Did the CMA just out a Nintendo Switch 2?

The Nintendo Switch  (PA Media)
The Nintendo Switch (PA Media)

A UK Government investigation into the proposed Microsoft-Activision merger may have just outed a new console from Nintendo.

The possible reveal is a redacted line in Appendix C of the Competition and Market Authority’s report, dealing specifically with various cloud gaming services and how they compare to Microsoft’s Game Pass.

“Nintendo’s cloud gaming service is only available on the Nintendo Switch device and [redacted],” the page reads.

That “and” is intriguing. At the time of writing, Nintendo Switch Online — which enabled multiplayer and provided free access to retro games from the company’s past — is available on only the Nintendo Switch. As such, speculation is building that the redacted content refers to an as-yet-unreleased console.

Alternatively, it could refer to an as-yet-unannounced plan to enter the cloud gaming market, where titles are streamed elsewhere.

There is another more mundane possibility. The full, unredacted text could say something like: “Nintendo’s cloud gaming service is only available on the Nintendo Switch device and the company has no plans to expand this further at the current time.” Though why that would need to be redacted is anybody’s guess.

In any case, the possibility that Nintendo has a follow-up to the wildly successful Switch console in mind shouldn’t be hugely surprising. And while the company told investors in 2021 that the Switch was in the “middle phase of cycle”, the console is beginning to show its age, with cross-platform struggling with the increasingly dated hardware.

Indeed, the Switch turns six years old next month, and historically that puts it on borrowed time. Six years separated the Wii and Wii U, while the N64, GameCube and Wii were all released in a 10-year window. The Switch itself arrived less than five years after the Wii U, though that may have more to do with the lack of interest in the console it replaced.

Nobody could accuse the Switch of struggling from a commercial perspective like the Wii U, of course. But with gamers looking for more raw power to compete with the Xbox Series and PS5, it’s no wonder this redacted line has caused a ripple of excitement.