The Switch is Nintendo's “main business” at the moment, but all eyes are on the horizon

Which should be obvious. With 139.36 million units sold as of December 31, 2023, hardware sales may be declining, but for a console in this final stage of its life cycle, the Switch is in poor health, with more users playing than ever before. And Nintendo still sells a wide range of hardware. Programming.

For example, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has surpassed 60 million in sales, Pokémon Scarlet & Violet has surpassed Gold & Silver to become the third best-selling Pokémon game of all time, and more recent releases Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Super Mario Bros. Wonder was a huge success. Sales topped 20 million and 10 million respectively (the latter in just two months).

We're still moving 40 scullion copies a week, give or take — Image: Damian McFerran/Nintendo Life

So where does this leave “Switch 2” and the deluge of hardware rumors we've been wading through for months?

It's the same story every time the cycle comes to an end. How do you pass it on to the next generation without killing the golden goose?

Well, it's still exactly where it was. Furukawa's statement is certainly accurate, and on paper, it will likely remain so for the entire year — even if there is a successor. He is It was announced and launched in 2024. Manufacturing enough units to meet demand is always difficult (just ask Sony and Microsoft), so, even if a new console were to launch, hypothetically, in October or November 2024, Nintendo would struggle to produce enough quantities to outperform On OG keys.

Based on an LCD production estimate that's supposedly tied to an upcoming unannounced console, it's suggested that Nintendo will aim to manufacture over 10 million units by the end of March 2025. If we assume a lower profit margin on brand new hardware, combined with the fact that we're not talking About the sale here (the number of consoles that have passed through the supply chain and reached the hands of paying customers), just Nintendo's rumored production goals, Furukawa's statement seems more tempered. Yes, the shelf-stable system with a massive library of critically-acclaimed hits is clearly the “mainstream business” right now. It's possible that “Switch 2” will launch this year and the current console will almost certainly remain the best overall sales performer for the year. Any way you look at it, the Nintendo exec is just that Technically correct.

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Evasive answers are par for the course, especially when everyone is dying to hear more about the new hottest. It's the same story every time the cycle comes to an end: How do you pass on to the next generation without killing the golden goose in the process?

Nintendo DS with Metroid Prime Pinball
“The third column” is my foot – Image: Damian McFerran/Nintendo Life

The strange experience that was the Nintendo DS became famous as the “third pillar” to accompany the Game Boy handheld and home console lines – that was until its success rendered the GB obsolete and the third pillar angle was soon forgotten. Nintendo bungled the handoff from the Wii to the Wii U to such an extent that starting with the Switch felt like an entirely new game, with no thriving predecessor or revenue stream to worry about interrupting. It's understandable that the company is cautious this time around, as it has a lot to lose if the 'Switch 2' turns out to be the 'Switch U'.

Furukawa has been optimistic about the Switch's longevity several times in the past, but as the hardware soldiers on approaching its eighth year, the many and varied rumors make it clear that there is a huge appetite for new hardware from both gamers and Nintendo investors. We wait for the usual posting of investor Q&A text for more quibbles, though we wonder if Furukawa can get through another round of results in three months on just the OG Switch fumes.

Crucially, there's nothing in these new comments to suggest we won't get new news about Nintendo hardware in 2024. This is a classic Third Party-style comment to offer reassurance and avoid saying anything to spoil a marketing machine that's been fine-tuned and tweaked to perfection before Unleash the amazing strategy “Switch 2”. (Please, just reveal the name already – our single quote key needs a rest!)

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So, for those eager to hear more about the legendary follow-up, keep your yellow alert on. Who among you is tired of the torrent of rumors and insinuations? Keep those shields on.

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