Nintendo Switch 2: Rumors, specs & price speculation

Joel Loynds
Switch 2 with a Switch OLED

Looking for the latest on the Nintendo Switch 2? We’ve listed everything you need to know about the rumored console including potential specs, price, release, and features.

The Nintendo Switch was released all the way back in 2017 after the Wii U failed to make a splash, and support for the 3DS began to dry up. What resulted was the Nintendo Switch, which took the best lessons from the Wii U and the 3DS.

Fast forward to the present day, Nintendo has sold over 130 million Switch units worldwide. Big hitters like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom are the reason behind its success.

But, with the Switch reaching its seventh birthday, Nintendo is preparing a successor to the Switch. With rumors regularly surfacing online, we’ve scoured the internet for the latest on a potential Switch 2, which might give handhelds like the Steam Deck a run for their money once released.

Switch 2 release date speculation

The Nintendo Switch 2 is expected to launch within “this fiscal year”, according to Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa. In a brand-new post to the official Nintendo Twitter/X account, Nintendo made the first official confirmation that the Switch successor is on its way.

Previously, Shuntaro Furukawa stated that we shouldn’t expect any hardware until after April 2024. We suspect a partial reason for this is that Nintendo will want to include hardware sales in the next quarter, sort of like a fresh start.

While no official release date was provided, the current fiscal year for Nintendo ends in March 2025. This recent announcement by Furukawa lines up with claims that support for the launch of the upcoming console is likely expected in March 2025.

The report highlights that Nintendo is pushing back on the Switch 2 release to allow developers more time to work on their games to be ready at launch.

Other reports claim that the Switch is already in the hands of game developers, having shown off titles in the works at Gamescom. The titles that were allegedly shown off include the Unreal Engine 5 Matrix Awakens demo, in addition to a souped-up version of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

A leaker, Nash Weedle, has hinted that the Nintendo Switch 2 is almost ready. He claims that a development kit for a Switch 2 is already in the hands of a Spanish studio, most likely to be MercurySteam. 

While Nintendo plans to keep things strictly under wraps, this leak suggests that the key hardware specifications, including the display, processor, and RAM, have been finalized as sharing a dev kit ahead of the launch helps partner studios prepare the games well ahead of launch.

Release date speculation has been rife since around 2020. As it turns out, the console Nintendo planned to put out was the OLED Switch, rather than a successor.

We’d suspect that the announcement to release will follow a similar pattern to the Switch, with announcement months in advance before release. The Switch was announced in October 2016 and launched in March 2017.

Switch 2 specs leak

  • CPU: Custom Nvidia ARM SoC “DRAKE” (T239)
  • GPU: Nvidia Ampere architecture
  • CUDA cores: 1280
  • Display: 8-inch LCD
  • RAM: 12GB LPDDR5
  • Storage: 256 GB

The Nintendo Switch 2 has been confirmed by Reuters sources to be running on a custom Nvidia chip. This was first spotted all the way back in May 2022. Leaker Kopite7Kimi claims that the Switch will be making use of a custom Nvidia SoC named the T239, codenamed DRAKE. The SoC will be an ARM-based chip, much like the original Switch.

The addition of an Ampere-based GPU would allow the Switch 2 to access modern rendering techniques like DLSS 2 super-resolution and DLSS 3.5 ray reconstruction. But, don’t expect any frame generation feature on the console. One benefit of sticking with an ARM SoC is that the Switch 2 will also potentially support backward compatibility, as reported in several rumors.

While nothing has been made official yet, early rumors from key insiders suggest fans should keep expectations in check, at least in terms of Switch 2’s performance. In particular, GameIndustry.biz’s Dr. Serkan Toto argued the new model will simply be an “iteration rather than a revolution.”

Microsoft court documents also revealed that the Switch 2 could potentially end up in the same ballpark of power as the PS4 and Xbox One.

YouTuber Moore’s Law is Dead shared on an episode of his ‘Broken Silicon’ podcast, that in docked mode, the Switch 2 may be clocked faster than expected. While talking to fellow YouTuber The Phawx, he shared that sources informed him that the upcoming console will instead be “clocked crazy low” in undocked mode, to improve on battery life from its predecessor.

