I’m still thinking Spring 2023 as the strongest possibility for the Switch successor. Nintendo’s recent comments only increase those thoughts.
New consoles are planned years in advance, and Nintendo confirmed, last year, that they’d already been at work on the successor for some time.
I don’t think the semi-conductor shortage will impact plans too much at this point. If they have a planned internal date, it’s unlikely they’ll tell all their software divisions and third party collaborators “sit on your games for a few more years until the semi-conductor shortage is over.”
Also, Switch 2’s existence probably won’t mean Switch 1’s end. Similar to how they kept the 3DS going alongside the Switch - but with much more relevance to the Switch 1. Nintendo has, in the past, commented that their next generation console will expand the Switch’s userbase. Which means it could very well work like most platform products where the next generation device becomes the more capable successor, but the previous generation becomes a cheaper entry level product. Given Nintendo’s chipsets, it’s possible that next generation chips will be fully compatible with previous software - it’s unlikely they’d make a console or OS that isn’t, or requires some kind of emulator like the Wii U did to the Wii.
Also, Furukawa recently signalled that next generation hardware would come, potentially, this fiscal year with his “no comment” response. “No comment” is basically a less on the nose message to shareholders that “we have something to announce at a later date.” And it’s no difference now since Furukawa has previously said “it’s not in the plans” when asked the same question.
Breath of the Wild 2 was also pushed to “Spring” - a vague statement - which means they might be planning something big for either the end of the fiscal year or the beginning of the next, and that game being a potential planned killer app given the success of the previous Zelda game.
How this impacts Switch 1 sales, I’m not sure, but I think it’ll be no where near as severe an inter-generational nosedive as previous generations. This might be Nintendo’s first stable generational transition since the GBA-DS, something they never achieved with their home console lines: yes, Wii was a boom right out the gate, but it was more or less bringing Nintendo back from the ashes of the N64/GameCube declines; only the NES-SNES came close - but the reason for that “stability” on paper was more accidental, because Nintendo was still struggling to get NES stock and games out to underserved markets after the SNES had launched in some regions.
I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.