Nintendo will seemingly be sticking with the Switch for several years yet, with internal discussions for a next-generation console still taking place around a release window, and even what its concept will be.
As you’d expect, Nintendo does plan to one day replace the Switch with a new gaming system, with the company’s latest financial presentation making clear that new hardware was part of its wider plans to expand the business (alongside expanding IP, and adding services to the Nintendo Account system). However, the presentation only gave a date of ’20XX’ for that hardware’s release.
During a financial results Q&A – as attended, translated, and reported by analyst David Gibson – Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked what he could say about the next-gen device. Furukawa was clear that he could say very little, and it seems even what the next console will be is still up for debate within the company.
“On next gen, we are not saying right now,” Furukawa said, “we are still going through internal discussion on concept, timing etc and discussing everything.”
However, Furukawa did say that the Switch remains in the “middle phase” of its lifecycle, meaning we have several more years at least before Nintendo considers replacing it. In May 2020, Furukawa said the Switch was “barely” halfway through its life, so it may be that its huge recent success has seen Nintendo extend how long it could support the hybrid hardware.
That tallies with Nintendo’s goals for the coming year. The financial presentation indicated that, by adding the Nintendo Switch OLED model to its lineup, it’s hoping to see a sixth consecutive year of growth in Switch sales, “something never before experienced with our dedicated video game platform business.” Until the Switch stops growing, Nintendo is extremely unlikely to seek to replace it.
Despite its hopes for the OLED, Nintendo has already confirmed that won’t be putting all of its resources into the new model, saying that all three Switch variants (regular, OLED, and Lite) “cater to different needs”.
Nintendo Switch OLED Model vs. Original Nintendo Switch Comparison