So when will Nintendo announce its next console?

Checking out the handset release date paints a very different picture than its home console brethren. The Game Boy came out in 1989 and it took seven years until the revised Game Boy Pocket appeared in 1996. Although it was smaller and had a better screen, keep in mind that the Pocket variant was functionally the same. identical to the OG Game Boy.

Two years later, the Game Boy Color’s full backward compatibility has blurred the lines between hardware generations (although it already supports GBC-only titles) and will continue to be produced for until 2003, two years after the launch of the Game Boy Advance and just one year before that. appearance of DS. GBA SP and Micro versions mean production that thing the specific GB line was discontinued only in 2008.

Nintendo has the ability to channel its crazier ideas and creations into Labo-like software experiments, while delivering a core console that remains safe and conservative with peace of mind.

And it continues. Repeated versions of the DS — the best-selling Nintendo console of all time, remember, with Lite, DSi and DSi XL variants in addition to the original ‘Play’ version — remained in production well after the 3DS. launched in 2011, closed the circle on the handset-only line and brought us back to the interweaving of home and handheld branches with the hybrid Switch.

All of this being said, while Nintendo’s previous home consoles have traditionally gone through five years before the launch of a successor, the handheld’s history is much more erratic. , with modified models that obscure things and a large amount of overlap between systems. Seven-year ‘unobstructed’ operation is not unheard of, and the handheld nature of the Switch suggests that we should really buckle up for a non-traditional transition to a new system, regardless tell what it could be.

However, there is also the question of whether Nintendo will follow the same Switch-style hardware formula for the next generation.

Form (ula) and function

Close-up of super NES
Image: Zion Grassl / Nintendo’s Life

Then, assuming for a moment, that the handheld’s more messy history hinted at the pattern Nintendo would follow for a Switch successor, then perhaps – maybe – it’s safe to assume that Nintendo will stick with the ‘switch’ console.

Metroid Prime Pinball DS Lite
There was almost certainly no Nintendo DS before this — Photo: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

The hybrid concept, and how it differentiates the company’s product from the powerful PlayStation and Xbox, has proven profitable and has put the company through a challenging time for the gaming and electronics industries. broader consumption. Nintendo may have diversified its IP offerings across mobile and other media, coming Movie Super Mario is the clearest example of development outside of pure interactive media, but it still throws all its hardware eggs into the combo console basket. The Wii U’s commercial failure was mitigated over time by the strong performance of the 3DS series, but that backup no longer exists. Simply put, this means that Nintendo has the ability to channel its crazier ideas and creativity into content, laboratory-like software tests while providing the core control panel with safety and caution.

That’s fine, if a little uninteresting. Part of us really wants Nintendo to do something crazy, because that’s what sets it apart from other developers. Is it possible to predict with reasonable accuracy what Nintendo’s next move will be? How incredibly dull!

Still, ask most commentators and gamers – us included – what they want from Nintendo’s next console, and they’ll almost certainly be hoping for an update that fits the concept. Basic Switch concepts. It fits our lifestyles, is as diverse as it is today, and it’s hard to imagine future Nintendo games being chained to TVs like a regular console.

Peak performance

Metroid Dread OLED
Photo: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

So the idea of ​​a simple ‘Switch 2’ is rather boring and lacks the ‘Nintendo difference’, but it makes too much of a sense to derail, even for a creatively challenging company like Nintendo.

But who can say? Perhaps the Switch 2’s Joy-Con will come with power-sensing holes for you to insert your fingers into and a holographic projector that will allow us to play Strategema in tabletop mode, as in that episode Star Trek: The Next Generation. While we love the Switch, we also love a nice picture of that patented Nintendo ‘What-‘ from time to time, to help keep things interesting. We expect the next console to have a lot of the same, even if the base experience itself is unusually predictable.

When do you think Nintendo will announce its next console? Let us know in the poll below and leave a comment if you want more explanation.


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