According to information gathered from Shipping and Customs data by users of the Famiboards forum, the Switch 2 will sport 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and 256GB of internal storage. If accurate, this would represent a big jump from the Switch, which has only 4GB of LPDDR$ RAM, and 32GB of internal storage.

Switch 2 features

NVIDIA GTC

With DLSS in tow, it would allow Nintendo to push the Switch 2 further than expected, as many weaker PCs are currently doing right now. This could potentially mean that 4K gaming is doable by blowing up the image to a bigger size through Nvidia’s super-resolution AI algorithms.

On a 3050-based laptop, we managed to squeeze out considerable performance by using DLSS 2, and hardware that supports DLSS 3 sees massive gains.

DLSS is Nvidia’s current baby, but we doubt there will be anything like frame generation enabled. This said, the SoC will require tensor cores, which powers DLSS.

It’s also expected to see DDR5 RAM onboard the new Switch 2, which should give an enormous boost to overall performance. How much they’ll use is not yet known, but current Nvidia SoCs like the Jetson Nano, use 8 GB. However, NX versions use 16 GB and there’s a development kit that uses 64 GB. Don’t expect anything more than 16 GB, and even then, we’d say to expect closer to 8 GB.

For storage, Nintendo should be going with an NVMe or eMMC drive. 2230 drives are what currently power things like the Steam Deck, and are relatively low-cost. However, Nintendo is staunchly against self-repair, and we could see an embedded storage solution soldered straight onto the motherboard.

Switch 2 controller rumors

nintendo switch oled

The Switch 2 will continue to use Joy-Cons, according to a leak by Switch accessory manufacturer Mobapad. Rumors and leaks surrounding the Switch successor’s controllers have been nonexistent until a recent leak by Modapad. Posting to their official Facebook and Bilibili social media pages, the hardware manufacturer revealed that the Switch 2 will continue to use Joy-cons. However, instead of the typical rail system found on current models of the Nintendo Switch, the Switch 2 Joy-cons will connect with an electromagnet system.

Modapad further stated that the new Joy-Cons will be larger and more ergonomic, and their SL and SR buttons will now be metal buttons. The leak further explains that new buttons will be present on the controllers, one behind each Joy-Con, and another below the ‘Home’ button.

While the new electromagnetic connection system could mean existing Joy-cons would be obsolete, Modapad explains that the Bluetooth chip of the Switch 2 will support any existing Joy-Cons and Pro controllers. 

While Modapad revealed new insights into the new Joy-Cons, there was no mention if Nintendo will splurge on Hall Effect sticks. Throughout the Nintendo Switch’s lifespan, the Joy-Con drift has been a glaring problem. It escalated to the point where UK, European Economic Area, and Switzerland-based Switch owners were offered free repairs from Nintendo for the controllers in 2023.

With Hall Effect sticks, stick drift could be a thing of the past. Giving the Switch 2 a huge one-up over its drift-riddled predecessor. A patent filed by Nintendo in the US on September 7th 2024, outlined the use of a magnetic field to send its movement through a controller for the Switch 2. This could allude to Nintendo utilizing hall-effect sticks for the upcoming console.

Switch 2 design rumors

Woman holding a red & blue Nintendo Switch

Though development kits for the Switch 2 are said to already be with certain developers, little is known yet about the design specifics of the supposedly upcoming new handheld. Multiple sources have stated that the new console will retain the hybrid nature of its predecessor, with a portable and docked mode.

Speaking of the Dock, a patent has been uncovered that shows a new design for an official Nintendo Switch dock. The proposed design features a rotating back panel for the input/output panel. This will allow users to position the ports of the dock in whichever position is most convenient for their TV or monitor setup.

This rotating section has been dubbed the ‘swivel block’ by Nintendo and serves as a decent solution for cable management. It is unknown if this patent is intended for the Switch 2, or if it is a design for some theoretical future product.

Switch 2 display leaks and rumors

The Switch 2 will come equipped with at least one eight-inch LCD screen. This development was reported on by Omida analyst Hiroshi Hayase, who spoke to Bloomberg to discuss the upcoming handheld.

Another rumor is that the Switch 2 could potentially possess two screens, as revealed in a Nintendo patent. This could potentially bring back the two-screen displays that the Wii U and DS lineup were previously known for. This could be a likely way that Nintendo remasters old titles, as well as creating a new gimmick for the console.

