Sure, Switch 2 / Pro is a headache for Nintendo!

business news Sure, Switch 2 / Pro is a headache for Nintendo!

While a journalist confesses that the Switch Pro is no longer around, the new model of the hybrid console seems closer than ever! Of course it’s a headache for Nintendo, which is not the king of generational changes… However, there is no choice, we have to think about the future.

Perspective story:

This article is an opinion, it is subjective. The author’s opinion is personal and does not represent the opinion of other JV editorial staff. Thanks in advance, happy reading!

Yes, we’re feeling old: The Nintendo Switch will soon be celebrating six years of its existence. Years of fun on Mario, Pokémon, Zelda, but isn’t it time to move on? For gamers, that’s for sure. The Japanese manufacturer’s consoles exhibit increasingly significant power shortages, especially when faced with products like the Steam Deck. On the other hand, Nintendo CEO Shuntaro Furukawa claims that the Switch is “in the middle of its life cycle” (October 2020) while frequently answering questions about what’s next, especially in response to its investors.

Obviously, Nintendo is thinking about what’s next! Mention of a “new video game system” is already appearing in financial reports starting in November 2021 – while that same year, the company’s investment in research and development broke records. Six years is very good for the age of the console. How long it took for the Wii U to replace the Wii – not without difficulty – and about the same for the 3DS and DS. Replace the Switch, no problem, but how? With a more powerful Pro edition or a completely new engine?

Switch Pro or Switch 2?

According to John Linneman, journalist at Digital Foundry (hardware technology specialist), the “Pro” option will now be sidelined: “I think at some point, internally, from what I can understand talking to some of the developers, there was some sort of next-generation Nintendo Switch update. mid-range and that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore,” he explained, on the occasion of a 2022 video review. “So it seems pretty clear that they’re going to make him a next-gen next machine.” The man concluded by saying he doesn’t “think the machine will come out during this year.”

After all, Nintendo has released two iterations of its hybrid console, following in the great tradition of the Game Boy, Advance, DS, and 3DS: Switch Lite (2019), exclusively dedicated to portable use; and the Switch OLED two years later, with a better screen as its main argument. Most importantly, in the past, the Japanese company has tried its hand at the Pro model with the New 3DS – more powerful than the base 3DS, even hosting an exclusive (Xenoblade Chronicles 3D). At the moment, it’s not easy to judge the success of this model, but one thing is certain: Nintendo no longer wants to stray from the Switch’s production methodswhere all forces are concentrated on one support.

Not an easy transition

As John Linneman notes in a Digital Foundry video, finding a successor to the Switch is no gift, especially when looking at Nintendo’s “up and down” past (the Gamecube fiasco, the Wii boom, the uprising for the Wii U and then the Switch). “I think Big N must be very nervous about this new transition” noted the special journalist. Their previous transition did not go well. How to make the audience happy and excited again?”.

“Looking back at past experiences of generational changes such as the changing eras of the Wii and Nintendo DS, we realized that one of our tasks was to ensure that the transition to the next generation was as smooth as possible” – Nintendo CEO Shuntaro Furukawa (VideoGameChronicle)

(At the time of the new Zelda reveal, specialists felt the game shouldn’t run on the original Switch)

Sure, Switch 2 / Pro is a headache for Nintendo!

In this regard, another message from Shuntaro Furukawa: “the determining factor of whether to market a product or not (such as a new console – editor’s note) is whether it can create a new experience” he explained in his column Nikkeiin February 2021. Since the arrival of the Nintendo DS, every machine from the Japanese manufacturer is based on technological innovation, with more or less success: tactile, relief drawing, motion play, asymmetric play, hybrid side. 3D aside, Switch is a summary of these successive advances. But then, what to do next?

End of innovation?

Somewhere, the Switch’s success is “getting in the way” of the desire to innovate that has driven Nintendo for twenty years. Due to the fact that, despite the drop in sales targets, it was a resounding success: according to the latest news, hybrid consoles have surpassed 114 million copies worldwide, slowly approaching the record set by PS4 (117 million) and Game Boy (118 million). As the company president repeated, even six years later, the Switch is in a great rhythm, carried by exclusives that work thunder (Pokémon Scarlet / Purple, Splatoon 3).

Overall, Nintendo faced two problems: finding a new console that would suit Switch fans (mostly new to the Japanese company’s ecosystem, drawn to the convenience of the “switch machine”). ‘top-up’) and, assuming the hybrid is only half its life, managed to make the base model coexist with the new one. As such, backwards compatibility seems to be a must. In short, everything indicates that we’re on our way to a more powerful Switch 2 of sorts.

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