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Article Switch 2 most likely won't release before 2025, how can Nintendo maintain momentum until then?

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With recent reports of the Switch 2 releasing in March 2025 at the earliest (Nikkei), semi-confirmed by Nintendo's forecast (an aggressive 13.5m for Switch 1 during the FY) and communication in early May (Switch 2 news this FY but not at the June Direct), it is the time to follow up the first thread on Switch's transition and momentum.


This is the second part of a bigger series. Today we will try to answer the following question : how can Nintendo maintain the brand's momentum when most of their workforce is focused on making games for the successor ?

General context


The current FY has been forecasted with a small decrease for Nintendo Switch sales, from 15.7M to 13.5M (-14%). This is a challenging forecast, especially since no game of the Zelda/Mario/Pokémon caliber has been announced yet. Tears of the Kingdom was a big driver of Switch sales last FY. This is paving the way for the Switch to eventually surpass the PS2 (160M) as the best-selling console of all-times.

On a broader view, 2024 is a challenging year for the industry, marked by struggling publishers with rounds and rounds of layoffs whereas Xbox is fighting to find its own identity and reigniting interest on the brand. Playstation 5 is nonetheless doing good to great but the FY will not be a busy one for PS Studio in terms of output and hardware declines are expected by Sony despite the rumored launch of a new model (PS5 Pro).

Lastly, Grand Theft Auto VI has recently been set for a Fall 2025 release and won't disrupt the current FY.

In this context, there are ways for Nintendo to keep momentum around their IPs and Switch brand :
  1. Games, obviously
  2. Audiovisual / mobile content
  3. Bundles, price promotions ... and a new revision ?

Potential Nintendo Switch games

When it comes to the upcoming Switch release schedule, let's resume the facts:
  • There are 3 Switch games dated, all between May and July (Paper Mario, LM2 HD and NES WC)
  • There are two other Switch games announced, Metroid Prime 4 (TBD) and Pokémon Legends Z-A (2025)
  • Nintendo's president announced the company would be holding a Nintendo Direct in June, its first of the year.
Given the upcoming launch of the successor and Nintendo's current output, it seems like there is a clear pattern of what games they deem fit to release at this point of the Switch lifecycle. The games are mostly externally developped, not graphic intensive showcase/not laser focused on the core audience, and are mostly remakes.

Let's think of their options in that context:

SI_3DS_TomodachiLife.jpg

Tomodachi Life (3DS, 2013)

Probably the IP with the highest potential that still didn't make its way on the Switch. It has been more than a decade since the release of Tomodachi Life. It was a top 10 best-selling game on 3DS with over 6,7M units sold. The audience is there and has been expanded with the smashing success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It could be a great Holiday release.

H2x1_CharacterHub_DonkeyKong_image1280w.jpg


Another big IP missing a new game on Switch is Donkey Kong. There have been multiple reports of Nintendo trying to find a home for the big Ape, with little success. It seems like they have taken things in their own hands with EPD Tokyo (the usual 3D Mario team) recruiting for a 2D game. The franchise will also be on the spotlight this year with the opening of dedicated section in Nintendo's World, Nintendo's own amusement park. Coul be another great Holiday release.

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Metroid Prime 4
is a tricky question since it doesn't fit the profile of games mentioned before. Some could argue that it could be a great cross-gen release and it will ultimately depend on what Nintendo has in store for the Switch 2 launch. Still, the game has been rebooted in Late 2018 (with an official announcement in January 2019) and should be very close to completion. Metroid Prime 1 HD also showed how good the game could look on Switch 1 too.

best-switch-remakes.large.jpg

(Examples of some previous Switch remakes/remasters)
Lastly, they could release more remakes/remasters as those can be easily outsourced and developped more quickly than full blown games. They are multiple options on the table :

  • Fire Emblem Remake, as Shadow of Valentia was a 2017 release.​
  • Zelda remasters like Wind Waker and Twilight Princess which are amongst the few games that were not ported from the WiiU​
  • Metroid Prime 2 & 3 ? In case MP4 isn't for this year.​
  • Bandai Namco is working on a Nintendo remake, is it the right time for it ?​
  • Remasters/remakes of dormant franchises like Star Fox, Golden Sun or F-Zero ?​
  • Pokémon Remakes ? 2024 looks to be another off year for the franchise, or is it ?​
These remasters/remakes don't have the same level of potential, ranging from 1m to 15m but could provide a nice swan song for the Switch.

