Nintendo may be about to give the Switch a refresh.
Citing anonymous people “familiar with the matter,” the report says that Nintendo is prepping two new devices, a cheaper version of the Switch that would be the equivalent of a Nintendo 3DS replacement, as well as a more powerful model, similar to how Microsoft and Sony have each released souped-up versions of their game consoles.
The more enhanced Switch, however, won’t be as powerful as the Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro and Nintendo has a track record of looking to differentiate its latest products with more than just graphical boosts.
Both devices could make appearances at June’s E3 gaming event in Los Angeles, the Journal reports.
It’s unclear exactly how much the new consoles might cost or what new features it would offer compared with the original Switch, which was first released in 2017. According to the Journal, the cheaper Switch may lose vibration functionality as part of a way to cut costs.
Nintendo declined to comment on the report when asked by USA TODAY, saying that they have “nothing to announce on the topic.”
As mobile gaming has improved on phones and tablets a hardware refresh of the Switch has long been expected to arrive this year. Unlike the Xbox and PlayStation, the portable nature of the Switch brings it into competition with traditional home consoles and ever more capable iPhones and Androids.
Last week, Google announced it was launching a gaming platform called Stadia that will work across phones, tablets and computers while Microsoft has been working on making the Xbox portable through its Project xCloud.
The Switch refresh also may help better position Nintendo’s platform for the next generation video game battle set to take place next year.
Both Sony and Microsoft are rumored to be releasing new consoles in 2020, with Microsoft possibly showing off a first look at the next Xbox at the same E3 conference this summer.
Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal
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