Originally launched in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch was still the best-selling console of 2022, besting both the newer – and more expensive – PS5 and Xbox Series X|S by a large margin due to its continued popularity all over the world, but especially in Japan and Europe.
According to a Bloomberg report, Nintendo has now advised suppliers to prepare for increased production of the Switch starting in April 2023 – an unusual step for a console that is now almost six years old. Defying analysts who predict Switch sales to slow down in the coming months, Nintendo seems to believe that the console can maintain its current trajectory for longer.
This might well be due to the impending release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, an open-world RPG that was crowned as the most-anticipated game of the year at last year’s The Game Awards. Sequel to the enormously successful and popular Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom will undoubtedly be among the Nintendo Switch’s biggest releases ever.
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What is Nintendo’s succession plan?
The step has also opened the way to debate around how Nintendo’s plans for the future may look – the Switch will need a successor eventually, especially as its technical capabilities fall further and further behind compared to other devices.
The console’s natural lifecycle can’t be all that long anymore and Nintendo doesn’t seem to plan for the release of an enhanced version to bridge the gap between the Switch and a next-gen successor – looking at the continued sales numbers, of course, that doesn’t seem like a step that’s really necessary.
There is a historical precedent for Nintendo’s current actions, though: The Wii saw increased production shortly before the announcement of the Wii U in 2011. That said, Nintendo is likely well advised to never repeat anything it did regarding the Wii U, one the biggest flops in the company’s recent history.