Nintendo Won’t Let Go Of The Original Switch Easily
This could be the last year the Nintendo Switch will be the company’s main hardware piece. There have been rumours circulating for years a successor would be released, and reports are suggesting an upgraded device could be here really soon, including a possible 2024 launch.
Nintendo doesn’t appear to be happy with letting the original device go, especially after its strong 2023. The hottest properties this year include a new mainline Zelda in ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ and a classic Mario title.
The last time they launched a major Zelda and Mario in the same year was 2017, at the same time the Switch debuted.
‘Tears of the Kingdom’ felt as if it was pushing the boundaries of what the Switch is capable of, and ‘Super Mario Bros. Wonder’ is quite a large production considering the 2D side-scroller.
Nintendo built a new engine for the game and didn’t advise the development team of a specific deadline to focus on quality.
Mario developer Takashi Tezuka said, “We wanted to create a game with much more to offer than ever before, so this time, we didn’t set a fixed time period for development, which is usually decided before we kick off. To create something truly enjoyable, we decided to take our time and dedicate ample budget for development without having to worry about the production schedule.”
Over the years, the Switch has gone through some big releases, and this year also had ‘Pikmin 4,’ and modern updates to ‘Advance Wars’ and ‘Metroid Prime.’ It also had new Bayonetta and Fire Emblem games, multiple Pokémon releases, experiments including ‘F-Zero 99,’ and upcoming titles such as ‘WarioWare: Move It!’ and ‘Super Mario RPG.’
Six years later, and the release calendar is on top, with Nintendo broadening horizons outside of games, and becoming a traditional entertainment company.
Even with a Switch successor launch this year, it doesn’t mean the end for the original. Similar to the 3DS, it will continue, just quietly while the new console finds its feet.
There are some first-party games tipped for 2024, including ‘Princess Peach: Showtime!’ and remakes of ‘Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door’ and ‘Another Code.’
Normally, successful Nintendo consoles will die a slow, dignified death but the Switch reached a milestone of becoming the 2nd bestselling Nintendo hardware piece, selling almost 130 million units.
Some are preparing for the most pivotal console transition in the company’s history, with the Switch proving it can offer a unified version of Nintendo’s console and portable businesses.
Consumer expectations have changed, and users now expect games and other content to carry forward when they upgrade. This wasn’t a strong point for Nintendo historically. But it will be crucial to keep the momentum going.