Nintendo announced a new Switch console last year - the cheaper, lighter Nintendo Switch Lite.

But we're still expecting Nintendo to debut a replacement for the main Nintendo Switch, either called the Nintendo Switch 2 or Switch Pro. This will almost certainly be in 2021 - read on for more on why that is. 

Coincidentally, there was also an upgrade to the standard Switch model in 2019 which boasted a better battery life and revised internals but wasn't really a second-generation model. 

Switch 2: How likely is it? 

The Wall Street Journal spoke to "parts suppliers and software developers" in March 2019, who claimed that an enhanced version of the Switch, aimed at the more dedicated, hardcore gamer is on its way.

And, considering they were spot-on with talk of a more-affordable, handheld-only model, it stands to reason that they could be right when it comes to a more advanced new Switch too.

But the best evidence emerged in July 2019, soon after the Switch Lite was announced. A letter to the FCC (the US communications regulator), dated 2 July 2019 and posted on the FCC's website, Highlighted changes to the original Switch's specifications, claiming that the SoC (System on Chip) and RAM have been improved in a new version.

Switch 2 specs and design

While last year's Nintendo Switch Lite has similar internal hardware to the existing Switch, the Switch 2 will get a more thorough overhaul. 

According to Japanese site Gamepedia, it will have some impressive internal specs. 

Its RAM is said to be 8GB, double that in the current console, while the on-board storage will get a major hike to 128GB. The existing Switch only has 32GB of storage and nigh-on demands that you buy a microSD card if you want to store more than one game.

Expect there to be a new hardware platform underpinning everything - probably once more an ARM-based Nvidia Tegra.

Lastly, Switch 2 will support 4K output. It won't have a 4K display built-in, though. It is likely to have a 1080p display instead (an improvement over the 720p one on the current Switch). 4K output will be a no-brainer considering the smarts of the incoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. It will be expected of Nintendo to have that. 

Sharp is said to have got the nod to supply the LCD screens.

Switch Pro game compatibility

All games for the new Nintendo Switch will be playable on the existing Switch and vice versa (the Switch Lite has some restrictions as motion-controlled games won't work due to the lack of detachable Joy-Cons).

Backwards compatibility is something Nintendo has traditionally stuck to, with different generations of GameBoys and DS consoles all being backward compatible.

So, to see what games will work on Nintendo Switch 2 you only need to look on the upcoming schedule of Switch titles.

Switch 2 release date

Sadly, we don't yet have an idea of an actual release date for a Switch 2 and the Switch Lite announcement has thrown a minor spanner in the works.

Now Nintendo has said there will be no new Switch in 2020 - probably to avoid the PS5 and Xbox Series X announcements - so we're looking at mid-to-late 2021 for the Switch 2 release date.

Speaking to investors after the company's latest financial results, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa stated that there are "no plans" for a replacement or upgraded Switch.

"We believe that it is important to continue to communicate the appeal of both Nintendo Switch systems and expand the installed base," he said. "Please note that we have no plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch model during 2020."