There’s little denying the popularity of the Nintendo Switch, but, with Sony and Microsoft’s new systems right around the corner, Miyamoto and company have to be feeling pressure at this point from the market to do something “more.”
But the problem is that no one knows exactly what this “more” might mean. An upgraded console? Entirely new hardware? Or a diversification of the hardware options to accommodate a range of gamer types and budgets.
While we don’t have any news on a new console – as in a Switch 2 – we do have some indication of where Nintendo’s mind is heading and what the future of the company’s hardware could look like.
Basically, it looks like the second and third predictions are spot on yet we don’t have enough information yet to definitively say that Nintendo might be exploring an iterative approach to the Switch which would obviate the need for a “Switch 2.” In other words, though we don’t know anything about a Switch 2 as of yet, and all indications are looking like Nintendo is going to keep farming the current system, that doesn’t mean that Nintendo isn’t considering a “next-gen” system separate and apart from the Switch one day. What this is really about is a question of backward compatibility and, if Sony’s moves are any trend indication, we think Nintendo is possibly exploring ways to make console generations less meaningful when it comes to disruption in a gamer’s core library.
Nintendo’s president Shuntaro Furukawa said of the release of the next-gen consoles from other companies this year, “We do not believe that the business trends of other companies will have a significant impact on our business.”
It’s also looking increasingly likely that Nintendo is developing or considering the oft-reported “Pro” line of consoles. These models would offer graphical upgrades to the current mainline console as well as rumored access to services like Twitch and Discord. This goes back to the tier idea that seems to be floating around Nintendo’s offices and could possibly determine the future of the Switch more than anything else. We already have the entry-level Lite pure handheld version, and of course, there’s the main system itself but now with upgraded bits here and there to make batteries last longer, among other things. It looks like all we are missing is the oft-rumored though never seen Switch Pro.
And it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing it this year. Nintendo brass has already said, definitively, that no new consoles will be coming out this year nor will they really be discussing that. So, Sony and Microsoft, it’s your stage.
Even though we don’t have any rumors about a Switch 2, we think the idea that Nintendo might diversify with different hardware models could be a good sign of where the company is heading in the short term. We’re also pleased to see that the considerations for a “high-end” version seem to be geared towards the “hardcore” crowd. It’ll be interesting to see where Nintendo’s new, vastly more complex, hardware structure ends up taking it. After all, everyone else is following the traditional rule book – the one that Nintendo helped write – while the former hanafuda company is looking for new ways to bring gaming to the masses.
What do you think of the possibility of a Switch 2? What would you want out of that kind of machine? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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