I've waited to post in this thread. Mainly because I won't be answering the original question, but also as time has gone on and some things have changed it has been more difficult to put to words where I think the market has been in the past, where it is, and where it will be going in the short and long term. People, I think, are going to be surprised/disappointed with the latter. It is just my opinion though.
Ok, so I am going to kinda sorta answer the question, but it's not quite so simple as saying yes/no based on normal console to console. I think there is a real chance that the Switch, in all its current and future incarnations, does cross 130/140 million, which is where I think it will have to ultimately be in order to beat the PS4 by the time the PS4 halts sales. I think the long tail of PS4 sales, especially after a price drop, will continue to see a couple million a year after the PS5 goes on sell.
The brilliant move by Nintendo to combine console + handheld made it decisively relevant to people, other than me. It stemmed the flow of phones and tablets further and further tamping down on Nintendo's handheld business. Software wise they are no longer stretched thin between two different platforms, leaving long periods of time they don't have 1st party games coming out for one or the other or both. The momentum behind the Switch seems to be steady and growing. They don't get every 3rd party game, but they seem to get enough that Switch only users currently don't necessarily have to own a second console if they want some of those.
However, this brings me to a more broader topic. The Future. XBOXSX/XBOXSS and PS5/PS5DE heavier hitter 3rd party titles will invariably either not go to the Switch or will be such bad ports people may feel compelled to just go ahead and buy the XBOXSS or even perhaps PS5DE (though unless it's as cheap as the XBOXSS, I doubt it) or they may try to wait for Switch Pro/Switch 2.
Also, given where XBOX is going, we can clearly see Microsoft pushing for device agnostic, pure digital gaming. Will this next gen be where the trend towards purely digital start to clearly rear its head? Will the generation after that not even have physical media for the XBOX or Playstation? How many people will buy Game Pass Ultimate and just play the 100 games on offer? What will SONY's full response and success be to this?
If you can very cheaply just buy a sub to Game Pass and payment plan the cheap console itself, why NOT buy an XBOX to play non Nintendo games? Or if SONY matches, sub to whatever SONY offers.
I don't know if Microsoft or SONY will ever not sell a console, for those of us who specifically want one, but there will be a time when more gamers are playing purely in the cloud rather than ON the actual console. It seems to me that Nintendo will be the last holdout selling a dedicated device that takes physical media. Its a huge open question on how wide the divide in 3rd party games that scenario will bring. How big will Nintendo's market be then?
To end this mind spill. I will say that the future of gaming seems ever murky. The Switch will continue its wild success. Beyond that I don't know where the plateau will be for Nintendo.Last edited by dharh - on 11 September 2020