Why it matters to you
Speculation aside, there is some precedent for Nintendo iterating on popular consoles, so keep an eye out, but don’t hold your breath.
Nintendo is having a banner year with the release and clamorous reception of the Switch handheld/home console hybrid and, according to Citigroup, that popularity could spur the development of another Switch device — the Switch Mini.
First reported by Bloomberg, Citigroup analysts Minami Munakta, Kota Ezawa, and Alicia Yap penned a memo predicting Nintendo will leverage its Switch success into another product aimed at younger users who have difficulty handling the current model.
To be clear, these particular Citigroup analysts specialize in market research, looking at how products and companies typically act to predict future actions. That is what their prediction is here — speculation. There is not any indication from Nintendo that a new Switch console is on the horizon.
Looking at the product lifecycles of past Nintendo consoles and handhelds though, it is easy to see why a new version might seem likely two years down the line. After all, that is exactly how long it took for Nintendo to iterate on the original DS handheld with the DS Lite.
The Nintendo DS was still in high demand when the DS Lite hit store shelves in 2006, addressing some of the problems with the original handheld. Two years later in 2008, the Nintendo DSi came out, another improvement and minor iteration.
We understand why Citigroup’s analysts might believe another Switch console could be in the works for release in about two years. However, the Switch’s product development cycle has more in common with a home console than a handheld, considering Nintendo’s heavy investment in the device.
It’s not just a handheld, it’s Nintendo’s next-generation console, the competitor to the PlayStation 4 Pro, and Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio. These product cycles are typically longer, there was a six-year gap between the initial release of the Wii, in 2006, and the Wii U, in 2012.
Will we see a new Switch come out in the next couple years? Maybe, but there is no indication or solid evidence that we will see a “Switch Mini” anytime soon. “We have nothing to announce on this topic,” Nintendo replied when reached for comment.