Nintendo is Switching it Up Again with a Successor to the Switch

A group of Nintendo employees, executives, and legendary game developers gather for a photo above their June 2019 E3 showroom in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Get your wallets ready, folks! The long fabled “Switch Pro” rumors are, as far as I am concerned, real! That a prominent business outlet such as Bloomberg would be reporting on it with specific details including a 7-inch Samsung-derived OLED screen, 4K resolution when docked, and prospective dates surrounding announcement, production, and launch strongly suggests that this rumor is indeed true. What an exciting possibility!

The name for this mid-life cycle upgrade is only privy to a select few at the top of the 131 year-old company headquartered in Kyoto. Though the sources close to the matter believe that Nintendo’s latest product will avoid the brunt of the perils of the global tech supply shortages, they do not believe it will escape a price increase beyond the original $300 price point upon its likely Autumnal release.

For me, a long-time “Switch Pro” skeptic, I still wonder what will become of the original and lite versions if the hardware gulf is larger than that of the original 3DS and it’s “New” successor. Will there be concurrent development of software for both sets of hardware, or will the technological cleavage be so large that this marks the end of the life of the original Switch? Given that sources claim they expect the Switch to be “phased out” after it’s successor’s launch, the latter seems likely.

That begs the question, what will the legacy be for the four year-old console? Beyond a few truly new titles that were mostly sequels in popular franchises, it seems like this console will be remembered as the innovative console that was marketed well enough to allow refurbished Wii U era content to finally reach the heights of commercial success Nintendo is accustomed to despite the worst innate, ongoing hardware failure in the company’s history. In other words, the Switch will be remembered as a console who’s hardware seem poised to turn the page for Nintendo but was spent fighting and winning the last war only to set the stage for an intra-life cycle upgrade to drive Nintendo’s software into the future.

It’s a seemingly promising but unfulfilling legacy. For the loyal 15 million of us Wii U owners, we’ve been ready to move forward, but I do wonder how many of the 84 million+ Switch owners will be ready to shell out $300+ again so soon for Nintendo?

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University of Cincinnati MS marketing graduate who is deeply fascinated by persuasion and politics. I enjoy writing occasional political & business analysis.

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Justin Katt

Justin Katt

University of Cincinnati MS marketing graduate who is deeply fascinated by persuasion and politics. I enjoy writing occasional political & business analysis.