Nintendo has been marching to its own drum for years, not really following the rest of the industry and doing things its own way. The most recent Nintendo financial report shed light on the company’s future plans for next-gen, and fans hoping for a new system soon should temper their expectations.
Following the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S release last year, the gaming community naturally turned its focus to Nintendo to see what it would do next. Nintendo announced the Switch OLED earlier this year, which offers some overall enhancements over the original console, particularly in terms of display, but it is not the much-rumored (and coveted) Switch Pro.
Other aspects of the Switch, such as the growing popularity of cloud-based games such as Dying Light 2 and the current Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as the device’s basic lack of capabilities, have supporters wishing for a new system sooner rather than later. Despite this, the Nintendo Switch continues to set sales records, closing close on the 101 million units sold by the Wii.
Questions about the Switch’s replacement system arose during Nintendo’s last financial report, and the company responded with some helpful information. The highlights of the presentation’s Question & Answer portion were provided by David Gibson, Co-Founder of Astris Advisory Japan KK.
“What can you say about the 20xx next-gen device?” was the inquiry. “Nothing can be said,” Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa responds, “Switch thinks it’s in the middle of a cycle, now with OLED, and at the momentum continues with a broad diversity of software line-up.” “On next-gen, we are not stating right now,” the response adds, “we are still going through internal discussion on concept, timeframe, etc. and discussing everything.”
The “20xx next-gen device” referenced earlier is a slide from Nintendo’s presentation outlining the company’s future plans. This image depicts an odd timeline that starts with the Nintendo DS and Wii in 2004 and 2006 and then jumps all the way to the Nintendo Switch in 2017.
A: On next gen, we are not saying right now, we are still going through internal discussion on concept, timing etc and discussing everything 3)
— David Gibson (@gibbogame) November 5, 2021
Beyond the Switch, there’s an indeterminate ‘future gaming system’ with a timestamp of ’20xx,’ implying that a new console concept is in the works. The purpose of this slide, however, is not simply the new platform, but how Nintendo is attempting to grow its IP through both physical (new consoles and games) and digital (digital services) (Nintendo accounts and subscriptions).
For those who are involved in Nintendo’s future, this news is both thrilling and discouraging. While the announcement of a new system signals the start of a new age of Nintendo magic, the fact that Furukawa believes the Switch is only halfway through its life cycle may disappoint some.
At the very least, they won’t have to buy a new console anytime soon, given how difficult it was to obtain video gaming hardware during the pandemic. It will be fascinating to see how long fans will have to wait until Nintendo officially announces its new console.