While the new Xbox and PlayStation consoles continue to have problems with supply chains and scalpers, Nintendo Switch does not disappoint, reaching new heights as the total number of units sold already exceeded the lifetime sales of 3DS. At the beginning of 2021, the Switch continues to be one of the best systems for gamers to purchase, and there are rumors that Nintendo is already planning to refresh its very successful handheld device.
A worthy successor
Nintendo stopped producing 3DS in September 2020 and according to the company, they managed to sell 75.94 million copies of the device during its lifetime, which lasted nearly 10 years. With that in mind, one cannot deny the huge success of the Switch which achieved the sales of 79.87 million copies despite being launched just four years ago. Undoubtedly, the recent exclusive for the platform, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is largely responsible for the console’s success, with around 30 million copies sold worldwide. However, the console still has a long way to go to beat the company’s other successful devices: the Nintendo DS (154.02 million), Wii (101.63 million) and Game Boy (118.69 million). It is worth highlighting that the total sales numbers for Switch exceeded those of Xbox One as early as at the end of 2019, and in 2020, in the UK, the sales for the portable console exceeded those for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S... combined.
The winning strategy
The Switch continues Nintendo’s approach to gaming, creating unique hardware with a lot of exclusive games utilizing the device’s full potential. However, the Switch also became a great platform for both indie titles as well as current-gen AAA blockbusters. When going on holiday, you can continue playing the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Doom or Mortal Kombat 11, something that was not previously possible. With about 3300 games listed for the platform, you are bound to find one that suits your tastes.
The device has been advertised as an excellent choice not only for those who would like take their games anywhere, but also play them with friends. However, for those who don’t value co-op as much and couldn’t care less about plugging the device to a TV, the company released a slightly stripped-down version of the console, called the Switch Lite, in 2019. For about 2/3 of the price of the original, we get a device with the same power, albeit with a slightly smaller screen, built-in joy cons and without the docking station. A revised version of the original Switch appeared in 2019, improving on the device’s battery life and screen quality.
The Switch Pro (?)
For many months there have been rumors about the future of Nintendo’s console, especially at the dawn of the new generation of consoles, with so many people trying to get the far more powerful Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. Bloomberg reports that instead of releasing a next-gen Switch, Nintendo is planning an upgraded version of the original handheld device. The alleged Switch Pro would feature an improved OLED display and support for 4k graphics when plugged to a TV, meaning the console would come equipped with more powerful hardware. Judging by the fact that both Sony and Microsoft upgraded their base versions of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, this does not come as a huge surprise. However, the Switch is a relatively small handheld device and there are limits as to what components can be packed in such limited space without overheating issues. Right now, the Japanese company remains silent about the upgraded version of their console.
A bright future
Shuntaro Furukawa, the president of Nintendo, assured everyone that despite chip shortages and worldwide supply chain issues the company has stockpiled enough components to continue producing copies of Nintendo Switch, making sure that everyone who wants to buy their console will be able to do so. With the increasing number of great titles, innovative features, the company’s commitment to support the device and the freedom that comes with portability, the Switch is still one of the best consoles in 2021.