If you’re a Nintendo fan, the rumor about a new upgraded console should not be breaking news. Speculated by Bloomberg in May, information of a new Switch was released at the E3 conference. The hardware console could land on the market as early as September. However, fans’ expectations dropped when no relevant news about the Nintendo Switch Pro was disclosed at E3.
In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Nintendo president Doug Bowser indirectly addressed the rumor by discussing the relationship between technology and gameplay.
“We are always looking at technology and how technology can enhance gameplay experiences. It’s not technology for technology’s sake,” Bowser told The Washington Post. “It’s how specifically can technology enhance a gameplay experience. And then where do you apply that technology? Do you want to apply it on current existing hardware or platforms, or do you want to wait for the next platform? And then what’s the right gameplay experience with that? There’s a host of factors that goes into it, and it’s something we’re always looking at.”
Matthew Kanterman, the equity research analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, acknowledged that “an upgraded Switch can be extremely valuable in extending the lifecycle of the platform.” Nintendo currently has no financial reasons to release a new console. The lifetime-to-date sales figure now stands at approximately 85 million Switch units, and according to the latest numbers from analyst firm NPD Group, the Switch remains America’s best-selling console in terms of revenue and units sold.
Impressive as it sounds, Nintendo has no intention to stop expanding its empire. Many games that were originally exclusive on the Switch have extended to mobile phones, including Animal Crossing and Mario Kart. With the 650 million unique downloads of six mobile games, Nintendo is able to grow in the countries where the Switch is not sold, Bowser said.
The sturdy franchises of Mario and Pokemon are also expanding in a realistic way. Nintendo is partnering with Universal Studios to build out theme parks around the world, with one already open in Osaka, Japan.
“We view ourselves as an entertainment company that is focused on very unique entertainment experiences,” Bowser said. “At the hub of that is our integrated hardware and software model, and that model has allowed us over decades to generate the characters, the deeply immersive worlds in the IP we all know and love so well, but we also know that there’s an opportunity to introduce more people to that IP now.”
Nintendo is now experiencing steady growth and healthy expansion all over the world, and therefore a new console might not be the priority of the company’s agenda. However, it is still possible that Nintendo will surprise us one random day in the future.