Currently if you need to connect the Nintendo Switch to the internet, your only option is Wi-Fi. If you find that restrictive and think a form of mobile connectivity is necessary as well, it looks like the upcoming New Switch may be the solution as Nintendo looks into 5G technology.
5G is one of the tech industry's hottest technologies to look out for at the moment, and its addition to the current repertoire of Switch hardware features would be an incredibly welcome change for those who find the current Wi-Fi only Switch restrictive.
There's been a lot of talk on what the upcoming new Switch would have to offer, especially to different segments of its consumer base. Predictions so far include a smaller, handheld-only revision based on their past consoles. So of course, the new Switch being cellular data-based makes sense, even more so with 5G.
Speaking at a company shareholder Q&A session relayed by Nintendo Life, Nintendo hardware division director Ko Shiota was asked about the possibility of pursuing 5G technologies in the near-future. Shiota shared that Nintendo is "investigating" 5G in order to better size up how it could possibly be implemented in future hardware and if the potential cost would be worth the hassle.
His full statement was:
5G can send a large amount of data without latency. We are aware that this technology has been gaining a lot of attention, and Nintendo is also investigating it. However, we don't only chase trends in technology. When considering what to offer in our entertainment and services, we think about both how the technology will be applied to gameplay and what new experiences and gameplay we can offer consumers as a result of that application. Cost is also an extremely important factor when it comes to 5G. It's difficult to use even an outstanding technology if the cost is too high, so we will continue to also thoroughly investigate the cost of new technologies.
Unfortunately, there was no direct mention of the Switch, though it's hard to see what other revolutionary piece of hardware on which the company would be willing to take such a risk. With the Nintendo Switch being a continuous best-seller, it's obvious Nintendo has plenty of room for experimentation with the console.
But with the new Switch models likely to come out this year, it's obvious those that launch this year won't come with 5G. Still, that doesn't rule out the possibility that future or current-generation mobile data technologies will make its way at some point.