At this point, it is fairly evident that Nintendo will launch a true successor to the Nintendo Switch in 2024. Seven years following the console’s release, Nintendo is expected to have a similar form factor while modernizing the console’s graphical and computational architecture. The current rumored benchmark is somewhere close to a PlayStation 4 Pro. The comparison is not a coincidence.
When the yet-to-be-named “Switch 2” launches, current Switch console sales should be somewhere around 150 to 160 million units. It is going to be a massive undertaking for Nintendo to convince all of these players to buy new hardware. It is something that the brand struggled with following the Wii, into the launch of the Wii U.
Nintendo’s Approach to the Switch 2
Of course, this is not something they are going to try to do overnight or even within the console’s first three years. Although a hot start will be important. While I fully expect the console to launch with a new 3D Mario game, Metroid Prime 4, and an all-new Mario Kart within its first year, there will be a massive wave of PS4 and Xbox One games coming as well.
While many publishers have tried and failed to bring fully functioning ports to the Nintendo Switch, many have not tried at all. When the “Switch 2” launches, we are going to see both publishers in these categories bring games to the new hardware. One great example would be Warner Bros. Games which fit into both of these categories. This year they released the new Mortal Kombat 1 on the Switch and while it is one of the best fighting games of the past 10 years, the Switch version is an awful mess. Similarly, WB has had problems bringing Gotham Knights and Hogwarts Legacy to the platform.
The same can be said for publishers like Sega, Ubisoft, Capcom, and Activision. All of these publishers want to reach the largest console gaming audience in the industry. Yet some of their AAA big-budget games are too big, and too graphically intensive to risk embarrassment by trying to port games like Resident Evil Village, and Call of Duty to Nintendo hardware.
A Who’s Who of Who is Coming to Nintendo and the Next Evolution of Portable Hardware
That all changes next year, and every publisher in the industry knows it. In fact, the floodgates have already opened and many publishers are porting their existing games to the hardware as a way to learn the new development pipelines. This will be a cost-effective way to release a large volume of games while creatives are still designing the next big thing. I fully expect to see franchises like Monster Hunter Worlds, Like A Dragon, Street Fighter, Assassin’s Creed, Madden, Call of Duty, Tales, WRC, UFC, Far Cry, and an endless array of others find a home on this new “Switch 2” hardware.
Prior to the Switch release in 2017, it was in development for some time. So when its successor launches next year the technology will be almost 10 years old. When it comes to gaming tech, that might as well be 100 years. In that time we have seen massive growth in the portable gaming market. Apple is now trying to launch AAA games on iOS devices. We have seen the rise of PC handhelds like the Asus Rog Ally and the Steamdeck. With that in mind, Nintendo should have no problem getting any PS4 or Xbox One game running on its hardware. All without having to make some heavy device with a 45-minute battery life.