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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Switch: a multi-wave console lifecycle (prediction)

 

The future of the Switch

A long life-cycle within 1 hardware revision 18 34.62%
 
A long life-cycle with ma... 28 53.85%
 
A short lifecycle then a ... 6 11.54%
 
Total:52
Soundwave said:
Otter said:

I think they have legit reasons to be stubborn at the moment, its why whole teams are required to port some Switch games. Next gen I don't see it being so diffucult. March 2023 isn't so bad, when pple said 2023 I was first imagining holiday. But as you said if you're going to do march 2023, you might as well do Nov 2022. The only reason why Siwtch launched in 2017 instead of 2016 was because of software wasn't ready.

I don't really think they do. Western studios seem to be more willing to take a chance, but Switch is completely dominant in Japan. 

What's the rationale for something like Soul Calibur VI, which isn't even that demanding of a game, not getting a Switch version?

And it's not even like Namco has a bad relationship with Nintendo, lol, they co-developed Smash Brothers on the system itself. 

I mean i can understand it more, it could make business sense for them to port to Switch and its well well within reach but it does take notable effort. For example Mortal Kombat required a whole separate team to port it to Switch. Demanding is a tricky topic because a poorly optimised game may not look impressive but be quite demanding. Soul Caliber for example runs at 720p on Xbox One, that won't be an over night port to the Switch. 

As we've in few PS5 games shown so far, many devs don't really have the resources or ambition to yet to capitalise off such powerful hadrware. We're looking at PS4 quality games running at max settings, which is why I think even the lazy devs will port these titles to Switch 2. I think a lot of PS5 games will have a lot of CPU room to spare too. 



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Planning for a Switch 2 launch in 2023 or earlier would be repeating the same mistake that Nintendo made with the Wii and DS where they cut lifecycles short, meaning that the market was not ready to move on. The work on next gen first party games significantly reduced the software output for consoles that had enough life left in them to last longer than six years before replacement.

Switch hasn't got a price cut through three years, has the benefit of a monopoly in the portable console market and its fourth year is set to be bigger than any of the previous ones. It's baffling that despite these circumstances there are so many people who believe that Switch should be replaced by 2023 at the latest. Points that are being made strike me as backwards, such as development times being long in this day and age, that's why work on next gen games has to start now. But development times being long is the reason why generations should be longer, because longer development times means fewer games, and fewer games means that individual saturation points for IPs won't be reached as fast as in previous generations. For example, the NES had three Super Mario Bros. games (the sales of SMB3 don't even indicate any oversaturation of the IP), so why in the world would there be growing disinterest in Switch when a lot of Nintendo IPs struggle to even get to three installments on one and the same system?

The reason why the NES was replaced kind of premature was competition, because other companies were launching next gen systems. There's no need for Switch 2 in 2023 or earlier when neither Sony or Microsoft are expected to launch new systems before 2026. And again, people keep overlooking Nintendo's monopoly in the portable console market as if it meant nothing at all, because they are so fixated on a home console perspective.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

RolStoppable said:

Planning for a Switch 2 launch in 2023 or earlier would be repeating the same mistake that Nintendo made with the Wii and DS where they cut lifecycles short, meaning that the market was not ready to move on. The work on next gen first party games significantly reduced the software output for consoles that had enough life left in them to last longer than six years before replacement.

Switch hasn't got a price cut through three years, has the benefit of a monopoly in the portable console market and its fourth year is set to be bigger than any of the previous ones. It's baffling that despite these circumstances there are so many people who believe that Switch should be replaced by 2023 at the latest. Points that are being made strike me as backwards, such as development times being long in this day and age, that's why work on next gen games has to start now. But development times being long is the reason why generations should be longer, because longer development times means fewer games, and fewer games means that individual saturation points for IPs won't be reached as fast as in previous generations. For example, the NES had three Super Mario Bros. games (the sales of SMB3 don't even indicate any oversaturation of the IP), so why in the world would there be growing disinterest in Switch when a lot of Nintendo IPs struggle to even get to three installments on one and the same system?

The reason why the NES was replaced kind of premature was competition, because other companies were launching next gen systems. There's no need for Switch 2 in 2023 or earlier when neither Sony or Microsoft are expected to launch new systems before 2026. And again, people keep overlooking Nintendo's monopoly in the portable console market as if it meant nothing at all, because they are so fixated on a home console perspective.

