adjusting its suppliers for the new models. Sharp Corp. , an Osaka-based company that had long supplied components to Nintendo videogame machines but failed to win a deal for the original Switch, is expected to provide liquid-crystal displays for the new Switch machines, people familiar with the new models said. Sharp declined to comment.

Suppliers and third-party game developers say Nintendo is preparing to release new game titles from well-known franchises, such as “Animal Crossing” and “Pokémon,” to bolster Switch hardware sales. Nintendo has said it plans to launch two new games from the Pokémon franchise in late 2019.

“Some people say sales of Nintendo’s devices usually weaken in the third year, while others say games to be released this year are stronger than ever before,” one executive at a Nintendo supplier said. “I honestly don’t know how things will turn out, but I have my fingers tightly crossed.”

Edu23XWiiU

Lemmel

I have a question i bought my new TV about a year ago i think and i didn't know about HDR back then. but when i was going to watch 4K netflix i realized that i didn't have HDR. it didn't matter to me because 4K and HDR was only on Netflix and not that many consoles. so i only have 4K but not HDR

do you guys think the new pro Nintendo switch will work with just 4K and not HDR?

Lemmel

HobbitGamer

“The company judged the new Switch models won’t need the vibration feature because there wouldn’t be many games released using the full benefit of it,” one official familiar with the plans said.

Hm... right. A company that pushed controllers to having rumble decides that they will now be the only one without it. Makes sense.

@Lemmel No one knows, because it's not a real thing. It's a rumor that's been trotted about for months.

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redd214

Summary of the article Eurogamer just posted via nintendo everything. Basically saying everything I just said lol . Really hope this rumor pans out in some form.

Eurogamer, citing “sources close to Nintendo,” shares the following:

– Eurogamer has heard many of the same things as The Wall Street Journal has
– With the first new model, Nintendo is hoping to cater to the same two audiences it eventually evolved 3DS to serve with 2DS and New 3DS XL
– Nintendo is keen to move casual gamers still using 3DS over to Switch, many of them young fans who have been bought cheaper versions of the 3DS
– Nintendo apparently wants to recapture the 2DS value proposition
– The unit’s design will be sturdier than the current Switch model in order to be “kid-proof”
– Costs will be driven down by the removal of several features
– Nintendo has designed its budget Switch for an audience which uses it in handheld mode only
– The other new souped-up Switch will be comparable to the bump received by the 3DS upon its New 3DS relaunch
– No suggestion this model might remove the TV screen docking

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-03-26-two-new-nintend...

redd214

HobbitGamer

Man, I'm just here, waiting on Luigi and Animal Crossing and such

@Grumblevolcano I forget, when do we usually hear what the next NES-NSO batch is?

Edited on by HobbitGamer

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Harmonie

redd214 wrote:

– The other new souped-up Switch will be comparable to the bump received by the 3DS upon its New 3DS relaunch

If true, that sounds like not too much to worry about, then. New 3DS got how many exclusive games... Like a Xenoblade port and? Not much either way.

Harmonie

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Grumblevolcano

@AlohaPizzaJack Judging by the past we should know the next NES games on April 2nd/9th for release on April 10th/17th respectively.

Edited on by Grumblevolcano

Grumblevolcano

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HobbitGamer

@Grumblevolcano Thanks!

Back on topic, I've noticed in the article comments there's more than a few people that think making a "Pro" dock with new techno magic in it would do well. All I immediately think of is the 32X and even the 64DD.

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