Sadly, the lack of an OLED might be seen as a step back for the Switch 2, but this could be due to cost-cutting measures to hit a consumer-friendly price. An 8-inch screen would also be much larger than the original Switch, which debuted with a 6.2-inch display.

Switch 2 price speculation

Analysts predict that the Nintendo Switch 2 will retail for around $400 at launch. This would put Nintendo’s handheld in contention with rivals like the ROG Ally and Steam Deck. But, since it’s Nintendo, the company could also initially sell the device at a loss to garner a larger install base for its software and accessories, where it’s poised to make its money back.

With hardware expected to be a significant jump, and with more features also suspected to arrive thanks to the onboard Nvidia chip, the Switch 2 might be a little more costly than its predecessor.

NVMe drive with a stock arrow going down

This might still be the case, but with flash storage and RAM dropping in price for manufacturers, the system could potentially be cheaper than initial guesses.

Having taken a look at the handheld market recently, Nintendo might only have to consider Valve a notable competitor. The Switch 2 will not be priced in line with things like the ROG Ally, but Valve’s Steam Deck comes in at a starting price of $399 and this is where we’d put the Switch 2 as of right now.

Is the Switch 2 backwards compatible?

Princess Zelda voice actor

According to recent reports, the Switch 2 will be backwards compatible with original Nintendo Switch cartridges. According to Modapad, the Switch 2 will play original Switch cartridges. The Switch accessory manufacturer behind the Switch 2 Joy-con leaks further revealed that the upcoming console will be able to play Switch 2 carts, however, Switch 2 carts won’t work with any original Switch models.

This would be a similar case to the 3DS, which was compatible with Nintendo DS carts. On the 3DS, you had the freedom to play your DS carts on the then-new handheld, however, 3DS carts were not compatible with the older Nintendo DS.

While this could mean physical games will be backward compatible with the Switch 2, we can only speculate whether this will be the case for digitally bought games, including the Nintendo Switch Online and NSO Expansion Pack libraries. 

The Nintendo Switch marked the first instance of having access to a library of NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Genesis, and N64 games on the system, through a subscription service. Previously, for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, older games had to be bought digitally directly from their respective Virtual Console storefronts.

When the Nintendo Switch was released, the eShop was its own entity entirely. Previously purchased digital games couldn’t be carried over from older hardware.

Yet the fact Nintendo is still regularly adding games to its NSO game libraries seven years later is a good sign that games playable on the service could still be accessible on the Switch 2.

As is the discovery, made by X/Twitter user Stealth40k, that Nintendo is currently hiring for a slew of new positions, including a front-end engineer, a back-end engineer, and a director/planner for the Nintendo Switch Online services.

With multiple new hires directly aimed at developing and maintaining NSO, and while in the lead-up to the Switch’s predecessor, we can only theorize that it looks good for NSO libraries carrying over to the upcoming handheld.

What games will be on the Switch 2?

A screenshot of Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo has not yet confirmed or announced any games for the Switch 2. However, the announcement of Pokemon Legends Z-A has made fans speculate that it may be an upcoming Switch 2 launch title.

Announced during the most recent Pokemon Presents showcase, held on February 27, Pokemon Legends Z-A is the next installment of the Pokemon Legends Arceus game on the Nintendo Switch. Within Pokemon Presents, it was stated that the upcoming game is set to launch in March 2025, which coincides with the rumored release date of the Switch 2.

Previously announced games in development by Nintendo also include Metroid Prime 4, which has yet to have a confirmed release date.

A brand-new entry into the Starfox series could also be coming to the Switch 2, according to a known Nintendo leaker. After patents for the ‘Starfox’ name were discovered to be filed by Nintendo in November of 2023.

Rumors surrounding a potential sequel to Super Mario Odyssey have also been circulating for a while. We’ve since seen the release of Super Mario Wonder, Super Mario RPG Remake, and the upcoming Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door remake.

However, Nintendo could likely be saving an Odyssey sequel for the upcoming Switch 2. Although there have been no official announcements regarding a sequel in the works.

For now, we can only speculate what games we’re likely to see on the Switch follow-up console come launch.