Rumors of a Nintendo Switch successor have been circulating all year, and reports of private demos for developers at this year’s Gamescom and Activision getting briefed on the device only fueled the fire. Despite this, Nintendo pinky swears it never actually showed its next console (known colloquially as the “Switch 2”) anywhere, according to President Shuntaro Furukawa.
Japanese outlet Mainichi reports that Furukawa denies Nintendo showcased the device to partners at public events or private meetings with game companies. But thanks to the FTC vs. Microsoft court case that took place earlier this year, there are unsealed legal documents and emails confirming the company was in contact with Activision about its next console (even comparing its power level to that of a PlayStation 4). So it’s more likely that Nintendo doesn’t want to publicly announce or acknowledge a new system before the 2023 holiday season, which is when people would be buying a Nintendo Switch. A potential Switch 2 could change people’s plans for holiday purchases.
If a Switch 2 does exist, one thing is still unclear about the hypothetical console: if it will play the original Switch’s games or not. With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S both offering backwards compatibility (though the PS5 does weird cloud streaming nonsense to play PlayStation 3 games), it seems like the next Nintendo console would play Switch games, right? Well, historically, Nintendo has been the least willing of the big three to adopt backwards compatibility. Almost none of its home consoles have played the previous generation’s games, with the Wii and the Wii U the outliers in the company’s 40 years of consoles. So until we know more about the next system, we won’t know if the Switch and its successor will speak to each other. It looks like Nintendo is banking on people not being able to make an informed purchasing decision while buying gifts this year.
According to the original report from Eurogamer, Nintendo showed the Switch successor running a beefier version of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom at Gamescom, but it’s unclear right now if this is representative of backwards compatibility, some kind of remastered port, or if it was just a tech demo to showcase the new device’s power.