Audiovisual / mobile content

Nintendo also have the option to rely on mobile (like in in 2016 with the GO craze) to keep its brand power up during the transition. As such we can mention the upcoming Pokémon TCG mobile release that should generate excitement and millions of downloads.

pokemon-tcg-pocket.jpg

Pokémon Pocket, 2024

Still, GO isn't something you can expect to replicate and it seems like Nintendo has other plans. Indeed, in the recent financial briefing, and following the acquisition of Nintendo Pictures, they admitted to be working on audiovisual content beyond the theatrical releases. Could be expect a show or any kind of content to be released this year based on Nintendo IPs ? There are countless examples of big boosts following such releases (Witcher, Mario, TLOU, Fallout...).

Bundles, price promotions ... and a new revision ?
This year we will need to implement various initiatives to sell the forecasted number ofNintendo Switch. During last year's holiday season, we sold hardware bundled with software, and we also conveyed the appeal of having multiple units of Nintendo Switch in a household. We plan to implement various initiatives to approach 13.5 million units of sales in the current fiscal year as well.
Nintendo, May 10th 2024, Q&A
The 13.5m forecast for the Switch this FY is challenging and Nintendo mentioned how it could reach that number. One of the key strategy is to increase the number of Switch per households by catering to families and kids. How could they convince people that didn't jump in yet ?
  • By lowering the entry barrier
  • Offering a new value proposition
There are multiple ways Nintendo could try to lower the entry barrier. The thing to keep in mind is that you don't want to devalue your product when the successor is near, Switch maintained its launch price in Japan/US for so long after all. Therefore, they use of bundles and temporary price cuts (during the Holidays) could be the way to go. Options like a definitive price cut and/or a Select line doesn't make much sense before the successor release (after is another topic altogether).

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It is a me, the Mario Kart Bundle ! Edition 8 ?

Lastly, Nintendo will want to speak to this audience today and after the successor's release, which will probably be too pricey initially for kids and most families. In the past, this has often translated to the release of a cheaper revision at the tail end of the system life :

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The new Nintendo 2DS XL launched to replace the n3DS models as a cheaper alternative, scrapping the 3D in the process

A new revision definitely could help Nintendo to reach its target while expanding its audience to families and kids. If the strategy is to increase the number of Switch per household is it going to build on the main model (like the 3DS) or the cheaper one ? Is 2024 the right timing for a revision or is better for after the Switch 2 launch ?

To conclude, it does seem like 2024 is going to be a big transition year for Nintendo, and as such needs to be managed well to keep interest around the brand and its ecosystem high while we wait for the Switch 2. However, the competion struggles and the overall 2024 release schedule is giving them enough air to exist. The upcoming June Direct will shed the light on their plans for 2024 and will tell how easily their upcoming games will generate sales and hype without taking away from what could be Switch 2 launch window games. They have ways beyond games to deliver (2016 was a great example of that between the 3DS, Go and the NES Mini) so it will be interesting to see how things will unfold.

In light of all that, how do you think Nintendo is going to balance things out between the need to keep the momentum going and the will to push as hard as possible the Switch successor ?

Industry News Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) appoint Hermen Hulst and Hideaki Nishino as the new PlayStation CEOs, directly reporting to Totoki

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BREAKING: Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation) will replace former boss Jim Ryan with two new CEOs: Hermen Hulst (CEO of studios) and Hideaki Nishino (CEO of platforms), both reporting to Chairman Hiroki Totoki, company says. Effective June 1.


Hulst is CEO of the newly named Studio Business Group, which includes all of PlayStation’s first-party teams, plus covers the development of PlayStation IP onto other mediums, such as TV and film. Hulst was already head of PlayStation Studios. He was previously the co-founder of Horizon and Killzone developer Guerrilla Games, which was acquired by Sony in 2005.

