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Digital Foundry: mid-generation Switch refresh was canned internally, successor next

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Digital Foundry’s John Linneman has revealed in the latest Digital Foundry Direct Weekly that he has spoken to a number of different developers about whether or not a revised Nintendo Switch console is still in the works. From what he understands from the people he has spoken to is that a revised unit was planned by the secretive Kyoto-based company, but was ultimately scrapped. The reasons for this remain unknown, though it could well have been due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused market turbulence worldwide due to component shortages, worldwide lockdowns etc. Linneman believes that whatever Nintendo is planning to bring out next will be the full blown successor to the Nintendo Switch system which originally launched worldwide in March 2017.

“So I think at one point internally, from what I can understand from talking to different developers, is that there was some sort of mid-generation Switch update planned at one point and that seems to be no longer happening. And thus it’s pretty clear that whatever they do next is going to be the actual next-generation hardware.”

Digital Foundry’s John Linneman

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24 thoughts on “Digital Foundry: mid-generation Switch refresh was canned internally, successor next”

  1. They need to continue the Switch brand and makes the successor backwards compatible. The Nintendo president saying the successor needs to have its own gimmick is cumbersome and worrisome. They’ve found the niche that works, they just need to make it stronger.

    1. They can’t brand it a the switch again, or else it will have the same marketing issues that the WiiU had. It has to be clear that it is a brand new console. So yes it needs something that will separate it from the switch. That being said, even adding a new stand-out feature doesn’t mean they have to get rid of the old one

      1. +Sacsen Foote
        A “Super Nintendo Switch” wouldn’t neccessarily fall to the same problems the Nintendo Wii U had. The Nintendo Wii U failed because of a load of problems such as…
        – Horrible Marketing that made people wonder exactly what it even was, even to the point of some thinking it was an addon for the Nintendo Wii
        – A gimmick that seemed good on paper but was severely under-ultilized
        – A lack of 3rd party support
        – The price of the system not being worth what you got
        – Terrible Launch window, seriously I still cannot believe Nintendo looked at the lineup of new games for Nintendo Wii U and think “Yeah, this will work just fine”.

        If it was going to be an issue purely because of the name, the Nintendo 3DS would have also failed but that sold infinitely better because people knew it was a new system and not simply a 3D Nintendo DS. I could also use this same argument for the Super Nintendo but to be fair, that was a different time.
        This is just my personal opinion but I think Nintendo should take a similar approach to what Apple does with the iPhone and just keep improving the Nintendo Switch brand. It’s clear as day that people absolutely love the system so why end it?

      2. Exactly. No one knew what the hell a Playstation 2 was when it first came out. Sony should have rebranded their console. /s

    2. The Nintendo Switch can be the second tier console, while the new console can be the main Home console. I really don’t know how they will do it, but Nintendo shall. Let’s enjoy our computer game systems from the Kyoto giants Nintendo, and save money doing it 🎮.


      1. The switch is obviously a hit, their next console needs to be a better version of the same idea. Being able to play on my TV and then take it with me makes the switch my favorite console of all time. I’d be happy with a switch 2/pro that just runs things better. Solid frame rates. Switch 2 is a great name. Works for Sony. Its states its purpose clearly. No one will look at an add for the “Switch 2” and wonder what it is, it’s obvious and simple.

  2. The Switch Pro aint real and never existed

    there never was a mid-console refresh and they never cancelled it internally cuz it was never a thing, just made up things to either “vindicate” journalists or to see if anyone is gullible enough to buy the lies.

  3. Major Bummer, some games chug a lot more than they should, and with more modern ARM processors (even ones that are a couple of years old by now) can do some impressive things (eg Apple silicon or Snapdragon processors able to emulate ps2, GameCube, and beyond). There really should be a version of the switch that can play all of its own games at 60 fps (1080p docked, and 720p handheld), as well as current multiplats at at least the equivalent of low to medium settings on PC. Since there will not be, I really hope it’ll be possible to carry our libraries into the next generation.

  4. Honestly they should just go with “Super Nintendo Switch” and basically make it the modern “Super Nintendo”. Only major difference is this version will be fully backwards compatible with Nintendo Switch games.

    The problem that I see here is if they ditch the whole “Playing Anywhere” concept and throw in a new gimmick, unless this new gimmick is going to absolutely knock the socks off of the consumers, people won’t want to leave the Nintendo Switch behind.
    I really hope, at the bare minimum, the next system will keep the feature of playing between TV and Handheld because ditching that would be a huge risk.

    1. Yeah it would be a total risk if you asked me because I really like both features that way and I don’t want to see Nintendo give that feature up by replacing it with a new type of component in there next machine. If they give that up, it will kill Nintendo’s stock market which will decrease down to a minimum. I’m guessing a waterproof console will be that feature they will add if I have to guess?

  5. Not gonna lie, but the next machine better have a backwards compatibility and better have a unique gimmick like the Switch. I mean, Nintendo developing team is still exploring options on how are they going to make the next machine much successful like the Nintendo Switch is doing now. 60FPS needs to be added on once we see this thing with improvement graphics and make sure the controllers doesn’t drift on all of us.

  6. Nintendo is stuck in a hole if you ask me. There’s no solution to big or small that would work right now, no matter what they try to do it’s either going to be a big risk to their profits, or it’s not going to work at all. They really don’t need a next gen console right now. They should just keep making games that work well on the system, rather then trying to make games that push the system so far that it can’t operate. You don’t build a house, then fill it with more then it can hold. Games should be made so they work well on the system time after time. If they want a next gen console, then let it be a natural successor, and not be forced, as forcing it will only create problems, such as low adoption, and possibly being a commercial failure. It has to be an evolved successor, so it has to build upon the already successful Nintendo switch, there has to be a natural need and purpose for it, without a need and purpose, it will only fail badly, the switch was fantastic as it was not just an evolution to Nintendo’s past home consoles, it was an evolution to the entire world of gaming which is a very big deal. It is something we all needed and wanted, which might not be said for its successor, if it’s made from a bundle of poor choices. It seems most people are in favour of a better operating chip, but that in itself can be a massive problem, especially if everyone has to get this chip to continue playing newer games, where many people may not want to upgrade paying more money, for something they feel they may not need. What works for PlayStation and iPhone is adding a number, Nintendo Switch 2 would be a great name for a device that only uses a different chip. But Nintendo need to be careful, they can’t just start making games that don’t work on the original switch, they must work on both, but one with better performance gameplay 😊

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