Nintendo Switch 2 could be at least 5 years away

Nintendo Switch Lite
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo has dismissed the idea of releasing a Nintendo Switch 2 in the near future and has instead doubled down on extending the Switch’s lifespan.

While the company did concede it has plans for another system after the Switch – which probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone – any successor to Nintendo’s popular hybrid console appears to be a long, long way off.

In the Q&A portion of Nintendo’s financial briefing (thanks, Nintendo Everything), Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said that even though the Switch is nearly five years old, it’s only reaching “the mid-point of its lifecycle”, which suggests the company is committed to the Switch hardware for the foreseeable. 

“We are not able to comment about the next game system at this time,” said Furukawa-san. “It is now the fifth year since the launch of Nintendo Switch, and the total hardware sell-through has exceeded 90 million units. We recognize that the system is at the mid-point of its lifecycle.”

Nintendo’s admission is surprising, considering it has generally stuck to a traditional five-year lifecycle before releasing new hardware. However, it did recently launch the Nintendo Switch OLED, a refined and greatly improved version of the original Switch but one that doesn’t improve the internal hardware in any way.

“The launch of Nintendo Switch – OLED Model has also been contributing to continued sales momentum and we are now offering consumers three Nintendo Switch models to match their play styles and lifestyles, as well as a wide range of software,” said Furukawa-san. “With this, we believe a foundation for growth has been laid that exceeds what we previously considered to be a conventional hardware lifecycle.”

Judging by Furukawa-san’s comments, there’s a chance an improved Switch could be released, something akin to a Nintendo Switch Pro, before we see a dedicated successor to the Switch. In terms of what direction the company will go next with its hardware, well, that remains to be seen. It’s almost impossible to predict what sort of concept the company will hone in on, and Furukawa-san remained tight-lipped. 

“With regards to the next game system, we are considering many different things, but as far as the concept and launch timing are concerned, there is nothing we can share at this time.”

Analysis: do we really need a Nintendo Switch 2? 

Press image of the Nintendo Switch OLED

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Nintendo Switch continues to be a runaway success for the Kyoto-based company and demand shows no sign of waning. Nintendo has even had to concede that due to the ongoing global chip shortage, it won’t be able to meet Switch demand this holiday season.

Nintendo has seen incredible success with its software, too, with 10 of its best-selling Switch games selling in excess of 10 million units. It still has the likes of Breath of the Wild 2, Splatoon 3, and Pokémon Legends Arceus to come, which are bound to get tills ringing. The company also announced that Nintendo Switch Online now has 32 million subscribers

But there’s no doubt that the Nintendo Switch – as fantastic as it is – is beginning to show its age in the graphical department. With no 4K output when docked, subpar framerates, and some extremely compromised ports, many would welcome a more powerful and capable model.

Rumors about a Switch Pro or 4K-enabled Switch refuse to go away, with Bloomberg reporting that some developers have had access to a more powerful Switch for a while now, something which Nintendo has categorically denied. 

Nintendo is also about to get some stiff competition in the handheld console space, too, as Valve’s Steam Deck is set to release in December 2021 to those who were able to pre-order the console in time. There’s no guarantee that it will be a genuine challenger to Nintendo’s crown just yet, but it will certainly appeal to those who desire better graphics and performance or who already own a large library of Steam games.

If you’re still in the market for a Switch, we’ll be rounding up all the Black Friday Nintendo Switch deals you need to know about. 

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.