By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. Close

I have the feeling that I shouldn't be saying this in a public place like this, but after some deliberation I've reached the conclusion that this probably won't cause me any trouble, so here I am. Still (just in case), try to avoid quoting me and please don't mention my name if you share this on your social networks. Having said that, here is (part of) what I know.

First of all, if I know this is because I was working for Nintendo earlier this year and there were some internal leaks about the new model of the Nintendo Switch, which I was fortunate enough to read. Take into account too that this information comes from a preliminary report that was already several months old when I first read it, so it may not match 100% the final product that will end up being released into the market. Also, I want to be crystal clear about one fact: the new model of the Switch will be nothing like the last few rumors, so those who are expecting 4K will be deeply disappointed. You're just warned.

Now, the main distinctive feature of this console is that it will not be created by Nintendo alone. Yes, you heard it: the new model is a collaboration, and a potentially HUGE one, with a company that only recently took a more or less big step in the gaming market. The name of that company is one that all of you know more than well: Amazon. Yes, you didn't misread it. Apparently, Amazon's goal with its irruption in the gaming market was never only to compete in the cloud segment, but also in the console space. However, they know that the console market is a pretty closed one, in which is very hard to just get in, starting from basically zero, and be successful. The fat cats at Amazon know that they have an enormous disadvantage against all their competitors, and they have almost no chance of becoming relevant on their own.

And that's where Nintendo comes in: Microsoft has Game Pass and xCloud, and Sony has PS Now, PS Plus and a collaboration with Microsoft with xCloud, so they're both competing directly with Amazon. But Nintendo's online infrastructure and services don't have such a big scope than Sony's and Microsoft's, and Amazon knows it, so that's where the main focus of their deal with Nintendo lies: they offered them their online infrastructure and in return, Nintendo would just had to accept a couple of conditions, one of them being exclusivity: Nintendo wouldn't allow in the Switch any other cloud-based or subscription-based service that the other two big competitors could offer them. This was, indeed, a preemptive messure against Microsoft. Or why do you think Nintendo never accepted Game Pass on their console? Several reasons, of course, but now you know one of them.

Also, the report I could read mentioned something about a cloud-based game announced at the Nintendo E3 Direct (which is probably what gave feet to the other rumors about a release date before E3). Does this ring a bell to any of you? Exactly: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is/was going to be one of the first games taking advantage of the new collaboration and the cloud power of Amazon. Now, I don't know if it will be an exclusive of the new model or not, but it's definitely a serious possibility, because that will be precisely the main differentiation factor of the new model; it will have, of course, a bigger screen, better battery life and upscaled resolution when docked (nothing too fancy, however), but the actual selling point won't be any of that: it will the brand new online services, including Luna and all its games. All of that, of course, will come hand in hand with a new subscription tier, more expensive than the current one and exclusive to the owners of the new model. The current Nintendo Switch Online will still exist and keep its current price, but it will now become the secondary tier.

The main point of all this, however, and the most interesting part is that this is just kind of testing the waters for both Nintendo and Amazon, so if this works financially for them, the next whole new console will build even more on this parnertship. Also, I said at the beginning that this new model of Switch will be nothing like the rumors you've heard so far, but that doesn't mean that those are fake: they're just highly misguided, because all the chipsets and specs (including the 4K resolution) that you know about were/are actually real, just only as a concept of their new console, not as the new model of the current one.

Also, regarding the name, forget about Pro, Plus, New or whatever... I said above that one of the conditions of this collaboration with Amazon was exclusivity when it comes to online services, but there was one more, and it's that the name of the console should be such that it could be easily related not only to Nintendo, but also to Amazon. So the name of the new model, as stated in the report (so this might not be the definitive one), is Nintendo Switch Prime.

But that's not all, because their potential new console was also referred to in the report with its own name, which (again) I don't know if it's be the definitive or not. However, the report specifically mentioned some good and very well-thought reasons supporting that name, so I'm inclined to believe that the name is actually the final one. Anyway, to sum up what I recall of this, the report stated that the name of the new console should reflect the consolidation of the Nintendo-Amazon parnertship, as well as making clear that it was the next step in the Switch family. And the resulting name that met those criteria was (I can see the negative reactions already coming here...) Nintendo Twitch. Yes, that's it; you're probably as puzzled as I was the first time I read it. However, there's something else behind that name that makes it interesting or at least quite intriguing: there was no specific explanation of what this meant or how this would translate into the final product, but the report clearly suggested that there is much more to that name than what it may seem at first thought.

And that's all I can share with you regarding the new Switch model and iteration. Take into account, however, that this partnership was not sealed when I first read that leaked report, so nothing of this is actually guaranteed and the new Switch model/console may not be anything like what I have just said. But that doesn't mean that I'm wrong, let alone joking; that would just mean that the collaboration didn't come into fruition in the end. And of course I'm sure that both Nintendo and Amazon have their backup plans in case this particular one doesn't work out, and those plans could be the ones that they finally announce and focus on. But... if I had to bet, I would confidently put my money in this partnership happening and in the Nintendo Switch Prime and the Nintendo Twitch both being real.

Oh, and I almost forgot: there was no mention of the price at all, but the Switch Prime was intended to be released in Holiday 2021, provided that some problems with the production of the chip could be sorted. Otherwise, the console would have to be delayed to 2022. As for the Nintendo Twitch, no release date was especified.

I have periods of social disconnection, it's a part of me that I need and keenly embrace. I'll still log in and read news and threads during those times, but I won't be (very) active on the site, so I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause (late answers, bumps or the like).


Please, feel free to correct my English.