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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - If the Switch failed, where would Nintendo be right now in 2020?

What do you guys think Nintendo would be doing right now in 2020 if the Switch failed?

IMO if the Switch failed I think Nintendo would continue supporting the 3DS since it was still selling well even when the Switch released and down the line around 2019 I think Nintendo would've launched a direct successor to the 3DS to stay afloat through the dedicated handheld business.

As for the Switch, I think it would've been another rough time to be a Switch owner similiar to the Wii U where Nintendo stops giving a shit about the Switch due to low sales and we'll barely get games outside of Wii u ports and unambitious filler games, and knowing Nintendo, they probably would try to sweep the Switch under the rug as fast as possible and maybe release a new dedicated console in 2021, or maybe just give up in the console market entirely and focus on the 3DS & its sucessor.

Many people expect Nintendo to go 3rd party if the Switch failed, however I don't really believe this because Nintendo has a ton of money and they could afford to fuck up their consoles several times. Also, knowing Nintendo's strict philosophies I don't think they'd ever want or consider becoming 3rd party since they believe they need their hardware to create innovative experiences with their games that the other console makers can't offer.

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They'd still be releasing no games for the rest of the year, that's for sure!

They'd be preparing to release their next system in 2021, and Shigeru Miyamoto would tell us that Pikmin 4 is very near completion.

Hmmm. Well the Switch would still be available, and getting some games.. They manufactured the Wii U for over 4 years despite the fact that it tanked. They would've rode out the 3DS even longer than they did, likely releasing non-remake/port 1st-party games well into 2019 or 2020. A dedicated handheld successor more powerful than PlayStation Vita but weaker than the Switch would launch in 2019.
I have no idea what they would do in the home console space. For them to make a home console at with at least Xbox One X specs (let alone Xbox Series X and PS5) would take so much time and investment. I'd say they would try a beefy home console like this, but I don't think they could even get it out by 2021 or 2022.
Basically Nintendo's hardware division would be pretty screwed for a while if the Switch failed, considering they've been behind on specs in the home console market since the Wii.

Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 125 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million)

PS5: 105 million Xbox Series S/X: 60 million

PS4: 122 mil (was 100 then 130 million) Xbox One: 50 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima

The switch has been the sum of Nintendo's best decisions for quite some time. They picked the right hardware by going with Nvidia which helped them bring third parties in as Nvidia knows what third parties need to develop for the platform. They also had heavy hitters from the start which greatly helped with sales and third party commitment. They made it a portable which means it doesn't directly compete with the console twins. It has Joy-cons and multiple ways to use the console such as portable, table top and TV mode. And the list goes on.

If that failed, hot damn. I'd assume they would try to go with something with a cheaper launch price but portables has been the one category that Nintendo dominated over the years with great success. So if that flopped, maybe they would go third party.


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On Steam?

The Windows Store did poorly and now Microsoft are on Steam. The PS4 did well and now Sony are on Steam. Origin did... something? and now EA are on Steam.
Ending up on Steam is just an inevitability. It's a matter of if, rather than when, and doing badly with whatever your alternative is definitely seems to accelarate the process.

Hmm, if a high end portable like the Switch failed, and presumably they would continue not wanting to make a triplet system to the Microsoft Sony twins, so I think would probably have come out with a portable only system....but then again, they did that anyway with the Switch Lite! It's hard to contemplate if the Switch failed cuz basically you are saying that means Nintendo's portable business failed. Since the Switch Lite is basically what I would expect if the Switch failed (because the Switch failing pretty much just means people weren't willing to buy a $300 portable system and didn't care that it is hybrid). If they came out with the Switch Lite at its more normal handheld price and we're saying even that didn't stop Switch's failure then we are pretty much saying portable game systems are dead, and nobody wants a hybrid system. Nintendo's options would then be to either make a triplet graphics powerhouse to compete directly with PS5/SeriesX, go third party, or build an audience for an emerging market like a VR set or a streaming service.

I think they'd chose to try one more hardware system over going third party. I don't know if they would try to just do the Sony/Microsoft just more power thing or if they'd try to corner one of the possible emerging markets. I think probably their best option though would be to start selling a classic game subscription on other platforms. Offer the Nintendo Online VC subscription everywhere they could, but ya know, actually add a good amount of games and systems to it regularly, and try to build up tens of millions of monthly members while they work on whatever their new hardware would be.

Depends. If it was a Wii U level flop, then they'd be done with consoles. Sure they have money in the bank, but they also have investors, and they're not going to put up with two failures of that magnitude back to back. They'd be a third party dev.

If the Switch was more in line with with the XBox One, then things would probably be similar to where they are now, but with a push to get something out within the next year or two that is more similar to the PS5 of Series X.

They'd be done with consoles and just focus on 3DS successor

They would try to make a VR system that was low spec and affordable. I mean real VR not red Game Boy in 3D.

Last edited by Leynos - on 26 July 2020

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!