Nintendo’s long-awaited Switch upgrade is expected to be shown ahead of E3 2021, according to a report published by Bloomberg [paywall] today and Eurogamer’s own sources.
I understand this is to ensure third-parties working on games which support the upgraded Switch are free to announce these projects at E3, and before Nintendo’s own digital showcase later in that week.
(Nintendo’s event has yet to be formally dated but is currently set to slot in after other publishers towards the end of E3, though of course dates can still shift.)
A pre-E3 airing also allows Nintendo to focus its E3 reveals on its upcoming software line-up, where fans hope to hear updates on the long-awaited The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 and long, long-awaited Metroid Prime 4.
Bloomberg’s report states the new Switch will be released in “September or October” and be sold alongside the cheaper Switch Lite, with the current Switch model phased out over time.
Switch manufacture has been difficult over the past year, Bloomberg says, with part shortages affecting manufacture. But the Switch is able to avoid the more serious chip shortages which have affected PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S as it uses different components.
Nintendo has form in revealing new hardware, or details such as the name of an upcoming system, ahead of E3 itself for similar reasons. Nintendo 3DS was first announced several months prior to E3 2010, and we also first heard the name “Wii” a month before E3 2006 so everyone could get used to that.
Nintendo Switch’s upcoming release schedule still has plenty of gaps for the rest of this year, though yesterday’s dual announcements of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl in November plus Pokémon Legends Arceus in January 2022 began to fill in the pieces. All eyes are on Nintendo now at E3 – and before it – for how the rest of 2021 will shape up.