There have been rumblings of two new Switch models, but it looks like Nintendo won’t be telling us about them until it’s ready. Commenting on new Switch rumors would only “spoil the surprise for consumers,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said at the company’s annual general meeting. Furukawa said Nintendo is “constantly developing new hardware” and will announce anything new as soon as it’s ready to be revealed.
“While we are aware there has been coverage to that effect, we cannot comment in regards to speculation and rumors about new hardware or software,” said Furukawa. “It would spoil the surprise for consumers and is against the interests of our shareholders, so we are withholding any discussion.”
Rumors of new Switch models have been circulating around the internet for some time now. In 2018, sources inside Nintendo reportedly said the company planned to release a redesigned Switch in 2019, possibly during the late summer. Furukawa said in January 2019 that the company was not considering a new Switch remodel, and when rumors surfaced in April that Nintendo would reveal a new Switch at E3 2019, the company quickly denied these rumors (and ultimately followed through with that denial). The Wall Street Journal then reported that these Switch systems were supposed to be at the show but Nintendo had switched production to Southeast Asia out of fear of the now-defunct console tariffs. The publication noted that this move added more credence to the rumored consoles.
Nintendo also spoke more broadly about the industry at large. During that same Q&A, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto told shareholders he feels Nintendo hardware will continue to have a place as the gaming market turns its focus to cloud gaming.
“I have no doubt that there will continue to be games that are fun because they are running locally and not on the cloud,” Miyamoto said. “We believe it is important to continue to use these diverse technical environments to make unique entertainment that could only have been made by Nintendo.”
Responding to a shareholder who mentioned there is an impression that Nintendo is “a little slow” to capitalize on industry trends, Miyamoto told shareholders his take on Nintendo’s position in the changing games market, alluding to Nintendo Labo VR and Nintendo Switch Online.
“We have not fallen behind with either VR or network services […] and have been experimenting with them in a variety of ways,” he said. “In that time, we have objectively evaluated whether they actually allow our consumers to have an enjoyable play experience, and whether we can operate them at an appropriate cost. Because we don’t publicize this until we release a product, it may look like we’re falling behind.”
Furukawa also noted that Nintendo must keep up with these kinds of new technologies in order to ensure the company can utilize them to reach broader audiences.