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Nintendo’s Latest Financials Show Why a Switch Successor Likely Isn’t Around the Corner Just Yet

The Nintendo Switch is about to enter its seventh year on the market, but the prospect of a successor being teased any time soon continues to move a little farther away as sales data remains strong.



We all want a successor to the Nintendo Switch, but the fact that one won’t be arriving for likely another two or more years is becoming all the more evident—and we don’t need Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa to verify that at every investor’s Q&A meeting the company holds.

On Tuesday, Nintendo released its latest financial earnings report in which (no surprise) the company saw record sales numbers once again being broken across hardware and software. The Nintendo Switch has now surpassed the Game Boy and PlayStation 4 in total hardware sales, and its software sales are on the cusp of eclipsing the one billion mark as they sit at an astounding 994.30 million units—something neither the Wii nor DS could even achieve.

While the Nintendo Switch’s total hardware sales from year-to-year did drop by a little over 21%, the statistics on the software front (and arguably even the hardware front) show that a slowdown in interest for the console is nowhere in sight. With sales this impressive, why would Nintendo crack even a whisper about what’s next for them in terms of hardware?

The logical answer is they have no reason to do so. Talking about a Switch successor at this point would only damage the promising 2023—and maybe even 2024—the company is gearing up to have.

No matter whether you are a fan of many of their current decisions or not, it is undeniable that Nintendo is living within a golden period it hasn’t had since the Wii and DS’s first three years on the market—Nintendo is celebrating through a well-earned rebound after the Wii U and 3DS era challenged their choices and forced the company to endure several failures. Nintendo has learned from its errors and has been rewarded with an opportunistic timeframe in which the company can get experimental while also working on expanding its brand and refining a plan for what is next down the line.

Nintendo Switch successor and sales data
Image: Nintendo — February 2023 Sales Unit Data

Not all of Nintendo’s recent games have been critical hits, but they are almost all considered massive commercial successes that should not be undermined. And franchises that have been seen as critical hits but have failed to garner larger audiences in the past are also riding the same success. Between aiming to create game-changing titles, extravagant theme park attractions, and major motion animated picture studios, the best decision Nintendo is making right now to expand the audience of its franchises is simply letting their names loose on such a wildly successful platform.

Nintendo is certainly not stalling until its next console launch is ready. Building a successor to the Switch is not going to be as simple as just beefing up its technical specifications. Nintendo is going to need to create a new identity for its next-generation system if they do not want to repeat any Wii U missteps. Nintendo needs to continually strengthen its intellectual properties to make its future easier. The company is using the Switch’s open-ended lifespan wisely by letting a sublime opportunity not go to waste as they continue to reach more players than ever before rather than gambling with a leap toward the sharks with potential growth left behind.

In the video game industry, software will always be more important than hardware. It’s this way of thinking that has partly helped Nintendo build such a recognizable brand between both casual and hardcore audiences. Nintendo may not have the most powerful specs on the market or the most amazing titles on a visual technical scale, but they have the most powerful names in the industry thanks to their leading characters. Every gamer knows Mario, Luigi, Link, Zelda, and Pikachu, but Nintendo might as well try and make some of their B-tier names like Kirby and Samus stand alongside the bigwigs.

Nintendo’s first-party exclusives have helped create a console ecosystem that can thrive without the overwhelming support of the third-party publishers that Sony and (more so) Microsoft have required since the establishment of the first PlayStation and Xbox—and while this sentiment had certainly failed Nintendo in the past, it’s becoming all the more successful thanks to the popularity of the Switch. As long as Nintendo keeps rolling out the games both die-hard and casual fans want to see and experiences worth binging whether you are on the couch or on the go, the Switch’s, or rather Nintendo’s audience, will only continue to grow.

Nintendo is treading amidst an era where they do not have to put their foot in the door to convince players who have not tried some of their franchises to play their newest games; in comparison to the last few years, they have been able to rip off the whole damn door for many titles. Some of Nintendo’s most recognizable franchises that have struggled to hit huge sales numbers are unsurprisingly gaining more interest than ever before as they climb into the top charts. While their guaranteed successes are just ballooning in sales like never before, Nintendo has been doing a rather admirable job using the Switch in an underlying way to expand the fandoms of their underdogs–some of which are still sitting in the trenches waiting for their turn to shine.

Nintendo Switch successor and sales data
Image: Nintendo — Metroid Dread

For example, Kirby may be one of the video game industry’s most iconic characters, but HAL Laboratory’s mascot has always notoriously suffered from low game sales. Kirby and the Forgotten Land surpassed six million units sold this past December, which is a million more copies than the previous highest-selling Kirby game, Kirby’s Dream Land—the pink puff’s debut title that held an undefeated record for 30 years as all of its follow-ups failed to find the same commercial success. For comparison, neither of the mainline Kirby games released on the Nintendo 3DS were able to hit half of the Forgotten Land’s sales numbers–and the same can be said when put against 2017’s Kirby Star Allies. Metroid Dread’s three million units may seem hollow when placed against the Forgotten Land’s doubled number, but it’s the highest-selling Metroid game ever—which is especially more impressive for a franchise that has been dormant on consoles for more than a decade.

While titles like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continue to reach new milestones every few months, franchises like Pokémon are seeing incredible launches that keep toppling the last. The fact that Pokémon Scarlet & Pokémon Violet could sell 20 million units combined while only being available for less than three months should put the Nintendo Switch’s unstopped success into perspective–even if this system may not be, at times, pushing out the highest quality experiences possible (whether that is because of developer troubles or hardware specs), it has dozens of titles absolutely worth playing for the price.

There is no reason for Nintendo to hightail it to the future when they have laid out a machine that continues to thrive. Despite the outcry of fans for a next-generation system (trust me, I’m one of them) and clear signs that developers could be doing more if they had better hardware, these pleas do not counter what the sales say. The video game industry is changing every year—especially after the pandemic only surged the industry to greater global success—and it is time to accept that console generations are only getting longer, especially as the leading industry giants all head in separate directions. Video game console and software sales generally slow down when the competition begins discussing next-generation tech, and as long as Nintendo avoids the conversation itself and keeps up with a well-paced schedule of notable content, it won’t have to worry about a Switch successor or Switch 2 for quite a while.

Creative writer, NXpress Host, and Games Editor. I have always held a high interest in the fields of professional writing and communications. You can find me with my head deep in the espionage genre or in a kayak upstream. I’ll always be first in line for the next Hideo Kojima or Masahiro Sakurai game.