"I am thrilled to lead the studio business group and continue to build on our success with PlayStation 5, while preparing for the future,” Hulst said in a statement. “The video game industry is one of the largest entertainment industries in the world and has been built on the marriage of content and technology, and I look forward to continuing to push the boundaries of play and entertainment.”

Hideaki Nishino will lead the Platform Business Group, which includes console hardware, technology, accessories, PlayStation Network and third-party relations (covering major publishers and indie studios). He was already SVP of Platform Experiences. He’s been part of the Sony business since 2006, holding numerous roles at Sony Network Entertainment, Sony Corporation and SIE.

"We will continue to connect players and creators through world-class products, services, and technology," Nishino said. "We always strive to grow our community even bigger with innovation in every area at Sony Interactive Entertainment.”

"I am honored to be appointed such an important role alongside Hermen. By working more closely together, we will be positioned to build incredible experiences for an ever-expanding audience now and in the future."

Both leaders will report to Sony Interactive Entertainment chairman Hiroki Totoki, who has been acting CEO of the division since Jim Ryan stepped down from the role at the end of March. Totoki is also president, COO and CFO of Sony Group Corporation. The latest changes will take effect from June 1st.

“Sony Interactive Entertainment is a dynamic and growing business that delivers incredible entertainment experiences through the connection of content and technology," Totoki said. "These two leaders will have clear responsibilities and will manage strategic direction to ensure the focus remains on deepening engagement with existing PlayStation users and expanding experiences to new audiences."

Media Create Media Create Sales: Week 51, 2023 (Dec 18 - Dec 24)

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Media Create Sales: Week 51, 2023 (Dec 18 - Dec 24)

01./01. [NSW] Super Mario Bros. Wonder <ACT> (Nintendo) {2023.10.20} (¥5.980)
02./02. [NSW] Momotaro Dentetsu World: Chikyuu wa Kibou de Mawatteru! <TBL> (Konami) {2023.11.16} (¥6.300)
03./03. [NSW] Pikmin 4 <ACT> (Nintendo) {2023.07.21} (¥5.980)
04./04. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe <RCE> (Nintendo) {2017.04.28} (¥5.980)
05./00. [NSW] Pokemon Violet # <RPG> (Pokemon Co.) {2022.11.18} (¥5.980)

Top 5

NSW - 5

(Taiwan)
01./01. [NSW] Super Mario Bros. Wonder <ACT> (Nintendo) {2023.10.20}
02./00. [NSW] Nintendo Switch Sports <SPT> (Nintendo) {2022.04.29}
03./00. [NSW] Super Mario RPG <RPG> (Nintendo) {2023.11.17}
04./00. [NSW] The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom <ADV> (Nintendo) {2023.05.12}
05./04. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe <RCE> (Nintendo) {2017.12.15}

Top 5

NSW - 5

(South Korea)
01./01. [NSW] Super Mario Bros. Wonder <ACT> (Nintendo) {2023.10.20}
02./00. [NSW] The War of Genesis: Remnants of Gray <SLG> (LINE Games) {2023.12.22}
03./04. [NSW] Nintendo Switch Sports <SPT> (Nintendo) {2022.04.29}
04./02. [NSW] Animal Crossing: New Horizons <ETC> (Nintendo) {2020.03.20}
05./03. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe <RCE> (Nintendo) {2017.12.15}

Top 5

NSW - 5

Famitsu Sales: Week 52, 2023 (Dec 18 - Dec 24)

