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Nintendo Switch upgrade and cheaper model ‘enter production’

The E3 gaming expo brought some great news for Nintendo Switch fans, but nothing in the way of news on new hardware. However, with the year’s most important games show reaching its conclusion, a new report says the rumoured new models might not be far away.

The Wall Street Journal‘s sources say two new Nintendo Switch models have now entered production. There’s little in the way of details within the report, but the well-connected Takashi Mochizuki does intimate one of the consoles will maintain the Switch’s current appearance, but offer upgraded specs.

The rumour mill had previously spun out speculation a cheaper model with attached, non-detectable Joy-Cons might also be on the way.

Related: E3 2019

The gossip from ‘people who work in on Nintendo’s supply chain’ is somewhat buried in a wider report about Switch production moving out of China to avoid US tariffs on electronics imported from China.

Instead the models will now be assembled in Southeast Asia rather than on the Chinese mainland, the sources say. The report says Nintendo’s production targets aim to ensure there’s plentiful supply for the US market when the console eventually goes on sale. However, the reporter made no reference to when the devices will actually go on sale.

In April the current Nintendo Switch overtook the much-loved Nintendo 64 in terms of all-time sales. The 2.47m Switch consoles sold in the first three months of 2019 pushed it to 34.74 million overall. However, there’s a sense the current Switch unit may have peaked, with growth beginning to slow somewhat following the holiday season.

New models, especially a cheaper console, could get more Switches into the hands of Nintendo fans worldwide. Those who already have the console are already licking their lips at the prospect of a Breath of the Wild sequel, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympics. At E3 we also learned more classic Resident Evil games (Messrs 5 and 6) are also on their way to the hybrid console.

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