Retro Gamers Talk: Nintendo Switch 2 Rumours, Speculations, & The Future Of Retro Gaming

Unravel Two on Nintendo Switch

Welcome back to another edition of Retro Gamers Talk, an article series where I discuss all of the exciting rumours, speculation, and leaks surrounding our favourite games and tech. I’ve promised this article for a while now, and here it is – a rundown of all the leaks, whispers, and information surrounding the Nintendo Switch 2. I’ve collected all of the rumours together into one place for us to sift through in an attempt to better understand what this new console could be and what it could mean for the future of Retro Gaming, as well as throwing in my own opinions along the way too!

This past few months have been choc-a-bloc with Nintendo Switch 2 information as the gaming world readies itself for the next entry in Nintendo’s Switch line, the successor to the best-selling next-gen console that has managed to outsell all of the competition thanks to its ingenious hybrid nature and an incredible catalogue of games.

So, what do we know about the Nintendo Switch? What rumours have piqued our interest, and which tidbits have made us incredibly excited for Nintendo’s new console? Let’s get stuck into the Nintendo Switch gossip round-up and kick off with something I know for sure; the announcement timeframe of the Switch 2.

The Nintendo Switch 2 Is Coming

There you have it, folks; the main man himself, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa spoke about the Nintendo Switch’s successor via Twitter on May 7th, 2024. It was a day that got us all incredibly excited as you can no doubt imagine, at a time when we’re approaching 10 years since the previous Switch was announced.

As we documented in our news article on Furukawa’s post, the company has promised that we’ll be hearing about the next console in the Switch series ‘before the end of the fiscal year’. For those of you who don’t like technical jargon, that means that before the end of Japan’s financial year, which begins again on April 1st, 2025, we’ll have an announcement about the Nintendo Switch 2.

As of this moment in time, I don’t know when the new console will drop; all I know is that there’s an official countdown as to when we know we’re going to hear something by. Some websites have speculated that the console will drop in May 2025, but I find that unlikely. There was a two-year gap between the Switch being announced and actually dropping into stores, and Nintendo won’t want a repeat of the stock issues it had with the Wii, nor to mirror the mess Sony made when it launched the PS5.

I think it is far more likely that the Switch 2 will drop in 2026, something I’ve already touched upon in my last Retro Gamers Talk article on the next entry in the Pokémon series, with Gen 10 also rumoured to drop in 2026. As I said in that article, launching a new console with a new Pokémon game is a no-brainer for Nintendo, and I think we’ll definitely see some new pocket monsters on the launch lineup when the announcement comes.

Backward Compatability With Other Switch Games

Seb's Nintendo Switch next to a vinyl player and a plant, showing one of his favourite Indie games

As far as I know, the Switch’s successor is going to be fully compatible with previous Switch games; rumours floating around the internet from developers point to this being true, but we can use our own assumptions from Nintendo’s previous console releases to pretty much tick this one off the wishlist.

Take a look at the Wii, for example. It could play both Wii discs and GameCube discs. The Wii U could also play Wii Discs, and GBC handhelds could play DMG games. The 3DS still played normal DS games, and for a long time, the Nintendo DS could play GBA games slotted into the bottom of the console. Backward compatibility, at least with the previous generation console in the series, is a key feature with Nintendo, and it’s one that’s going to be around for a long time.

Why did I end on the DS there, some of you might be wondering. Well, with all of the talk of Nintendo’s newest console having tonnes more power and better graphics, I don’t know whether the Switch 2 will play games from discs or cartridges. My gut tells me there will be a dock with a disc drive, with downloadable content to the handheld itself to continue play when away from home, and that there will be a slot on the handheld itself for Switch games to slot into, allowing for two physical media ports just like the DS had. Again, this is just me using my Nintendo knowledge to speculate here, but I think it’s a sound assumption and one that Nintendo might well implement.

The Switch’s Successor Will Be Bigger

Back in January 2024 Retro Dodo reported that Bloomberg had found a rumour claiming that the Switch would have an 8-inch LCD screen. Four Months later, Centro Leaks also claimed the same thing and backed up the early notions surrounding the Switch’s screen.

The first Switch I got back when the new console released in 2017 has a 6.2″ screen, while my newer OLED Switch display sits at 7″. Suppose 8″ is correct (and the entirety of the internet believes it to be); that’s an increase of 1.8 inches if you never upgraded from the first Switch model, which definitely makes a difference when playing in handheld mode. For comparison, the Steam deck has a 7.4″ display and the Lenovo Legion Go has an 8.8″ display.