01./01. [NSW] Super Mario Bros. Wonder <ACT> (Nintendo) {2023.10.20} (¥5.980) - 156.304 / 1.483.967 <80-100%> (+65%)
02./02. [NSW] Momotaro Dentetsu World: Chikyuu wa Kibou de Mawatteru! <TBL> (Konami) {2023.11.16} (¥6.300) - 102.624 / 705.685 <60-80%> (+64%)
03./04. [NSW] Pikmin 4 <ACT> (Nintendo) {2023.07.21} (¥5.980) - 60.982 / 1.101.420 <80-100%> (+75%)
04./03. [NSW] Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince # <RPG> (Square Enix) {2023.12.01} (¥6.980) - 38.460 / 471.902 <80-100%> (+9%)
05./00. [PS5] Marvel's Spider-Man 2 # <ACT> (Sony Interactive Entertainment) {2023.10.20} (¥8.164) - 32.255 / 145.748 <40-60%>
06./08. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe <RCE> (Nintendo) {2017.04.28} (¥5.980) - 29.468 / 5.614.614 <80-100%> (+80%)
07./06. [NSW] Minecraft # <ADV> (Microsoft Game Studios) {2018.06.21} (¥3.600) - 27.752 / 3.383.502 <80-100%> (+63%)
08./09. [NSW] Super Smash Bros. Ultimate # <FTG> (Nintendo) {2018.12.07} (¥7.200) - 27.290 / 5.389.560 <80-100%> (+85%)
09./07. [NSW] WarioWare: Move It! <ETC> (Nintendo) {2023.11.03} (¥4.980) - 26.673 / 131.080 <60-80%> (+61%)
10./11. [NSW] Pokemon Scarlet / Violet # <RPG> (Pokemon Co.) {2022.11.18} (¥5.980) - 24.433 / 5.235.117 <80-100%> (+84%)
11./05. [NSW] Super Mario RPG <RPG> (Nintendo) {2023.11.17} (¥5.980) - 23.889 / 438.080 <80-100%> (+38%)
12./10. [NSW] Pokemon Scarlet / Violet + The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero <RPG> (Pokemon Co.) {2023.11.03} (¥9.162) - 23.330 / 64.552 <40-60%> (+73%)
13./00. [NSW] Spy x Anya: Operation Memories # <ADV> (Bandai Namco Entertainment) {2023.12.21} (¥6.800) - 20.652 / NEW <60-80%>
14./00. [PS5] Baldur's Gate III <RPG> (Spike Chunsoft) {2023.12.21} (¥7.800) - 20.497 / NEW <60-80%>
15./12. [NSW] Animal Crossing: New Horizons # <ETC> (Nintendo) {2020.03.20} (¥5.980) - 20.395 / 7.634.030 <80-100%> (+63%)
16./13. [NSW] Splatoon 3 <ACT> (Nintendo) {2022.09.09} (¥5.980) - 20.173 / 4.183.201 <80-100%> (+98%)
17./15. [NSW] Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival <ACT> (Bandai Namco Entertainment) {2022.09.22} (¥5.980) - 17.615 / 271.178 <80-100%> (+87%)
18./14. [NSW] Jinsei Game for Nintendo Switch <TBL> (Takara Tomy) {2023.10.06} (¥6.000) - 17.503 / 129.411 <60-80%> (+75%)
19./19. [NSW] The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom # <ADV> (Nintendo) {2023.05.12} (¥7.200) - 13.998 / 1.922.513 <80-100%> (+89%)
20./20. [NSW] Mario Party Superstars <ETC> (Nintendo) {2021.10.29} (¥5.980) - 13.425 / 1.362.591 <80-100%> (+86%)
21./17. [NSW] Super Mario Party # <ETC> (Nintendo) {2018.10.05} (¥5.980) - 13.303 / 2.224.725 <80-100%> (+57%)
22./18. [NSW] Nintendo Switch Sports # <SPT> (Nintendo) {2022.04.29} (¥4.980) - 12.691 / 1.237.870 <80-100%> (+61%)
23./22. [NSW] Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics <ETC> (Nintendo) {2020.06.05} (¥3.980) - 10.583 / 1.205.940 <80-100%> (+110%)
24./21. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe + Booster Course Pass <RCE> (Nintendo) {2023.10.06} (¥8.000) - 8.511 / 39.487 <60-80%> (+47%)
25./28. [NSW] Momotaro Dentetsu: Showa, Heisei, Reiwa mo Teiban! <TBL> (Konami) {2020.11.19} (¥6.300) - 8.002 / 2.952.452 <80-100%> (+86%)
26./00. [NSW] The Battle Cats Unite! <SLG> (Ponos) {2020.12.03} (¥2.200) - 7.360 / 240.563 <80-100%>
27./27. [NSW] EA Sports FC 24 <SPT> (Electronic Arts) {2023.09.29} (¥6.091) - 7.327 / 55.722 <80-100%> (+68%)
28./23. [NSW] Fashion Dreamer <ETC> (Marvelous) {2023.11.02} (¥5.980) - 6.583 / 65.825 <60-80%> (+32%)
29./30. [NSW] Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe <ACT> (Nintendo) {2023.02.24} (¥5.980) - 6.524 / 512.607 <80-100%> (+68%)
30./24. [NSW] Ace Angler: Fishing Spirits # <SPT> (Bandai Namco Entertainment) {2022.10.27} (¥5.980) - 6.229 / 153.936 <80-100%> (+30%)

