There have been numerous reports over the past few months that Nintendo has been working on new iterations of its Switch console, including a handheld-focused model that would turn out to be the newly announced Switch Lite. That’s not all; it looks like the standard Switch will also be getting a more low-key update that will see some of its internal components replaced though the exact impact of this move remains to be seen.
As reported by The Verge, Nintendo has filed a Class II Permission Change request with the Federal Communications Commission to make changes to the existing Switch. According to the filing, the company is swapping the console’s system-on-chip, NAND memory type, and CPU board. The filing doesn’t go into more specifics than that, so it’s unclear if these changes will have a noticeable impact on the system’s performance. The model number is not changing, which may speak to the level of change we’re seeing here. That said, these types of under-the-hood updates are not uncommon for game system manufacturers.
As previously mentioned, Nintendo has announced a smaller, more affordable version of the Switch called the Switch Lite. The system will launch this September and is optimized for handheld use, meaning it doesn’t feature detachable Joy-Con controllers and can’t be docked and played on a television. It is also missing a kickstand, HD rumble, and an IR sensor, but it still supports Amiibo figures and has an estimated 20-30% better battery life than the base model. Another advantage it has over the standard Switch is a proper D-pad.
The Switch Lite launches around the world on September 20, the same day The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake arrives. The system will be available in three colors at launch–yellow, turquoise, and grey–with a special edition Pokemon model following in November ahead of Pokemon Sword and Shield. In the US, the Switch Lite will retail for $200 USD.
There have also been reports that Nintendo is working on a more powerful iteration of the Switch; however, the company has said there will be no other new Switch hardware this year besides the Lite. You can read more about the system in our roundup of everything we know about the Switch Lite. We also answer some of the most common questions about the console in our Switch Lite FAQ. Be sure to also check out our Switch Lite pre-order guide.