Reports that Nintendo is moving forward on two different new Switch hardware iterations continue to grow. One of the iterations is said to be a standard console with improved performance and the other a smaller handheld-only version of the Switch. Both are said to currently be in production, but despite those reports, Nintendo has yet to officially announce its plans for the future of Nintendo Switch hardware. However, leaks may beat Nintendo to the punch.
Today, toy designer and Nintendo fan CptnAlex posted to Twitter that he'd received an email from a video game hardware accessory company based in China named Honson Gaming. The email advertised some of Honson's upcoming accessories that are specifically for the "Switch mini" and include a carry bag, screen protector, and more. Additionally, the email also included images of the so-called "Switch mini."
As the name implies, the "Switch mini" appears to be a smaller-sized Nintendo Switch that's handheld-only. It's all built into one piece, so there are no JoyCon controllers, but it otherwise has all the buttons and joysticks that would be expected. The screen is also smaller but still manages a decent 4-5 inches.
At this point, it's best to take the e-mail with a grain of salt; the accessories could just as easily have been made for a cheap, knock-off Nintendo Switch handheld. It isn't even able to manage to include the word Nintendo in the email body, which adds to the idea that this isn't related to an official product. And even if there is legitimacy to the idea that this email is for an upcoming Nintendo product, the images could very easily be fake.
Now that it's established that this is very much a rumor and completely unreliable, it must be said that there's at least a possibility that this is real. Accessory makers are often provided early details or even pre-release hardware in order to get items ready for the hardware's launch. Honson Gaming is also a real storefront, selling assorted accessories for Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox hardware. Though whether most of the products have official licensing is dubious at best.
Was the Switch Mini just unofficially announced to me?— CptnAlex (@Cptn_Alex) June 18, 2019
A gaming company in China just wrote to me letting me know they’re releasing accessories for the Nintendo Switch Mini.
Would a company make products for a console they didn’t KNOW existed, and didn’t have in hand? pic.twitter.com/yQgk7xCbUn
As it stands, whether or not the "leak" of the Nintendo Switch Mini is real or not, the reality of the situation hasn't changed very much. Nintendo is making new Nintendo Switch hardware and it is expected to launch in 2019. If reports are accurate, an announcement should be forthcoming in a matter of months, if not weeks. The images in this email, likely concept at best, show a version of the Nintendo Switch that would undoubtedly be successful if it was real. The Nintendo Switch isn't changing as a platform, but more options for fans is always best in the long run.