Nintendo Says the Switch Is at the “Mid-Point” of Its Lifecycle

A new console from Nintendo could be four or so years away.

Just earlier this year we were dealing with rumors of an updated Switch model that would run all its games better, but now that we know that isn’t happening right now, it’s raised questions about just how long the hardware can keep up with the games developers are putting on it. While a hypothetical model update seems to be out of the question, for the time being, Nintendo still thinks the Switch as we know it has several years ahead of it.

During the company’s financials meeting last week, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said while he couldn’t comment on what the next generation of Nintendo hardware looks like, the company views the Switch at the “mid-point” of lifespan, and that the system believes it has laid the groundwork for a lifespan that “exceeds what we previously considered to be a conventional hardware lifecycle.”

“We are not able to comment about the next game system at this time,” Furukawa said. “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.”

As of this writing, the Switch is four years old, with its fifth anniversary coming up in March of next year. So if Nintendo views the Switch as at its half-life, we could see the Switch being supported up until around 2027. That’s a long time without a new console, but the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were already pushing it when they launched eight years before the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. It is worth noting that, as far as Nintendo is concerned, this timeline might be in reference to how long it will support and manufacture the Switch, which could overlap with a new console generation. So it’s unclear at this point if the Switch has five or so years of active support in the form of new games and services, or if it’s simply going to be on store shelves for that long.

In other news:

For now, Nintendo is still putting out plenty of games on the Switch, as well as supporting old ones. The Animal Crossing: New Horizons update launched last week, and Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are headed to the system next week. Though, the online services the company offers are less exciting.