Nintendo sticking with Switch Lite for 2019, no surprise ‘Switch Pro’ reveal
Sorry, but the ravenous mass of Nintendo fans will have to make do with the Switch Lite as their holiday 2019 treat, because there won’t be any sudden surprise ‘Switch Pro’ announcements. They will have to wait until 2020 – at the earliest.
However, the existing Nintendo Switch will see an upgrade, as there will be a hardware revision. This is more of a ‘side-grade’ than an upgrade, as new US Federal Communications Commission filings reveals that Nintendo is changing the CPU socket type, the CPU itself as well as the NAND memory type of the Switch console. The new hardware is believed to be the new Tegra X1 chipset codenamed Mariko.
2019 is the year of the Lite, not the Pro
The new Switch Lite is being advertised as compatible with Switch games that support the handheld mode, so it makes sense that Nintendo will bring the two models’ hardware in line to ensure full and seamless compatibility.
Wall Street Journal has claimed since March that Nintendo was going to launch two new Switch models by summer 2019. By now it’s clear that things have turned out differently, and that the Switch family will only see one major change this year.
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
Which of these is NOT a real quote from a launch review of Warframe?
- “There’s a lot of potential here for a ‘mere’ free to play game, and it could be the biggest game ever with enough support.”
- “Warframe’s daunting complexity doesn’t detract from its delicious combat and flexible progression.”
- “An interesting free to play game with some potential to expand in future updates.”
- “Some problematic menus pale in comparison to Warframe’s real problem: a pervasive tendency toward repetition.”
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
Psychonauts 2 delayed to 2020 to make sure it’s great
Looks like Raz and the rest of the Psychonauts 2 gang won’t grace your screens until next year, as Double Fine announces another delay. Microsoft is now publishing the action-platformer – but it’s still coming to all the promised platforms. Tim Schafer and his team thanks the “amazing, supportive” backers and fans for their understanding. Psychonauts 2 will launch on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Final Fantasy VII Remake for ‘PlayStation 4 only’
Square Enix has dismissed rumours that Final Fantasy VII Remake will appear on multiple platforms. The game was expected to be a timed exclusive, but it now appears that it’s going to stay on PlayStation 4. Square originally said it would “debut first” for PlayStation 4 in June, but the E3 2019 trailer was missing the ‘Play It First’ tagline – which probably means heartbroken PC and Xbox fans.
Who you gonna call? 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Despite being nothing more than a game set in the Ghostbusters universe, actor Dan Aykroyd actually considers 2009’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game from Terminal Reality and publisher Atari as more-or-less ‘the third movie’ in the franchise.
That’s likely because original Ghostbusters cast Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson were all involved and voiced their original characters – effectively reuniting the ectoplasm cleanup-crew for the first time since the last movie from 1989. The game is also set just two years after the events of Ghostbusters 2, after the city of New York has officially hired them as contractors.
Die-hard fans will be painfully aware that a fully reunited Ghostbusters will never happen, since actor Harold Ramis passed away in February 2014. Aykroyd and Ramis were also involved in writing the 2009 game, truly making it the closest you could ever get to Ghostbusters 3.
The Switch Lite Will NOT Replace The 3DS
Following the reveal of the Nintendo Switch Lite, Nintendo of America’s CEO, Doug Bowser has confirmed the 3DS line of devices will continue to be sold alongside the Nintendo Switch.
“Short answer: the Nintendo 3DS does have a place beside the Nintendo Switch family of products, and we’ll continue to support it as long as consumers continue to purchase them.”
This tells us that the 3DS is still selling well enough to warrant continued support, though Nintendo has stopped developing first party titles for the handheld as they have transitioned to Switch development. That said, Nintendo confirmed back in April that new third-party software would still be arriving on the 3DS.
We imagine the release of the Switch Lite at a lower price point will have some impact on 3DS/2DS sales. The 2DS previously cemented itself as the best budget-friendly option and has proven a favourite for parents buying the handheld for their children. Bundled with Mario Kart 7 – which has been pre-installed on the 2DS for some time – the handheld is still shifting a respectable number of units in 2019. However, with the Switch Lite launching in September – alongside the Link’s Awakening remake and just before Pokemon Sword/Shield releases in November – it seems natural that it will capture the 2DS’s commercial niche.
The Switch Lite will not feature detachable Joy-Cons and cannot be docked for use on a television, making it exclusively handheld. At just $200/£200 ($100 cheaper than the original Switch), its footprint is noticeably smaller – featuring a 720p 5.5-inch screen and a proper D-Pad opposed to four buttons on the left side. While the Switch Lite is still a bit too large to fit in your pocket, it will be noticeably more portable than the existing model.
According to CNET, Bowser confirms that no other new Switch models will be released this year – so no Switch Pro yet! This might be disappointing if you have put off buying the original Switch in expectation of revised hardware, but there are so many reports about a Switch Pro that we would be surprised if it does not appear sometime in 2020.
The original Switch will be receiving a stealth upgrade this year, improving both the CPU and the type of RAM used in the device. While these improvements are minor in the grand scheme of things, they will most likely increasing the battery life of the device by a small margin. Nintendo will be looking to patch up some of the exploits currently found on a large amount of existing Switch devices, which stem directly from the Switch’s hardware, making them impossible to remove via OS updates.
For now, 3DS owners might as well hold onto their devices so they can enjoy upcoming third party titles – owning both a 3DS and a Switch will remain the best Nintendo experience for the foreseeable future. It’ll be interesting to see how well the Switch Lite sells during the holiday period of 2019 though.