If you were hoping for a Nintendo Switch 2 or Nintendo Switch Pro this year, we have bad news. According to a new report, Nintendo doesn’t seem to have any plans to release new Switch hardware, at least not between now and April 2023.
Nintendo Switch sales are slowing down, and Nintendo can’t do much about it. Between market saturation and supply chain issues, Nintendo is simply selling a whole lot fewer Switches than it used to. One possible solution would be for Nintendo to produce a new console, perhaps something powerful enough to compete directly with the PS5 or Xbox Series X. But that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon.
Information comes from Bloomberg journalist Takashi Mochizuki on his Twitter account. He cites a paywalled article from The Nikkei, a prestigious Asian financial publication. According to Mochizuki, the Nikkei spoke with Nintendo’s president, Shuntaro Furukawa.
The publication then asserted that Nintendo had no plans for new hardware between now and the end of its fiscal year in March 2023. It’s not clear whether this is the Nikkei’s commentary or a paraphrased quote from Furukawa, however.
Nikkei: there will be no new Nintendo hardware this fiscal year, which ends in March 2023. Not immediately clear whether that part of the article is from Nikkei's own reporting or what Nintendo President, who Nikkei interviewed for the story, said. https://t.co/HJVqk9KbefAugust 4, 2022
It's important to consider this information in light of Nintendo’s overall finances. Nikkei Asia, the Nikkei’s English-language publication, reported that Nintendo’s operating profits have dropped a full 15% since last year, largely due to slowing sales of the Switch console. (Nintendo’s net profit has actually gone up due to the yen’s relative value overseas, but that’s another story.) For reference, Nintendo sold 4.45 million Switches in Q2 2021, as opposed to 3.43 million Switches in Q2 2022.
According to Nintendo, the semiconductor shortage is the main reason behind this slowdown. However, the Nikkei pointed out that Nintendo’s sales surged earlier on in the COVID-19 pandemic. Alert readers may remember that Animal Crossing: New Horizons became the lockdown game to have. It’s entirely possible that most people who want to buy a Switch, have already bought a Switch.
That’s where a new console might come in handy, particularly one that would compel current Switch owners to purchase new hardware. The Nintendo Switch Lite and the Nintendo Switch OLED, while situationally useful, don’t offer a different software library or better performance than the base-model Switch.
If Nintendo is still struggling to get semiconductors for its current-model Switches, it stands to reason that the company wouldn’t want to release a new console right away. But even if we won’t get a new Switch between now and March, it’s fair to wonder how much long we’ll have to wait after that. In 2021, Nintendo commented that the Switch was halfway through its intended lifespan, suggesting that a brand-new system could be as far away as 2025.
Next: In other news, you can finally also use your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons with Steam now.