Nintendo will keep the Switch exactly as it is for another year at least and instead focus on peripherals.
Anyone who has purchased a launch day Xbox of PlayStation console over the past three generations of hardware knew that console would get replaced with a slimmer, quieter, less power hungry version eventually. Sony did it with the PS2, which became the PS2 Slim, then repeated the exercise with the PS3 and PS4. The Xbox 360 and Xbox One also received hardware refreshes.
Nintendo on the other hand, enjoys refreshing its handheld hardware, but not so much its home consoles. The 3DS has gone through six refreshes, with the current (and best) model being the New Nintendo 2DS XL. As the Switch is a hybrid and therefore a handheld, it would be fair to expect the same, regular hardware refreshes as the 3DS received, but Nintendo isn’t going to do that.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Nintendo isn’t thinking about changing the Switch hardware at all in the short term. Two days from now the Switch hardware will celebrate its 1st anniversary and all the signals coming out of Nintendo suggest the hardware will remain exactly the same when we reach its 2nd anniversary next year.
Rather than mess with the Switch, Nintendo is expected to focus on peripherals for it. The first and most high-profile of those peripherals is Nintendo Labo, which will be sold as a range of DIY interactive cardboard toys reliant on the Switch to function. Nintendo could continue to release new kits carrying the Labo name for years to come. Other peripherals are thought to be in the works that attach via the USB Type-C port and/or include network-related features.
While the Switch won’t change on the outside, it may do so internally. If Nintendo can reduce the cost of manufacturing the hardware it will surely do so without changing the overall experience. A revised Switch with a bigger or smaller screen, better battery life, and more internal storage will appear eventually, but it looks to be years away for now.