Top 30

NSW - 28
PS5 - 2

HARDWARE
Code:
+-------+------------+------------+------------+------------+------------+-------------+
|System |  This Week |  Last Week |  Last Year |     YTD    |  Last YTD  |     LTD     |
+-------+------------+------------+------------+------------+------------+-------------+
| NSW # |    104.320 |     94.643 |    163.556 |  3.998.063 |  4.804.546 |  31.722.110 |
| PS5 # |     49.882 |     42.316 |     68.819 |  2.555.407 |  1.154.054 |   4.932.796 |
| PS4 # |        634 |      2.430 |      3.161 |     72.807 |     22.823 |   9.490.574 |
| XBS # |        540 |      1.479 |      1.109 |    141.093 |    269.737 |     539.488 |
| 3DS # |         21 |         19 |        238 |      3.020 |     10.449 |  24.600.917 |
+-------+------------+------------+------------+------------+------------+-------------+
|  ALL  |    155.397 |    140.887 |    236.883 |  6.770.390 |  6.261.609 |  71.285.885 |
+-------+------------+------------+------------+------------+------------+-------------+
|  PS5  |     45.086 |     34.468 |     59.352 |  2.211.104 |  1.030.819 |   4.271.049 |
| PS5DE |      4.796 |      7.848 |      9.467 |    344.303 |    123.235 |     661.747 |
| XBS X |        275 |      1.239 |        331 |     72.294 |     99.120 |     244.705 |
| XBS S |        265 |        240 |        778 |     68.799 |    170.617 |     294.783 |
|NSWOLED|     66.536 |     62.868 |     83.975 |  2.814.754 |  2.799.884 |   6.386.766 |
| NSW L |     20.058 |     15.948 |     37.151 |    558.891 |    692.910 |   5.662.585 |
|  NSW  |     17.726 |     15.827 |     42.430 |    624.418 |  1.311.752 |  19.672.759 |
|  PS4  |        634 |      2.430 |      3.161 |     72.807 |     22.823 |   7.914.851 |
|n-2DSLL|         21 |         19 |        238 |      3.020 |     10.449 |   1.205.972 |
+-------+------------+------------+------------+------------+------------+-------------+

Media Create / Famitsu database
version 1.0.1 (2016 update) <-download it here

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Media Create Sales: Week 50, 2023 (Dec 11 - Dec 17)

Article Nintendo is going into next gen with a lot of momentum... and still several cards to play

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As we slowly go into 2024 and a new era for Nintendo with the expected arrival of its next platform, it is the perfect time to sit and think about Nintendo's current position in the gaming landscape.

Exceptional momentum

2023 was supposed to be a pivotal year for Nintendo. It is the year that marked the company's expansion in Movies, with its most iconic brand, and the launch of the much anticipated sequel of Breath of the Wild.

mario-movie-and-zelda-totk.jpg


So on the one hand, you had a big unknown despite Mario and Illumination's pedigree. On the other hand, you had one of your master cards, the follow-up to a breakthrough hard to dissociate to the Switch success story itself.

April: From Mister Videogame to Mister Movie?

The Super Mario Movie project was in the works for several years. As you well know, Nintendo's first foray into the movie scene was a failure. It pushed the company to pull the plug on that initiative and encouraged them to keep a tighter leesh on their IPs.

