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Here’s what source code & courtroom leaks prove about Switch 2

nintendo switch 2 logo concept

The Nintendo Switch 2 has been at the center of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of leaks at this point with everything from its release date to specs to launch titles being discussed. Given how this has played out over the course of years and that some elements have shifted over time, it’s worth doing a roundup of what the current outlook is.

Nintendo basically invented the idea of a hardware refresh all the way back in the 1990s with the Game Boy Pocket. That made it so that the company was always at the center of gaming hardware news, with fans speculating and media reporting on what the company had coming up. Though many iterations never saw a global release, like the Game Boy Light and the non-XL model of the New Nintendo 3DS, there was always something coming.

The Nintendo Switch may be the most-talked-about line of hardware in company history, though. Alongside the greater volume of video game media outlets today, industry-shaking leaks like the 2022 Nvidia hack have uncovered details about its specs while leakers with bona fides have reported a long list of games that will be ported to the console.

Despite the sheer volume of outlets and individuals tackling the story, a fairly clear picture has been painted about the plans for the Switch 2. Here are all the reports regarding Nintendo’s next-gen console and what they say about its major areas of interest.

Has Nintendo confirmed a next-gen Nintendo Switch or a successor?

Nintendo has not confirmed or explicitly denied the development of a Nintendo Switch 2, but leaked court documents have confirmed that the console is in development.

In an earnings call in November 2023, Nintendo’s CEO stated that reports regarding a next-gen console were “inaccurate” but stopped short of denying the development of a new console. The company has discussed long-term support for the existing Nintendo Switch.

Despite this, Microsoft confirmed to the courts that Activision was in talks with Nintendo regarding the development of Call of Duty games on next-gen Nintendo hardware during its legal battles with the FTC. Given the sensitivity of other documents that were included in the leak and how unlikely it is that Microsoft would have forged documents during a $69 billion legal battle in order to help a competitor’s marketing, it’s safe to assume their veracity. 

Nintendo Switch 2 release date leaks

Multiple outlets have reported that the Nintendo Switch 2 will launch in early 2025.

In 2023, VGC reported that Nintendo planned to release the next-gen console in Q3 or Q4 2024. In February, a pair of Nintendo Direct events were confirmed and fan speculation was that console would be revealed as part of it. This proved to be untrue when Nintendo revealed that the event was a “Partner Showcase” highlighting upcoming third-party titles.

Surrounding these events, multiple reports came out saying that the plans had changed and that the console would instead be released in Q1 2025. This was later corroborated by Japan’s largest business news outlet which specifically reported a March 2025 release date for the Nintendo Switch 2.

The explanation for the shift in reports is Nintendo looking to guarantee a strong launch lineup for the console and build up a large stock of units to meet initial demand and combat scalping. The Nintendo Wii U was a catastrophic flop for Nintendo in part due to its short list of launch titles.

Nintendo Switch 2 games, possible launch lineup

Metroid Prime 4 and Pokemon Legends Z-A are among the games that could be the centerpiece of the Nintendo Switch 2’s lineup of launch titles.

The Nintendo Switch’s lineup of upcoming games is largely barren in 2024, with the bulk of first-party offerings being remasters, remakes, and enhanced ports. Following the release of Princess Peach: Showtime, the only confirmed original titles from Nintendo are Metroid Prime 4 and Pokemon Legends Z-A.

Neither of these games is officially confirmed for the console at this point. With Metroid Prime 4 not having an official release date when Nintendo’s release calendar is set into Q3 2024 and Pokemon Legends Z-A is officially targeted for 2025, there’s a chance that one or both could take the place of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess or Breath of the Wild, which were cross-generation games that were available as launch titles for the Wii and Switch, respectively.

Alongside these, leakers claim there are several notable multi-platform. Grand Theft Auto 6, Persona 3 Reload, and Metaphor: ReFantazio are among them. These games are not necessarily predicted to be launch titles, but were pegged as coming out on the Switch 2.

persona 3 reload velvet room costumes
Persona 3 Reload will reportedly come to Switch 2…eventually.

Nintendo Switch 2 specs and hardware have been partly revealed in major leaks, cyberattacks

Leaks have confirmed that the Nintendo Switch 2 was planned to have specs that were comparable to the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One.

