Nintendo’s consoles typically see very short life cycles on the market, usually lasting around five to six years as the active console before their successor comes along. In March, the Switch will enter its fourth year on the market, and while under ordinary circumstances that would mean that it would be inching ever closer to the end of its active life, that might not be the case.
Speaking recently in a Q&A session (translation via VGC), Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said that the Japanese company views the Switch as “a different kind of console” that, due to its hybrid nature (as well as the recently released Switch Lite), will end up having a longer life than previous consoles the company has released.
“The Nintendo Switch will soon have been on sale for three years,” Furukawa said. “We feel it is a different kind of console than the ones we have previously released.
“In addition to the flagship Switch model, we also released the Nintendo Switch Lite which can only be played as a handheld. This allows the user to choose a console to fit their lifestyle.”
Furukawa also added that Nintendo is pondering “many different ways to think about future console development”, but that in the here and now, they are focused on ensuring that the Switch’s install base continues to grow- which they primarily plan to do through new software releases.
“Software is also very important,” he said. “So in the short term, while the Nintendo Switch install base continues to expand, we must place a lot of focus on that.
“By placing our main focus on the Nintendo Switch, we feel we can have a very different (longer) hardware life cycle than previous Nintendo consoles.”
Given that the Switch has already shipped over 52 million units worldwide and is showing no signs of slowing down, it’s not surprising that Nintendo thinks there’s plenty of life left in the console. In fact, during the Q&A, Furukawa also said that Nintendo doesn’t expect Switch sales to slow down too much due to the PS5’s and Xbox Series X’s releases.
Recently, Nintendo also confirmed that they won’t be releasing any new Switch revisions in 2020. Read more on that through here.