The hybrid Nintendo Switch console is only halfway into its lifecycle, according to Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser who promises more games are on the way for 2021.
According to Polygon, the console’s early success and sales during the COVID-19 pandemic were a large factor for Nintendo to extend its latest console’s production cycle towards a few more years. The Nintendo Switch was first introduced in stores in 2017, marking just over three years since franchises like Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing and Pokémon saw a breath of fresh air. Owners were also given a steady stream of fully-fledged console ports from third party studios, who managed to shrink titles including BioShock, Saints Row, Skyrim, Fortnite, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the new DOOM games. For Bowser, the momentum would continue for another few years before Nintendo Switch sees a successor.
“More and more people have been introduced to video gaming, have come in through the Nintendo Switch, as an example. And we’ll continue to support those consumers through our hardware, and through our software, and through our services,” Bowser said, confirming the console wouldn’t be going away anytime soon. “
It’s worth noting that production for a new console would be hampered by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, giving the company more reason to focus on building content for its Nintendo Switch; something Bowser believes has a lasting impact in current living situations. Of course, the Nintendo Switch would follow through with its six year minimum life cycle and beyond. Its past consoles including the Nintendo Wii saw a similar lifespan from 2006 – 2013, while the Nintendo 3DS stretched from 2011 to September 2020.
“Obviously, video gaming throughout the pandemic is becoming a very popular form of entertainment. It’s been a safe form of entertainment — whether it’s families at home playing on the couch together, whether it’s friends playing with friends online,” he said.
The Nintendo Switch console is just one part of a renewed interest for its franchises, so much that many characters would be featured in the Super Nintendo World theme park opening in 2021. Despite an uncertain launch window and attendance, Bowser stated it’s part of Nintendo’s new style in extending their IP with other companies. This would spawn a clothing line with Levi’s, a Lego toy line, feature movies with Illumination Studios and the culmination of Super Nintendo World.
“It’s this opportunity to create incremental touch points and introduce people around the world to Nintendo who may not be playing video games today, or may not even have access to video games today,” Bowser said, suggesting the Nintendo Switch’s life cycle is just one part of renewing a worldwide interest in its IPs.
“And that really will be our focus as we go into 2021. As I mentioned earlier, we believe we’re at the midpoint of the life cycle on the platform. And there’s many more good things to come.”