This is the first I'm hearing someone say that the DS'&Wii life was cut short.  The DS receieved Pokemon Black and white 2 in 2012 and it shifted almost zero consoles. We saw games that did great on the DS, struggle on the 3DS  (Nintendogs + cats). Market shifts towards mobile phones and other trends I think are causes for the DS falling off a cliff sales wise and I really doubt more of the same from Nintendo would  have changed that. 

Saturation of hardware sales is really a different trajectory of software sales. We saw big late gen 3DS titles like Yokai Watch and Pokemon sell big but struggle to give 3DS hardware boosts and offset its decline. 


With the Wii we saw a pretty consistent 5m fallout after  2009, that did not begin with the Wii U.  Mario Galaxy 2 & Donkey Kong Country, Sonic Colours, XenoBlade, Metroid Other M, Red Steel 2, Golden Eye and more didn't stop Wii's decline. 2010 was a significantly better year than 2009, but 2009 had Wii Sports Resort,  Wii Fit and NSMB. Its not about the number of games released but about their ability to attract new audiences. People will argue Skyward Sword sold relatively poorly because it required a wii remote plus but Mario Galaxy 2 didn't and it still sold almost 50% less than its predecessor. Point being there's always been fatigue which settles in. 

I think its impossible to make an argument here because there is no president of Nintendo systems selling a lot of hardware in late gen because of more pokemon or mario games. What we do see is that these ever green titles released in the first half of systems life are the system sellers and continue to sell the system throughout its life time. And this is exactly why Nintendo generations cannot blankly be compared with Playstation or Xbox.

The only thing that comes to mind is how great 2000 was for the N64 (Majoras mask, Banjo Tooie, Perfect Dark, paper Mario, Mario tennis etc.) but people will say the PS2 stole its momentum or whatever.

In the modern age, Nintendo can have this smooth transition. Waiting post 2023 before introducing new hardware seems bizzare. I don't see why a Switch 2 would mean an end of the Switch 1. We're not shifting from 2D/3D, we're not shifting from SD to HD, we're not building on entirely new hardware or achitecture. Instead of throwing out a completely unnecessary SKU, waiting for their audience to die 2 years later then hoping they come back next gen, Nintendo can be a bit forward thinking and give a meaningful invetsment for those who want new hardware. Something that can carry them (Nintendo) forward for the next 4+ years. All the meanwhile there is nothing lost, the handheld market you spoke off will continue on Switch 1 but also games that would never had been made for it can be made for Switch 2. In the end Switch 1 will still get its 6 year life span.

A good way to look at it was if Microsoft waited a year longer and investmented more in Xbox Series X, so that it was the rumoured Lockheart and would support the next 5 years of games and not a mid-gen update. But anyway I'm not seeing arguments for why they shouldn't release a Switch 2, just arguments of why they should continue to support current Switch (which they can obviously keep doing). Enough speculation from me though, I see them being successful regardless of which route they take I just think people are underestimating striking whilst the iron is hot (they've literally never done this) and there are many unique opportunities that a early release (by 2022) will allow them imo.

Last edited by Otter - on 05 May 2020

Oh and speaking of the DS we musn't forgot DS, DS Lite, DSXL, DSi, DSi XL...

LMAO at all these hardware revisions.



Wii sales were declining for a long time. That system didn't have another 20 million year in the tank, not even close, they declined significantly every year even despite releasing NSMB Wii, Wii Sports Resort, Mario Galaxy 2, etc. etc.

The DS may be could've held for another year but ultimately would've had a reckoning coming against the rising tide of the smartphone gaming market. Once that happened, that style of portable was going to have problems. The Switch addressed this by making a higher end portable system that had games in scope comparable to home consoles, but if Nintendo had continued making DS type systems, likely a third DS sells even worse than the 3DS.

You have to give the consumer a lot more than that these days when they can get simple/ease to play/bite size experiences for free on their phone, you have to offer a hell of a lot more today. Audiences are not some static entity whereby once you have one kind of hit, nothing ever changes and you can just continue on with that indefinitely. 

Last edited by Soundwave - on 05 May 2020

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RolStoppable said:

Planning for a Switch 2 launch in 2023 or earlier would be repeating the same mistake that Nintendo made with the Wii and DS where they cut lifecycles short, meaning that the market was not ready to move on. The work on next gen first party games significantly reduced the software output for consoles that had enough life left in them to last longer than six years before replacement.

