The Nintendo Switch stands out on the market as the first (and currently only) hybrid gaming system. Although, it still functions first-and-foremost as Nintendo’s current-gen home console offering. With that being the case, this recent statement from Nintendo President Kimishima makes sense.
During the Q&A session of the recent March Financial Briefing, Kimishima shared some insight on what Nintendo’s plans are for the future of the Switch, specifically on how Nintendo plans to achieve its goal of selling 20 million more units by March 2019.
Kimishima mentioned that this fiscal year (April 2018 – March 2019) Nintendo will mainly focus on attracting consumers “who’ve never played a Nintendo platform before” as well as those who have played before “but not recently”. He admits that selling 20 million additional units will not be easy, but believes that Nintendo is “primed to do it.” We can already see evidence of this strategy with Nintendo Labo, which is targetted at kids and their parents. But moving beyond this year, it’s only natural to wonder what will happen to the Switch throughout the rest of its lifecycle. According to Kimishima, the system will be influenced by “changing environmental factors”, specifically mentioning “the activities of other companies can impact the Nintendo Switch lifecycle.” What could those “other companies” be? Well, of course, Kimishima is referring to Microsoft and Sony and what they’re doing with the Xbox and PlayStation brands.
Here’s an excerpt of Kimishima’s statement where this was mentioned. Important lines to take note of have been underlined:
As for the Nintendo Switch life cycle, we need to steadily provide new experiences that will
keep consumers always wanting to play Nintendo Switch in order to maintain sales for a long
time. I cannot go into detail here today, but our company has a lot of experience with selling
gaming systems, and we will actively incorporate everything we have learned, including our
failures, into our planning. Changing environmental factors, including the activities of other
companies, can impact the Nintendo Switch life cycle. So the benchmark is not whether
Nintendo Switch sales can surpass total Wii sales, but rather how we adapt and respond to
changes in the market and strive to continue selling Nintendo Switch as long as possible.
Some folks have taken this statement as a strong hint that a new-and-improved Switch will be released in the near future. That is, something along the lines of a Switch Pro/New Switch like the PS4 Pro, New 3DS and Xbox One X. Seeing that there is already a noticeable power difference between the Switch and even the base PS4/Xbox One, if Sony and Microsoft do release even more powerful systems within the next few years (next-gen iterations), this could force Nintendo to boost the Switch’s power in order to keep up. If that route isn’t taken, then perhaps Nintendo could use ideas like Labo to keep attention on the Switch. Only time will tell to see exactly how the situation is handled.