The leaked court documents from Microsoft included discussions between executives at Activision regarding the Nintendo Switch 2 as it related to upcoming Call of Duty games. The group discusses the specs and specifically hones in on the two consoles as a benchmark.

“Given the closer alignment to gen-eight platforms in terms of performance and our previous offerings on PS4 and Xbox One, it is reasonable to assume we could make something compelling for the [next-generation] Switch as well,” Activision head of platform strategy Chris Schnakenberg said in emails in 2022.

In 2021 a leaker using the handle @kopite7kimi, who had multiple accurate reports on in-development hardware from tech manufacturer Nvidia, discussed a new system-on-a-chip that they said intended for use on new Nintendo hardware.

The T239 system-on-a-chip was said to be a customized version of the T234. The T234 was a successor to the T210, which was utilized on the Nintendo Switch. This was said to be for a mid-generation upgraded Switch console that was never released.

In March 2022, a massive cyberattack on gaming hardware manufacturer Nvidia revealed more details on the T239 including its use of an API named NVN2. The API for the existing Switch is NVN. This likely confirms that the T239 is intended for use on Nintendo hardware. The T239’s existence was later officially confirmed by Nvidia through updates made to the Linux kernel.

After, Samsung hardware leaker @OreXda discussed new components that were said to be getting added to a new version of the T239 intended for another unannounced piece of Nintendo hardware. @kopite7kimi later corroborated the introduction of new Samsung components into the T239 system-on-a-chip.

There isn’t an exact list of specs for the hardware but the information that is known establishes a strong idea of what the Switch 2 will be capable of. That idea ultimately aligns with the internal estimates at Activision.

While the Switch 2 will seemingly be giving up a lot of ground to its direct competitors when it comes to horsepower, the Nvidia DLSS source code leak revealed that the T239 is designed to support DLSS 2.2. This upscaling technology can help games look modern and run at a high resolution without sacrificing performance, at least in theory. The possible X-factor in all this is if the Nintendo Switch 2 has a dock that amplifies the console in some way, but no reportage or leaks suggest this will be the case.

Nintendo Switch 2 price details

Estimates have pegged the Nintendo Switch 2 costing around $400 to $500 at launch. These estimates come from a combination of the specs and expert analysis regarding which parts it will use.

Given the estimated specs, this price is in line with other pieces of portable gaming hardware on the market. The Steam Deck portable PC has specs that are generally comparable to the PlayStation 4 with a price tag that is in line with modern consoles. Other portable PCs like the Asus ROG Ally and some models of the Ayaneo offer stronger specs in a smaller package but with a considerably higher price tag.

Over recent generations, Nintendo has prioritized form factor and affordability with its hardware rather than having beefy specs that demand a bigger price tag. Because of that, fans can likely expect something in line with the Steam Deck’s specs but with a profile similar to existing Switch hardware. The Ayaneo Air is similar in size to the Nintendo Switch Lite and can have specs that greatly exceed the estimates for the Switch 2, so there’s little reason to believe that Nintendo couldn’t find the right balance of size, weight, and performance.

Nintendo Switch 2 backwards compatibility, other features

Most reports suggest that the Nintendo Switch 2 will have backwards compatibility with Nintendo Switch titles. Or at the very least, some models will have backwards compatibility.

On multiple earnings calls, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa has alluded to wanting to ensure a painless transition between console generations for users. In a June 2023 earnings call, he discussed Nintendo Accounts helping to make the transition between generations “smooth.” In February 2024, he discussed having a “unique” value proposition for consumers when pivoting between hardware generations and the importance of maintaining a long-term connection with users.

All of this, and Nintendo’s historical strength when it comes to backwards compatibility, suggests that Switch games won’t be left stranded on the hardware. The big question is whether Nintendo will take a page out of Microsoft and Sony’s book and release multiple versions of the console from day one, and whether backwards compatibility will be standard or comes at an extra cost.

Past this, little has been said about other features of the Nintendo Switch 2. The existing Switch is woefully outdated in terms of its hardware, and not just its actual specs. The inability to output in 4K, its Wi-Fi being capped at 2.4GHz, its memory card reader being too slow to take advantage of any modern microSD cards, its Bluetooth being unable to handle a controller and wireless headset at the same time, and so on. Upgrading these and other components is necessary for modernizing the hardware.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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