Switch hasn't got a price cut through three years, has the benefit of a monopoly in the portable console market and its fourth year is set to be bigger than any of the previous ones. It's baffling that despite these circumstances there are so many people who believe that Switch should be replaced by 2023 at the latest. Points that are being made strike me as backwards, such as development times being long in this day and age, that's why work on next gen games has to start now. But development times being long is the reason why generations should be longer, because longer development times means fewer games, and fewer games means that individual saturation points for IPs won't be reached as fast as in previous generations. For example, the NES had three Super Mario Bros. games (the sales of SMB3 don't even indicate any oversaturation of the IP), so why in the world would there be growing disinterest in Switch when a lot of Nintendo IPs struggle to even get to three installments on one and the same system?

The reason why the NES was replaced kind of premature was competition, because other companies were launching next gen systems. There's no need for Switch 2 in 2023 or earlier when neither Sony or Microsoft are expected to launch new systems before 2026. And again, people keep overlooking Nintendo's monopoly in the portable console market as if it meant nothing at all, because they are so fixated on a home console perspective.

U know (other than comments on the wii which is a whole nother conversarion), I think u hit the nail on the head with eveey point  and it all comes down to ur basic arguement that the switch is a portable w a cool added feature as opposed to a home console thats also portable. I think the difference in POV might come from people's wants and misconceptions though. I know if 10do continues on a path of 60$ handheld games and a huge lack of AAA (console games) ill be skipping the switch 2 regardless of when it releases. I love that it uses cartridges,  I love that it has more LAN games than the competitors and I like how ez it is to carry from one monitor/tv to another. I dont care at all that u can "play on the go".

I got the impression from the marketing that the switch is a home console thats portable. Which is, I think, where the misconception comes in.  I bought into it with zelda, mario, spla2n, and xenoblade 2 coming out that 1st year.  All games that, to me, are AAA console titles of different genres (Some more mainstream than others). In hindsight i probably shouldve known better w the lack of 3rd party AAA announcements. I think at the time I blamed it on the wii&wiiu generations killing (to varying degrees) 3rd party interest in 10do.



The NES had two real Mario games, Super Mario Bros. 1 and Super Mario Bros. 3.

The actual SMB2 was basically like what DLC would be today, just a remixed version of the first game that was so underwhelming that NOA refused to release it. SMB2 that ended up being released in the West was a completely seperate game that just had Mario characters pasted onto it, most people know that.

The Switch should get a second 3D Mario and probably a 2D Mario on top of having Mario Maker 2 as well, you don't need a product cycle to extend into 2024 or something ridiculous for that to happen. There should be a new 3D Mario for 2021.

Game development cycles being longer just means you have to plan better and be on the ball sooner, but it's not like the NES/SNES actually had that many more Nintendo games. 

The SNES had only one real new Mario game, one Zelda. I mean some of the release schedules Nintendo had in the 90s was hilarious, like in '93 they released Star Fox in spring and basically nothing else but Mario All-Stars and NHL Stanley Cup as major titles for the rest of the year. It didn't matter as much back then because there was so much more 3rd party content that could push the system. 

Last edited by Soundwave - on 05 May 2020

Soundwave said:

The NES had two real Mario games, Super Mario Bros. 1 and Super Mario Bros. 3.

The actual SMB2 was basically like what DLC would be today, just a remixed version of the first game that was so underwhelming that NOA refused to release it. SMB2 that ended up being released in the West was a completely seperate game that just had Mario characters pasted onto it, most people know that.

The Switch should get a second 3D Mario and probably a 2D Mario on top of having Mario Maker 2 as well, you don't need a product cycle to extend into 2024 or something ridiculous for that to happen. There should be a new 3D Mario for 2021.

Game development cycles being longer just means you have to plan better and be on the ball sooner, but it's not like the NES/SNES actually had that many more Nintendo games. 

The SNES had only one real new Mario game, one Zelda. I mean some of the release schedules Nintendo had in the 90s was hilarious, like in '93 they released Star Fox in spring and basically nothing else but Mario All-Stars and NHL Stanley Cup as major titles for the rest of the year. It didn't matter as much back then because there was so much more 3rd party content that could push the system. 

Some solid counterpoints. I particularly like the point, if im understanding correctly, that blaming dev cycles can be viewed as strategic obstacle to overcome (COD as much as I hate the series is a good example) as opposed to a scapegoat crutch to lean on.



Otter said:

This is the first I'm hearing someone say that the DS'&Wii life was cut short.  The DS receieved Pokemon Black and white 2 in 2012 and it shifted almost zero consoles. We saw games that did great on the DS, struggle on the 3DS  (Nintendogs + cats). Market shifts towards mobile phones and other trends I think are causes for the DS falling off a cliff sales wise and I really doubt more of the same from Nintendo would  have changed that. 

Saturation of hardware sales is really a different trajectory of software sales. We saw big late gen 3DS titles like Yokai Watch and Pokemon sell big but struggle to give 3DS hardware boosts and offset its decline. 