Felt, But Not Seen

One of the weirdest pieces of information surrounding the new switch is that accessory makers have had the chance to feel but not see the new hardware. Spanish gaming website Vandal delivered the news that teams charged with making new peripherals for the Switch channelled their inner Paul Atreides and put their hands in a box (one for the Dune fans there) so that they could feel the Switch’s profile without actually leaking anything about the appearance of the device to the world.

We’ve been able to glean a lot from this, however, the biggest thing being the size of the console. People who have had a chance to feel the new Switch console have confirmed that it has bigger dimensions than the original Switch but not as big as the Steam Deck. So far, we have a console that has a bigger screen than the Steam Deck but isn’t as bulky, which is going to make for much more comfortable gaming without the need to work your arms out profusely before it launches.

Another thing that has been confirmed by the mysterious box process borrowed from the Bene Gesserit is that Nintendo is keeping the idea of the Joycon with one new feature…

Magnetic Joycons

Yes, magnetic joycons are heading our way, one of the Nintendo Switch 2 rumours that has my brain whirring the most. Nintendo is choosing to abandon the rail-sliding process of attaching joycons and opting for attaching them to the screen magnetically, which will certainly make attaching wrist straps much easier too.

Let’s jump into the odd image I’ve made above first, because this is the first time that I think we could really get into the Retro Gaming theme in this article. The idea of magnetic attachments makes me think that Nintendo is opting for quick-changing controller options, which could mean different attachments for different games. We’ve already seen a GameCube-esque controller for the Nintendo Switch (pictured below), so let’s hope that we find more controllers following suit for the new console!

best gamecube controllers for nintendo switch

One of the Switch’s biggest pulls is the Nintendo Online platform, allowing gamers to head back to play their favourite titles from yesteryear on platforms like N64, SNES, & Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. One thing I’m hoping for is joycons that mirror the controllers we all used on all of these systems, giving us more of a nostalgic feel when revisiting old games. Sure, we can go out and buy the the Nintendo Switch N64 controller already for use when playing in docked mode, but wouldn’t it be cool if we could just quickly snap controllers on and off when changing through the systems?

Nintendo Switch on a table

As far as I know, the new Switch console will also work with existing Joycons and Pro Controllers as well via Bluetooth; just like when I use the Pro Controller to connect up to Delta when Airplaying, I’ll be able to hook up my Pro Controller to the Nintendo Switch as well as Joycons in the old Joycon grip, meaning that we’ll all have plenty of controllers when the time comes for multiplayer battles.

Built-in Microphones

The PS5 controller comes with a built-in microphone as standard, meaning that players without headsets can communicate with one another when playing online, a feature that is rumoured to be dropping as part of the new Switch Joycon setup.

This would make connecting up with friends while gaming so much easier; currently, I tend to call a group chat on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and talk with friends there, which ends up draining my phone battery down at the same time. Everything will be much easier with built-in microphones, although I wouldn’t like to be on the other end of the line when I’m button-mashing my A button!

Microphones have a much more exciting feature if you’re a Nintendo game developer, however. Remember the Microphone in the DS and having to use it to blow into on games like WarioWare? Did you ever have ‘Hey You, Pikachu!’ for the N64? Nintendo likes to use Microphones to give us extra ways to interact with games, so I would also imagine that adding microphones will allow for even more ways to enjoy minigames in titles like Mario Party.

Pumped-up Power & Performance

We all love the Nintendo Switch, a fact mirrored by its incredible sales figures, but the main thing we can’t deny is that it’s not the most powerful console on the block. Take Hogwarts Legacy for example; it takes an age to load on the system, and the game has had to be stripped back somewhat to make it work on Ninty’s hybrid hero. The rumours surrounding both the power and the performance of the new console (many of which the internet believes are ‘set in stone’) suggest that we’re looking at a much more impressive system being announced in 2025.

How do I know this? Well, eager Switch beavers have been tracking shipment data to and from Nintendo and other companies like NVIDIA, the makers of the processor inside the Switch. Famiboards user LiC has discovered from their sleuthing that the Nintendo Switch 2 should have 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM (2x 6GB modules) offering 7,500MT/s transfer, as well as an increase of storage up to 256GB.

To put this and the following points into perspective, the original Nintendo Switch has 4GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage, with the OLED increasing that amount of storage up to 64GB. These rumoured upgrades are massive and will bring countless benefits for the next generation of Nintendo gaming, as well as hopefully upscaling older Switch games too!

