You remember the days of the NX? Wow, were those some crazy times. That, of course, was the codename for the Switch and we first learned of it all the way back in early 2015 when the late Satoru Iwata first mentioned it out of scenic nowhere during an investor’s briefing. But, after that initial announcement, Nintendo didn’t really mention the system again for quite some time. Rather, I should say that the company refused to specify exactly what it was for quite some time. This left the door wide open for the flood of rumors to pour in seemingly almost every day for months on end. It took about a year-and-a-half more before the NX was formally revealed as the Switch in late 2016. The Switch was then released in March of this year. So, in terms of knowledge of the Switch’s existence, we have a timeline of about two years. But, the system has actually been around much longer than that.
Nintendo executives Shinya Takahashi and Yoshiaki Koizumi were recently interviewed by Japanese publication Toyo Keizai Online. During the interview, the two revealed that Nintendo has actually had the core idea for the Switch on the drawing board by the time the Wii U released in 2012. Mr. Takahashi stated that by this time, Nintendo already knew it wanted to create the Joy-Cons with their signature detachment ability. The home console/handheld functionality of the Switch console was also in mind at this time as well. He noted that there were two concepts of the system completed by the end of 2013.
Mr. Koizumi added to Takahashi’s statement by saying that Nintendo created the Switch to appeal to both casual and core gamers. He noted that casual players are attracted to mobile titles while core gamers usually play on consoles (specifically mentioning the PS4) and PC. Hence, Nintendo wanted to combine the “good points of smartphones and home consoles” into a single system.
This little revelation isn’t too surprising; Nintendo has gone on record saying that it starts thinking about/working on the next system as soon as one releases. With that being the case, it’s likely the Switch’s successor is on the drawing board right now. What I would really like to know is if Nintendo will keep the Switch’s hybrid design for its next-generation system or if it will move on to something different.
Unlike the Wii U, the Switch’s unique concept has garnered quite a lot of attention, the majority of which has happened to be quite positive. So, one would consider it to be likely that we’ll see a ‘Switch 2.0’ at least four-to-five years from now. But, this is Nintendo we’re talking about. After all, nobody was expecting (or arguably even asking for) a home console/handheld hybrid system. Yet, we got one; and all of us apparently love it very much. So, there’s no telling what more Nintendo could have in store.
Regardless, it will be exciting to see what the future of Nintendo systems will look like. In the meantime, the Switch has been on quite a roll all year. If 2018 happens to be just as good, then that should be more than enough to keep things moving at a solid pace for the rest of the generation.