Nintendo Co. plans to launch two new versions of its Switch gaming console as early as this summer, people familiar with the matter said, as the company seeks to sustain sales momentum for the product going into a crucial third year.
One version will have enhanced features targeted at avid videogamers, although it won’t be as powerful as Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 Pro or Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One X, according to parts suppliers and software developers for Nintendo who have access to a prototype of the machine.
The other version is a cheaper option for casual gamers that Nintendo sees as a successor to its aging hand-held 3DS device, the suppliers and developers say.
The new models are likely to be unveiled at the E3 videogame Expo in Los Angeles in June and possibly released a few months later, one person familiar with Nintendo’s plans said. Kyoto-based Nintendo declined to comment.
The Switch, introduced in March 2017, has been central to Nintendo’s recent business success. The company earns more than 80% of its total revenue from Switch hardware and software sales. Investors are focused on how long the console can remain a profit driver.
Industry watchers expect sales for the Switch to begin declining soon. Analysts polled by Visible Alpha, a provider of market forecasts, anticipate on average that 17.9 million units of the Switch will be sold in the fiscal year ending this month, followed by 17.4 million in the following year.
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