Considering the success of the Switch, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Nintendo has no intention of leaving the hardware scene at any point in the near future. In a corporate management briefing, Nintendo confirmed that they are working on new hardware: but as for when it will release, apparently they are only willing to say this it will be sometime before 2099.
More accurately, the statement was that their “next gaming system” would launch sometime in “20XX.” That pretty much just means sometime this century. Of course, there’s little doubt that, whatever this new system may be, it will be released long before the end of the century. We’re not entirely sure why Nintendo decided to be this ridiculously vague about a window of time for their next console, but it’s probably because they don’t want to commit to any date at this moment in time. Chances are their next console is still very early in development, so it would be premature to provide a launch date.
Nintendo made a little graphic about their console sales over the years, in which they completely omitted the Wii U. We can’t really blame them, since that console only sold approximately 13 million units throughout its entire lifetime. Thankfully though, the total failure of the Wii U ultimately led to the Switch, which outsold the prior in just ten months.
In other news, the 3DS has been completely discontinued as of last week. At this moment in time, the only Nintendo systems that are actually being produced right now are the Switch and the Switch Lite. Since the Lite is essentially filling the role of a dedicated handheld device, there’s not much reason to have a completely different system and format in production. Whether or not that continues to be true as Nintendo faces next-generation competition from other companies remains to be seen.
As of June 30th, the Nintendo Switch has sold 61 million units worldwide. It also recently set a new US record for the highest dollar sales of any console in history for the month of August. Taking those numbers into consideration, and considering the fact that Nintendo has exclusive games that you wouldn’t be able to enjoy by getting an Xbox or a PlayStation anyway, it seems unlikely that they need to make something to replace the Switch anytime soon.
Even so, Nintendo is expected to release an enhanced version of the Switch sometime in 2021, so we certainly wouldn’t see a new Nintendo console until after that. Nintendo consoles usually enjoy a production life of around 5-6 years, but Nintendo believes the Switch may last even longer, so it’ll probably be some time before we see whatever new console Nintendo has in mind.