The Nintendo Switch Mini will launch in 2019 according to one group of analysts. The prediction regarding the new console comes just a day after Nintendo revealed that the Switch is its fastest selling console in its history.
Analysts from Citigroup Inc. (including Minami Munakata, Kota Ezawa and Alicia Yap) say that a smaller version of the new console is needed if Nintendo wants to truly appeal to every gamer. In a report earlier this week, the analysts said that “Although the Nintendo Switch can be used as a handheld device, we think smaller children could struggle to use it comfortably in that format due to its size and weight.”
As a result, it is suggested that in the fiscal year ‘through’ March 2019, Nintendo will launch a “lighter, dedicated handheld version” of the console. This smaller version of the Nintendo Switch could “possibly” be called the Nintendo Switch Mini, says the group, which also predicts that it will sell 6.7 million units of the console through March 2019, though the analysts didn’t suggest a price.
Many Nintendo fans will be quick to rubbish the Citigroup predictions as they do not make immediate sense. With the Nintendo Switch selling as well as it is, why would the company launch a new hardware version so soon? Nintendo has also said that it wants players to think of the Switch as a home console first, rather than a handheld that can be used at home.
There are also concerns that the smaller console wouldn’t work with existing Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons, thus making half of the Switch accessory market off-limits to Switch Mini owners.
On the other hand, hardware upgrades are par for the course and Nintendo has been known to nix key features from its consoles to make cheaper versions that appeal to a different audience. For example, the Nintendo 2DS plays 3DS games and is cheaper but lacks the stereoscopic 3D technology that made the 3DS a hit in the first place. Meanwhile, the 3DS XL is a larger version that lacks the compact design of the original 3DS (or the New 3DS) but has proven a hit with those that want a bigger screen to play their games.
Nintendo has yet to comment on the story and is unlikely to officially announce a different version of hardware as the current Switch continues to fly off of shelves. In the meantime, those frustrated with the size of the existing model though can cross their fingers that the analysts have gotten it right.