The new Nintendo Switch already has a date to be launched: October 8, as announced by Nintendo via Twitter on Tuesday. The new video game is an update to the Nintendo Switch and will cost $349.99. In Brazil, the novelty should arrive in 2022 at a price not yet disclosed.
The second major Switch update will come with a 7-inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen, providing more vivid colors and contrasts. The chip, NVIDIA Tegra Custom processor, and screen resolution will remain the same.
The Kyoto-based company recently stated that the global chip shortage may bring down the annual sales of the Switch video game by 11.5%. This would be the first drop in console sales in five years, after its sales skyrocketing during the pandemic.
Nintendo Switch was released in 2017 and although it still hasn’t had any updates, it remains a bestseller. According to the company recently reported, 85 million units of the console and its exclusively portable version Switch Lite have already been sold, with sales boosted by a rise in gaming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Industry observers expressed surprise that Nintendo had not announced a more radical upgrade to the device in its fifth year on the market. “It’s a great upgrade for handheld gamers, but the general expectation was for the new device to be significantly more powerful,” said Serkan Toto, founder of the Kantan Games consultancy.
Anticipation among gamers was driven by media reports that Nintendo was about to launch a Switch with an upgraded central processor unit (CPU) and 4K output when connected to a TV – neither of which are present in the new device.
“I expect a good chunk of existing flagship owners to upgrade to the OLED version even without the additional graphical power,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at Ampere Analysis.
The new device offers crisper visuals but does little to close the performance gap with rivals Sony Group and Microsoft Corp, which launched next-generation consoles last year. Those devices are hard to find as manufacturers grapple with chip shortages affecting production of electronics and automobiles.
The company expects to sell 25.5 million hardware units of the video game in the commercial year that started on April 1. In the previous year, Nintendo sold 28.8 million units, which resulted in a profit of 640.6 billion yen – equivalent to the $5.9 billion -, an increase of 82% about the previous period.