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Rumour hints two new Nintendo Switch models may be releasing later this year

Nintendo may be unveiling two new Nintendo Switch models later this year.

The Wall Street Journal (thanks, GI.biz) is reporting that one version is expected to boast a new, improved hardware upgrade – speculation we’ve seen bubble up before – whilst the other will be a cheaper version of the hybrid tech aimed at more casual users. The WSJ believes both could be revealed as soon as June’s E3 show.

WSJ tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki elaborated on Twitter that the new hardware will be “different from the original” and will likely surprise us when it’s finally unveiled. The more powerful unit will have “enhanced features targeted at avid gamers,” but according to the WSJ, it will still not match the power of the PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X.

Nintendo sold 3.19 million Nintendo Switch units in the second quarter of this financial year, pushing total sales to 22.86 million overall. But while Nintendo software sales have doubled year-over-year and Nintendo Switch hardware sales are up 20 per cent YoY, the 17 million units sold over the holidays seemingly weren’t enough to get the company over the line of its self-imposed target of 20 million unit sales by the end of the fiscal period.

The company has previously said it aimed to sell 38 million lifetime units, but lifetime sales currently stand at 32.27 million units, and consequently, Nintendo cut its original target by 3 million units.

Nintendo’s not the only hardware manufacturer stirring rumours, of course. Microsoft is thought to be opening pre-orders for its new disc-less Xbox console next month after rumours first surfaced last November when it was thought this console would join Microsoft’s line of existing current-gen hardware rather than be a next-gen launch. It’s expected to release as early as spring/Q2 2019, and as it would only be able to play digital games, it could cost as much as $100 less than the present system.

Google, too, is making waves in hardware circles, too. While we were expecting something big from Google at last week’s GDC, MCV editor Seth Barton stated “the creativity, ambition and technical muscle behind Google’s Stadia platform was mind blowing”, and thought the announcement of the new gaming service was “nothing short of the largest gaming announcement since the original PlayStation or possibly the launch of Xbox Live”.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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