The Switch lifecycle started in 2017
Console and system lifecycles are an interesting case study. I mean, it’s really hard to beat the likes of the PS2, which clawed its way through the industry and survived in many countries well into the launch of the PS3. But Nintendo occasionally is up to the challenge, as we say with the Wii. Will the Switch lifecycle continue that legacy? As always, it depends on a number of factors, but Nintendo seems to think so.
Here’s what president Furukawa had to say in a recent investor Q&A :
“We are not able to comment about the next game system at this time. It is now the fifth year since the launch of Nintendo Switch, and the total hardware sell-through has exceeded 90 million units. We recognize that the system is at the mid-point of its lifecycle. The launch of Nintendo Switch – OLED Model has also been contributing to continued sales momentum and we are now offering consumers three Nintendo Switch models to match their play styles and lifestyles, as well as a wide range of software.
With this, we believe a foundation for growth has been laid that exceeds what we previously considered to be a conventional hardware lifecycle. With regards to the next game system, we are considering many different things, but as far as the concept and launch timing are concerned, there is nothing we can share at this time.”
There’s a lot to unpack here. It’s paramount to understand that Furukawa is speaking to investors, first and foremost. But at the same time, “mid-point of its lifecycle” would keep the Switch going for roughly five more years at the top-end. Furukawa also specifically calls out the Switch OLED as a positive, so it’s probably going to stick around for a while.
Furukawa, always the politician, also refuses to comment on a “next game system,” even though there might be one in the works already. We don’t know if this “mid-point” comment is going to actually play out or not, but for the time being, things are going well for the Switch. Keeping the status quo doesn’t seem so bad for Nintendo.