When their partnership with Illumination was announced, it both raised financial hopes and concerns. The studio was famous for both its BO successes (The Minions, Despicable Me...) and its critical shortcomings.

Saying that the anticipation and apprehension was high before the first trailer of the movie would be an understatement. It eventually happened through a dedicated Direct (a great symbol of the synergies between Nintendo's gaming culture and its movie initiatives).



I could go on and on about the Movie's roaring success but it is a topic for another day. What's certain is that the movie grossed $1.3B worldwide, and expanded Nintendo/Mario reach beyond what gaming can offer.

It was the first punch, in April, that would put Nintendo's business into an exceptional shape during that quarter and generate ton of momentum.

May: Tears of the Kingdom

Breath of the Wild was a breakthrough for The Legend of Zelda series, far exceeding previous entries. During the 6+ years gap, it continued to sell steadily from less than 3m units in its launch quarter to more than 10 times that amount.

Expectations were high for its direct sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, as fans waited impatiently for years as Nintendo slowly revealed more detail on the latest entry.

xS4OINI.png

(Credits to Peleo, numbers by the end of 2022)​

However, there were some questions too, the novelty factor faded away and the Switch was just entering its 7th year on the market by showing more and more signs of its aging hardware. How important Tears of the Kingdom would really be for Nintendo ?

It didn't take much time for the answer to come, from the launch of a special OLED edition, to the actual launch and Nintendo's official PR only two weeks passed by.

cj0smqauxn0b1.jpg

FwWUlzJWYAEww2E.jpg:large

Tears of the Kingdom managed the extremely difficult feat of matching BotW's critical reception, set a record for launch sales for Nintendo during one of the calmest month of the year (most records were set in the Holidays previously) and of boosting hardware more than 6 years after its launch:

9146954b94c829764cea9e9e628e177a

Zelda significantly raised the Switch baseline, defying cyclical decline

Switch sales rose worldwide during the quarter, to reach a very strong 3.91M units during Mario & Zelda launch quarter, a 12% growth YoY and simply the biggest outside of the Covid boost in 2020/2021. It puts Nintendo into a very comfortable position to reach their 15M forecast for the whole fiscal year since already 26% of the target is reached.

Even if it utlimately slowed down, at least on the hardware front, the momentum is very strong for an ecosystem that old and the reveal (+ now launch) of Super Mario Wonder confirmed that Nintendo would ride this wave throughout the Holiday season. They are therefore ending 2023 in a very favorable position.

So, with 2-3 significant launches in 2023, did Nintendo blow off their load and is going into 2024 empty handed ?

947508-paper-mario.jpg

A remake of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door was Nintendo's biggest announcement during September 2023's Nintendo Direct
We are currently mostly in the dark on the pipeline front. Games are key to have a successful hardware transition, it was abundantely clear for the Switch itself, so what could Nintendo really be preparing for its next console launch window ?
2017-2024: Waiting for Mario

It might sound ludicrous, given the amount of Mario related content we got since April 2023, between the movie, a new 2D Mario, a new Peach subseries coming this March, and a meaty slate of remakes. However, there's Mario and Mario, and for Nintendo, two Mario subseries are treated very specially. Those two Mario subseries have been mostly dormant since 2017, at the exception of new (but mainly outsourced) content between 2021 and 2023.

maxresdefault.jpg

For waiting right ? (excerpt of the final Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Pass credit scene, November 2023)
Mario Kart and 3D Mario have been two of the biggest cards of Nintendo's playbook:

  • The Mario Kart franchise has hit incredibly massive mainstream appeal ever since its shift to 3D. However, ever since the DS/Wii, the franchise reached new heights, being the best-selling games on every Nintendo platform ever since (3DS, WiiU, Switch).
  • For 3D Mario, the return to the sandbox formula combined with the Switch's incredible success has put the subseries to a new level. Trailers of Super Mario Odyssey remain, to this point, the most watched for a Nintendo game (55M for the reveal trailer, 41M for the E3 one in Nintendo of America YT account).

