As digital-only consoles get more and more popular, could Nintendo follow suit and release a digital version of its upcoming console, the Switch 2?

Over the past couple of console generations, game sales have firmly shifted from being physical discs to digital downloads. In fact, over the past couple of years, over 90% of total game sales have been digital.

Therefore, it is no surprise that digital-only versions of consoles have emerged like the Xbox Series S and PS5 Digital.

PS5 Digital and Xbox Series S Consoles.

Nintendo has not yet jumped on the digital-only bandwagon, but it also hasn’t released a new console since 2017’s Switch. However, leaks suggest that the Switch 2 will come out in March 2025.

This upcoming release has gamers wondering whether Nintendo will follow suit and release a digital Switch 2 in addition to one with a cartridge slot.

Will Nintendo Make a Switch 2 Digital?

There’s nothing to suggest that Nintendo is making a digital-only Switch 2 beyond an unsubstantiated rumor in late 2023.

Despite this, there’s still a possibility that Nintendo could release a cheaper version of its next console with no cartridge slot.

If Nintendo were to release a digital-only Switch 2, it would probably cost around $50 less than the estimated $400 price of the Switch 2.

Nintendo Switch Insert Cartridge

Even though a digital version of the Switch 2 would be preferable to some gamers who don’t buy physical games any more, Nintendo probably won’t release one – at least at first. This is for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, like the PS5 Digital, a digital Switch 2 would likely be a lot less popular than the standard version of the console. Many gamers would happily pay a little more for the ability to play physical games.

Secondly, and crucially, is Nintendo’s support for backwards compatibility, which will almost certainly carry over to the Switch 2. The original Switch has now sold almost 140 million units, and the majority of Switch owners will have at least a couple of physical games they’d like to play on their new Switch 2.

If physical backwards compatibility will be useful for almost everyone getting a Switch 2 then Nintendo probably won’t see the point in releasing a digital version of the console too.

Nintendo Switch Logo

Ultimately, we won’t find out whether Nintendo will release a digital Switch 2 until it announces the console. However, that is still a while away.

It looks like the Switch 2 reveal should take place in late 2024. Until then, keep an eye out for any rumors about the console!

author
Senior Staff Writer
Django grew up with a PlayStation controller in his hands and loves all kinds of games, from Football Manager to Yakuza.