As reports of a Switch successor continue to build momentum, despite carefully phrased rebuffs from Nintendo, the Mario maker has said it’ll continue to release titles for its current console “without being bound by the traditional concept of the platform lifecycle.”
Nintendo made the statement (thanks GameInformer) as part of its latest earnings report – in which it also confirmed Switch sales have now surpassed 132m units – writing, “Switch will be entering its eighth year in March 2024. We will continue to release new titles and content for Nintendo Switch without being bound by the traditional concept of the platform lifecycle.”
The inference (which isn’t the same as confirmation, of course) is that should a Switch successor launch next year, as is widely reported, Nintendo won’t be viewing it as end-of-life for its existing machine. That’s perhaps not much of a surprise given it’ll still have a substantial number of current Switch owners clamouring for new content with no plans to immediately upgrade, but it’s something of a departure from its traditional release strategy.
In the past, the launch of new-generation Nintendo hardware has seen the company’s first-party release focus transition almost immediately to its newest platform, but Nintendo’s statement suggests it’ll be taking a different tack this time around. Whether that might mean a similar cross-gen release approach to the one initially favoured by Sony and Microsoft this generation, or two separate lines of releases, remains to be seen.
Nintendo has already announced a robust line-up of Switch titles leading through to at least the summer of next year – including Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Princess Peach: Showtime!, Another Code Recollection, and Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD, with the likes of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door HD and Metroid Prime 4 also on the way – and the company has said its goal is to “minimise the dip you typically see in the last year of one cycle and the beginning of another”. Its latest statement pointing to continued support for Switch, however vague, perhaps offers a further clue on how it’s planning to achieve that.