Updated: Sep 5, 2020
Yesterday, Twitter user @Cptn_Alex broke news that a Nintendo Switch Mini may be in production, and launching soon, based on information he received from a company called HonSon gaming. In the tweet, shown right, HonSon gaming is seen to be offering gaming accessories for a "Nintendo Switch Mini", including multiple carrying case options, a hard exterior shell, and a screen protector.
While many have pointed that the images may just be fan renders that the company is using for product promotion, it doesn't lead to a very interesting question. "Would a company start producing and selling accessories for a console they didn't know what coming out?"
HonSon Switch Mini Mock-Up
Many in the community have noted that this is a pretty common practice, with cases for phones being promoted and sold well before new phones are released or revealed which leads us to believe the validity of these rumors that a Switch Mini may be coming soon.
What may be even more curious is the fact that a "prototype" of sorts for a Switch Mini, that looks just like the one in the renders, was on display on the show floor at E3 2019.
The company displaying the prototype (seen below) was selling unlicensed Nintendo Switch accessories at the show.
What's interesting, is HonSon was not the company that was at the show, showing off this Switch Mini prototype. The company showing off this 3D printed prototype was called ipega, another Hong Kong based company. The ipega fight pad seen at the show with the 3D printed prototype is also available for sale on HonSon's website. Is it a coincidence that multiple Chinese companies are using the same model and mock-up for a Nintendo Switch Mini? It's possible, but it seems unlikely.
Considering the Nintendo Switch and its components are manufactured in China, where regulations on copyrights and trademark laws are pretty lax, it wouldn't be surprising for the Switch Minis manufacturing firm to pass on console specifications to some of its partners to get a head start in the impending accessory war.
What may be most notable, however, is the fact that one of the renders HonSon is advertising on its website for the clear shell case is different from the rest of the renders.
While similar (if not the same) design as the renders shown above can be found across the internet (and even in person at E3 apparently!), this render seems to be completely new. A reverse image search for this image on google only leads us back to the HonSon website. Whether this is a HonSon designed render based on information they've received is not known at this time. What is notable, however, is that both renders feature attached joy-cons and a built in D-Pad, instead of separated buttons like on the current console.
HonSons website currently has listings for 11 different accessories for the Nintendo Switch Mini, none of which are currently in stock. When we reached out to them for more information, we were told that they would be available in stock starting next week.
In a Facebook post on HonSon's page this morning, they talked about all their media coverage they've been receiving for these products, and added this statement:
This time we have tracked and analyzed all the picture information about Switch Mini in domestic and international media.And then with professional perspective and detailed product research, we have launched several accessories for the Nintendo Switch Mini like the carry bag,screen protector and crystal case.
While it partially sounds like they ARE in fact making products based on rumors and fan renders, we are also curious to know what they mean when they say "With professional perspective and detailed product research" - this could easily mean they've received yet unreleased information from their professional partners.
So what do you think? With the Wall Street Journal reporting two new Nintendo Switch Models in production, and now this, what are the chances all of these reports are false? While we don't know for sure if the Switch Mini is happening, it sure is looking more hopeful.
This story is still developing, keep an eye on NintenDIY for more information as it comes to light