Nintendo insists no Switch 2 this year despite hardware sales slowdown

Nintendo Switch OLED joycons connected to base
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo has suggested it doesn’t plan to release any hardware during its current fiscal year which runs through March 2024. Essentially, don’t expect to see the Nintendo Switch 2 on store shelves this holiday season. 

During the company’s annual financial report presentation (relayed by VGC), president Shuntaro Furukawa insisted that Nintendo has no plans to release any hardware during its next fiscal year and will instead persist with its current console lineup comprised of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED and Nintendo Switch Lite

Rumors of a Nintendo Switch 2 continue to surface online, and most recently a job listing within Nintendo’s European operations has hinted at its existence. However, the follow-up to the wildly popular home console/handheld hybrid remains unconfirmed, and we don’t expect that to change in the foreseeable future given Furukawa’s insistence that no new Nintendo hardware will launch this year. 

Nintendo Switch suffers sluggish sales

Nintendo Switch consoles

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The other big news from Nintendo’s report for its fiscal year running from April 2022 to March 2023 is the Nintendo Switch has now sold 125 million units. And while this is undoubtedly an impressive figure, it actually represents a 22% year-on-year decline in hardware sales. 

Nintendo sold almost 18 million Switch consoles over the last fiscal year, which was slightly below its stated target of 21 million. And the gaming company expects sales to slow further over the next 12 months with a target of 15 million units set. This would represent a further decline of 16%. 

Slowing Switch sales isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. The Nintendo Switch launched in March 2017, and the console appears to be hitting a natural sales plateau after so many years on the market. After all, there is only a finite number of people that Nintendo can sell a Switch to before the market hits saturation point. 

Furukawa acknowledged this in a statement released alongside the results: “Nintendo Switch has entered its seventh year since launch, and while it will become more challenging to maintain the same sales momentum as before, our goal is to have more consumers continue to play Nintendo Switch for longer, leading to maximized sales.” 

Speaking to Bloomberg, Furukawa admitted that the company’s 15 million units target for the current fiscal year was ambitious and labeled it “a bit of stretch” but did note the company aims to “bolster demand going into the holiday season” in order to achieve the lofty goal.  

Nintendo enjoys stronger software sales 

Pokémon Scarlet Violet screenshot

(Image credit: Nintendo)

While Switch hardware sales are hitting a slump, Nintendo enjoyed much stronger software sales over the past year. Nintendo updated its list of best-selling Switch games with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (53.79m), Animal Crossing: New Horizons (42.21m) and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (31.09m) retaining the top three spots. 

Nintendo confirmed two of its flagship games in 2022, Splatoon 3 and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, sold a combined 32.77 million units, with the latter cracking the top 10 best-sellers at number seven. Other new releases with strong sales numbers include Nintendo Switch Sports (9m), Bayonetta 3 (1.07m), Metroid Prime Remastered (1.09m) and Mario Strikers: Battle League (3.1m). 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild enjoyed a boost over the past 12 months with total sales of the Switch launch title now standing at 29.81m. The hotly-anticipated sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, is set to launch this week (Friday, May 12) and is practically guaranteed to be one of the year’s best-selling games. 

The launch of a new Zelda game could also help Switch hardware sales pickup, especially thanks to the release of a limited-edition Tears of the Kingdom Nintendo Switch OLED model. This commemorative console may even persuade some existing Switch owners to double dip and purchase a second unit.  

Nintendo also announced that more than a billion Switch games have been sold in total since the console’s debut in 2017, which is more than any other Nintendo system. This trumps even the Nintendo DS with 948 million games sold.

There’s no denying that in just about every metric possible the Nintendo Switch has been a roaring success story.

There’s no denying that in just about every metric possible the Nintendo Switch has been a roaring success story. But it does seem that the market is now ready for what comes next, even if Nintendo isn’t quite there yet. Hopefully, we get concrete details about a Switch successor soon, even if it’s going to be a little while longer before it’s actually in our hands.  

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.