Those two massive assets for Nintendo, among the top 5 of best-selling Switch games with 57m units sold for Mario Kart and 27m for Odyssey (as of September 2023), are however pretty much dormant every since. The studios behind these games have not released a new console game since June 2017 (ARMS from the MK team) and October 2017 (Odyssey, from EPD Tokyo). There have been some work done tho, as mentioned before.

They are two of the cards, on Nintendo's sleeves, to deliver a smooth and exciting transition. For Mario Kart, the anticipation is even grander since 8 initially launched in 2014.

2023 : Pivotal year for big Western IPs ?

Funnily enough, it is partially when the Switch entered its last years (and with PS5/Xbox gaining momentum) that the signs for upcoming and meaningful Western 3rd party support were the clearest.

ea-sports-fc-24-preo.jpg

mxIC3LtMR3tG5s0l8VoygoE0.png

Call-of-Duty-2024.jpg


  • The latest FIFA entry, called EA FC 24, has been moved to the Frostbite engine after years of Legacy support (since 2019)
  • Hogwarts Legacy, 2023's highest selling game, has been released on Switch despite initially being PS5/XB/PC only, a clear sign of the effort invested in order to make the port happen. Sales of the game on Switch have been extremely strong since its launch.
  • As the ABK acquisition closed this year, it is now confirmed that Call of Duty will make its grand return on Nintendo console(s) next year after a decade+ of nothing.

While the reasons behind each of these Switch ports are different, it does position the upcoming platform into a very favorable position. They won't get everything, but they'll get the games that matter the most for mainstream audiences (with GaaS support being also strong). The only remaining member of the holy trifeca, which carried the PS/Xbox since the PS3/X360 era, is Grand Theft Auto. Its presence or absence will have an impact for 2025 sales and beyond.

gta-vi-questions.jpg

GTA VI is a big question mark, with a 2025 release date, it is ideally placed to generate momentum for a new console, only a dream ?
A few risks

  • Risk of delay - while the mometum is very strong for a console that old, the Switch still slowed down significantly this Holiday season despite the release of Super Mario Bros. Wonder. If the successor slips to 2025 (because software isn't ready for instance), then 2024 might be a big struggle.​

  • Pricing - The Nintendo Switch released in 2017 at 299$/330€/32.980Y but since then, there has been a big inflation happening and the OLED (which is a bit more expensive) is still the model with the lower margins. An increase is therefore expected, at the risk of cutting a part of Nintendo's audience. The low Yen might also make the jump higher in Japan, which would threathen domestic sales (on which several 1st/3rd party franchises on Switch relied on). The way they'll handle the Switch after its successor launches will be a key aspect to make the smooth transition they are looking for.​

  • No new Zelda game for a while - Tears of the Kindgom released in 2023 with a 6 years gap with Breath of the Wild. This is one of Nintendo's biggest assets both comercially and critically, putting the franchise in the league of other huge hardware movers. This also fills a big hole in Nintendo's library, with very few open world games coming from 3rd party publishers (those don't usually scale down well on lower powered devices). So when will the new open air Zelda release ? Probably not before 2028, and that's with Aonuma confirming that no DLC will release for Tears.​

To conclude, it does seem like Nintendo is potentially in a very good position to launch a new platform in 2024. 2023 is ending on a high note for the firm, which closed the year at the highest market cap of its whole history. Confidence is high but I'd like to take this occasions to ask you, in your opinion, how Nintendo could ensure the best transition possible, and how could it solve the risks I mentioned and/or the ones you have in mind ?

2024 will be a very exciting year
for that very reason, speculating and ultimately knowing Nintendo's grand plan for a very important "smooth transition".

nintendo-future-hardware-scaled.jpg

How much units will the Switch end up selling in Japan ?

  • <35m

    Votes: 14 10.4%
  • 35m-36m

    Votes: 37 27.6%
  • 36m-37m

    Votes: 28 20.9%
  • 37m-38m

    Votes: 29 21.6%
  • 38m-39m

    Votes: 15 11.2%
  • 39m-40m

    Votes: 1 0.7%
  • 40m+

    Votes: 10 7.5%

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