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javi741 said:
Soundwave said:

Releasing a new console should never be done in a state of panic to begin with, if you let your business collapse or decline that sharply that you desperately need a new console, your management has fucked up royally to begin with. 

Like Sony was also making large profits with the PS4 right up until it's final year, but they still went ahead with PS5 because they know every generation has to end at some point. 

This whole obsession with "milk a console dry to the bone to the point where you're in a really dire state of decline" is not really something that should be applauded. It's a stupid strategy. Your existing console should be in a state of gentle, natural decline when its replaced (like PS4 was for example, like Super NES was), not in a "holy shit, this thing is totally cratering" type of thing. 

Especially when it's your only console and you don't have a secondary hardware line any longer to bounce back off of. 

Once your console is past 5 1/2 years old and starting to show YoY declines in the 20-30% YoY range it's probably a not very subtle sign that it's time to start moving ahead with the generational transition, that's not a situation that's going to magically get better for you the longer you wait, it's more probable to only get worse.

Dropping a system earlier just for marginally falling profits may not always be the best thing, the Switch successor could easily be less profitable than sticking with current hardware if you release the successor too early. Nintendo dropped the Wii & DS pretty early in favor of the Wii U & 3DS which of course led to their first loss in over 30 years.

Nintendo wouldn't want to risk losing easy great, more-certain profit with their current hardware in order to drop the successor which is way more uncertain if it can produce profits as high, the Switch still this fiscal year would produce 3.55B in profit.

Nintendo also isn't in any sort of rush like the previous generation to release the Switch successor, they have no competitors who could steal their marketshare unlike with the DS & Wii where the DS had to compete with the upcoming PS Vita as well as smartphone games which were forecasted to kill the handheld gaming market. With the Wii, Sony & Microsoft already stole one of the main appeals the Wii had with the Kinect & PS Move which is part of the reason why Nintendo felt forced to drop the Wii earlier despite being a massive success. Switch isn't in any of those scenarios.

Sony would still release the PS5 despite the PS4 being profitable because Xbox is still a major competitor to them and they can't afford giving MS a headstart in the generation, nothing is threatening the Switch right now for Nintendo to be in a rush.

Wii and DS had pretty long product cycles, there's nothing short about 6 years on the market. It's a normal product cycle, DS just over 6 years actually and seven actual holiday shopping seasons (04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10) without a successor. 

But even if Nintendo moved 3DS to 2012 and Wii U to 2013 ... then what? 3DS and Wii U would've done great? Wii and DS would've declined either way, like DS for example was reaching saturation points in the Japanese and Euro markets by 2010 already. 

They lost money on Wii U and 3DS because they were badly managed launches that were banking heavily on trends that were 3+ years past their prime ... ie: Nintendogs 2 would effectively be such a big hit that the it could carry a 3DS launch, NSMB was a big hit on Wii and DS so naturally it could carry the Wii U launch. They were wrong on both of those bets. They had oversaturated the demand for those concepts and people just weren't as excited about it a few years later. Who here was over the moon hyped about getting a 3DS for Nintendogs + cats? *crickets*

The 3DS honestly probably would have done worse if they launched later which would have cost them money that way too. I don't think it hits 75 million+ if they just held it off the market an entire extra year and then tried to launch it in 2012 instead. You're maybe talking 60-65 million units instead. They botched the launch window but by the fall of its first year they were able to get sales at least to a decent level with Mario Kart 7 and Mario 3D Land so losing that first year would have still hurt them. Like the highest selling holiday sales the 3DS had was holiday 2011 ... if they missed that window it would have been worse, not better for Nintendo long term. 

Last edited by Soundwave - on 13 March 2023