When the Switch debuted back in 2017, it immediately became apparent that Nintendo had no interest in competing with the graphics capabilities of Sony and Microsoft’s latest hardware. That didn’t stop the Switch from becoming a huge success, but it is starting to feel a bit long in the tooth compared to the likes of the Steam Deck. Those who’ve been pining for a Switch Pro model that does more than just HD resolutions are going to have wait at least another year.
That’s according to comments made by Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa after a recent earnings report call, as reported by Bloomberg. Over the past fiscal year ending in March of 2023, Nintendo sold 18 million Switch units, bringing the total sales for the console to over 125 million units. That makes the Nintendo Switch the third best-selling video game console of all time, behind the Nintendo DS (which sold over 154 million units) and the PS2 (which sold almost 155 million).
However, Nintendo doesn’t seem at all confident that the Switch will be able to eventually topple the PS2 from the number one spot, or even surpass the DS’ sales numbers. The 2022 holiday season didn’t deliver the sales numbers the company was expecting, and the six-year-old console is losing momentum faster than Nintendo had originally anticipated.
With The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releasing this week—the much-hyped sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild—Nintendo hopes to sell around 15 million Switch units this coming fiscal year, but admits that could be an optimistic stretch. After the earnings report call, Furukawa admitted it would be difficult for the company to keep the console’s sales momentum going into its seventh year. That’s probably a big reason why the company’s being cautious on an upgraded model, even if it might provide some short-term sales boosts.
Although the original Nintendo Switch has since been joined by the smaller Switch Lite, and later the Switch OLED with a much-improved and larger screen, dreams for a Switch Pro model with boosted performance specs and the ability to play games at resolutions higher than 1080P seem to be dashed for at least another year. There’s little doubt a Switch successor is enroute, but it’s hard to say what Nintendo has planned for it. Will the company continue with the hybrid handheld approach? Will it deliver what people want from a Switch Pro but with a different name and an added gimmick? It seems we’ll have to wait until at least March of 2024 to find out.
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