The Nintendo Switch may be nearly six years old, but it has proven to have serious staying power, redefining what a console generation looks like with its longevity. In fact, Nintendo plans to increase the number of the consoles it’s making, according to a report from Bloomberg, having shipped around 21 million Switch systems in its fiscal year that ends in March.
Nintendo reportedly informed suppliers that it expects to build more units in its next fiscal year, beginning in April. It previously lowered its expectations to 19 million units but now sees a path where the system stays more popular.
The Switch was particularly hard to find early in the pandemic, as people stayed inside and looked for entertainment while Nintendo battled the same chip shortages as other electronics manufacturers.
But Nintendo’s console is showing its age in one respect: the Nvidia Tegra X1 system-on-a-chip, which released two years prior to the Switch even launching. While many of Nintendo’s first-party games are still running OK on the hardware (though there were some performance concerns about Pokémon Scarlet and Violet), games that have been ported from other systems aren’t up to snuff graphically.
There have been rumors swirling of a next-gen Switch for years now. In 2021, at the peak of the speculation, Nintendo released a Switch with an OLED screen, including a larger panel but the same SOC. However, some potential buyers may continue to hold fast, waiting to see if a more powerful next-gen system comes.
The Switch lineup starts at $199.99 for the Switch Lite, goes to $249.99 for the regular Switch and $349 for the Switch OLED. That low price might be attractive as fears of a potential economic recession swirl.
In 2023, Nintendo’s flagship title will be The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which is set to launch on May 12. It’s the sequel to the smash hit The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (which released at the Switch’s launch), so that may help push unit sales. In addition, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the company make a Zelda-themed Switch for the occasion, enticing hardcore fans and collectors.
Some rumors have suggested a new console could accompany that game, or that it could be cross-platform with the current Switch, but there’s nothing concrete there at the moment.
Other games that could help push Switch sales this year include Fire Emblem Engage (which comes out today), Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon and a number of games coming to other systems as well, like Hogwarts Legacy, Disgaea 7, Tales of Symphonia Remastered and Octopath Traveller II.
But it seems like the Switch and its Tegra X1 will chug on for a while longer. Nintendo appears to have confidence in it.