But what about when the console is docked compared to in handheld mode? In a piece on WCCFtech, Moores Law Is Dead commented that NVIDIA is aiming to get the console to hit 4 Teraflops in docked mode with their Nvidia Tegra T239 chip, which would still be 6.28 less than the PS5 but an immense improvement on the current Switch model. YouTuber The Phawks claims that the handheld will be clocked incredibly low to increase battery life and power consumption to avoid overheating to protect young gamers, backed up by the fact that Switch games taste bad so kids won’t eat them because it’s ‘a kid’s console’. Listen, the Nintendo Switch is not a kid’s console; my mate Josh is in his 30s and chews game boxes when he’s stressed, so that fact that Switch cartridges are purposely coated in denatonium benzoate isn’t just so kids will not swallow them; it’s also to stop ageing goblins from chewing on them too.

Getting back on track, I expect the console to pump out 4K graphics both when docked and in handheld mode, or at least for there to be one handheld option with a 4K OLED screen at a higher price point.

Mario Game News & Rumours

I bet you were wondering when I was going to start talking about Mario, huh? As Nintendo’s poster boy, you can bet that he’ll be being considered for a new title on the Switch, and while we might not have a Mario launch title due to the fact that there have already been a few games in the series releasing recently, I would bet good money that there will be one in the first year of the release of the new console.

Let’s get to some rumours, shall we? I know Midori has been a bit hit and miss recently, but one of the latest whispers floating around the internet is that there are two new Mario games in development over at Ninty HQ: SPRed & SilverStar.

Let’s unpack this a little more. We all know that Mario’s codename is Red; it’s not the most ingenious codename, but there it is. SPRed clearly indicates something involving Mario, but I still don’t know what SP means. Could it be ‘Special Project’, or could it be something to do with sports and a precursor to a new Mario activity title to join his Tennis, Baseball, and Football titles? Maybe a new Karting title, perhaps? We’re all excited for Mario Kart 9 to drop, and I’ll eat my hat if that doesn’t arrive on the Switch 2!

And then there’s SilverStar. If Super Mario Odyssey was RedStar, then SilverStar seems like an easier mystery to solve – this can surely only be Super Mario Odyssey 2, a title that we’re all waiting for eagerly and one that would make total sense to drop on Nintendo’s new console. Still, the fact that the leak says ‘was’ could also mean that this title has now been discontinued. And just like that, the plot thickens once more!

What Games Could The New Console Launch With?

If you read my last Retro Gamer’s Talk article, then you’ll already know that I think we’ll be getting a new Pokémon game launching with the new console. It would make sense for Nintendo to use a big hitter to push sales, and with a lot of Mario games dropping recently and there being no mention of a new Zelda game after Tears of the Kingdom dropped in 2023 (and it being far too soon for a new Zelda release), the new Gen 10 Pokémon game seems like the obvious choice.

Of course, we could be getting Pokémon: Legends ZA on the new console too, and Mario Kart 9 would be another title I’d like to see on there. I would also like to see a Zelda HD Collection like we had with Super Mario 3D All-Stars, perhaps with Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess on it. That would make me part with my money in a heartbeat!

The Future Of Retro Gaming On Nintendo Switch 2

What could all of these updates and a console with more power mean for the future of Retro Gaming? Well, for starters, I think we’ll be seeing GameCube and Wii games added to the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service, as well as possible Nintendo DS titles too. These consoles all require more power in order to emulate, which is why Dolphin has already been ruled out as an emulator appearing on the App Store. Still, if the specs for the new console are in fact true, then it shouldn’t have any problems emulating games like Star Fox Adventures and Donkey Kong Country Returns.

What about other Sega consoles? We’ve got the Genesis up on Nintendo Switch online, so is there any reason why we might not get some more Sega consoles up there too? I’d be up for playing Dreamcast games on the go; it’s one of the most sought-after consoles (along with the PS2) that gamers look for when buying handhelds that play retro games, after all, so if Nintendo implemented it into their subscription service, they’d be making a lot of gamers happy!

It also means way more remakes too; the Nintendo Switch has seen a whole heap of remasters and remakes over the past couple of years, from Metroid Prime Remastered to Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Nintendo know that we love a remake, and while I’m fed up of playing old courses on Mario Kart, I am looking forward to some new HD versions of titles Link and Mario’s early adventures.

In short, I think we can expect to see much more game preservation from Nintendo over the coming years on the Nintendo Switch 2, with new consoles arriving on the online service and some console-exclusive remakes (in new cartridge or disc form) for titles like Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and (here’s hoping) Pokémon Stadium!

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