Japan’s Nintendo will launch a new model of its Switch videogame console with an upgraded display on 8 October, priced at US$349.99 (R5 000 before duties and taxes), it said on Tuesday.
The Kyoto-based company’s second major Switch upgrade, which has a 7-inch OLED screen, is intended to help drive demand into the year-end shopping season.
Nintendo has sold 85 million units of its hybrid home/portable Switch device and the handheld-only Switch Lite, 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.
No pro version
Anticipation among gamers was driven by media reports that Nintendo was about to launch a Switch with an upgraded 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. — Reported by Sam Nussey, (c) 2021 Reuters