Nintendo won’t be consulted if it releases a successor to the Switch, but President Shuntaro Furukawa has made it clear that the company aims not to repeat the same mistakes it made with the Wii to Wii U and DS to 3DS transitions.
In the company’s most recent financial briefing Q&A, an attendee asked Furukawa how Nintendo aimed to smoothly transition off the Switch when it decides to release next-gen hardware. While Furukawa didn’t directly confirm new hardware or when it might arrive, he did point out that the company is keen to learn from its past mistakes:
“Looking back at past experiences of generational transitions, such as moving from the Wii and Nintendo DS eras, we realize that one of our responsibilities is to ensure that the transition to future generations of hardware is as smooth as possible,” said he.
Nintendo had tremendous success with the Wii and DS (the latter remains the best-selling hardware of all time), but their successors, the Wii U and 3DS, both suffered very rocky launches. While 3DS recovered to some extent, Wii U became one of Nintendo’s most notable failures as production ended just 5 years after launch. Much of the problem for both machines was their similarities to their predecessors, with many customers not realizing what was being upgraded and if they even needed the new hardware.
Switch, which merged Nintendo’s home and handheld hardware businesses, is still going strong in its fifth year of sales, but Nintendo is clearly thinking about how to pass a large chunk of its 100 million owners onto the next generation. The goal seems to be to get Nintendo fans to connect to Nintendo in more places than just their Switch:
“We’re focused on building long-term relationships with our customers (via Nintendo Accounts),” Furukawa continued. “As we continue to release new Nintendo Switch software for consumers to enjoy, we strive to maintain relationships across hardware generations through services that leverage Nintendo Accounts and by offering them the ability to share our intellectual property over others gaming channels.”
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