With the Wii we saw a pretty consistent 5m fallout after  2009, that did not begin with the Wii U.  Mario Galaxy 2 & Donkey Kong Country, Sonic Colours, XenoBlade, Metroid Other M, Red Steel 2, Golden Eye and more didn't stop Wii's decline. 2010 was a significantly better year than 2009, but 2009 had Wii Sports Resort,  Wii Fit and NSMB. Its not about the number of games released but about their ability to attract new audiences. People will argue Skyward Sword sold relatively poorly because it required a wii remote plus but Mario Galaxy 2 didn't and it still sold almost 50% less than its predecessor. Point being there's always been fatigue which settles in. 

I think its impossible to make an argument here because there is no president of Nintendo systems selling a lot of hardware in late gen because of more pokemon or mario games. What we do see is that these ever green titles released in the first half of systems life are the system sellers and continue to sell the system throughout its life time. And this is exactly why Nintendo generations cannot blankly be compared with Playstation or Xbox.

The only thing that comes to mind is how great 2000 was for the N64 (Majoras mask, Banjo Tooie, Perfect Dark, paper Mario, Mario tennis etc.) but people will say the PS2 stole its momentum or whatever.

In the modern age, Nintendo can have this smooth transition. Waiting post 2023 before introducing new hardware seems bizzare. I don't see why a Switch 2 would mean an end of the Switch 1. We're not shifting from 2D/3D, we're not shifting from SD to HD, we're not building on entirely new hardware or achitecture. Instead of throwing out a completely unnecessary SKU, waiting for their audience to die 2 years later then hoping they come back next gen, Nintendo can be a bit forward thinking and give a meaningful invetsment for those who want new hardware. Something that can carry them (Nintendo) forward for the next 4+ years. All the meanwhile there is nothing lost, the handheld market you spoke off will continue on Switch 1 but also games that would never had been made for it can be made for Switch 2. In the end Switch 1 will still get its 6 year life span.

A good way to look at it was if Microsoft waited a year longer and investmented more in Xbox Series X, so that it was the rumoured Lockheart and would support the next 5 years of games and not a mid-gen update. But anyway I'm not seeing arguments for why they shouldn't release a Switch 2, just arguments of why they should continue to support current Switch (which they can obviously keep doing). Enough speculation from me though, I see them being successful regardless of which route they take I just think people are underestimating striking whilst the iron is hot (they've literally never done this) and there are many unique opportunities that a early release (by 2022) will allow them imo.

What really made DS sales decline sharply was Nintendo's decision to cut the 3DS's price by 10k yen/$80/€80, which put it in the same price range as the DSi and DSi XL SKUs. When consumers have the choice to pay the same price for a last gen system or a backwards compatible current gen system that will play the games of two consoles' libraries, it becomes an obvious choice to pick the newer console at no extra cost. Only the DS Lite was safe from the 3DS's price cut.

For the Wii, 2009 was Nintendo's final wave of software for people who didn't consider the N64 and GC up to snuff. 2009's first half saw a significant decline in hardware sales because Nintendo had released only two minor titles in six months; the second half of 2009 had a huge rebound on the back of the big games you mentioned and pushed the Wii above 20m for the year. From 2010 onwards Nintendo had only sporadic releases of games for fans of classic Nintendo, so a terminal decline set in. It's still kind of a miracle that the Wii could sell more than 10m in 2011 because no other console with a broken software pipeline had even sold half of that in the past. 2011 was the 3DS's launch year and Nintendo's focus was pretty much entirely on preventing the 3DS from becoming a failure, so both the Wii and DS had to give.

For all the things that were bad about the 3DS and Wii U, Nintendo got at least one thing right with both of them. The length of their respective lifecycles was appropriate relative to their lifetime sales and the transition phase to Switch was smooth.

Switch 2 in 2022 would be incredibly damaging to Nintendo, because on one hand their customers would not be ready to move on at this point (the time to move on is when it's expected that yearly hardware sales drop to below 10m; it's 2020 and Switch has yet to peak), and on the other hand technology won't have advanced enough to see any benefits from an early launch of a successor. Nintendo won't be able to come reasonably close to the PS5 and XSX in 2022 while maintaining acceptable battery life.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Gamers Club

Soundwave said:
Otter said:
If Nintendo have learned their lesson they will not try and artificially inflate the Switches life, nor will they wait til it dies before introducing a successor. This will lead to second wave of sorts. Switch will continue to sell based off the casual market & people looking for a secondary console picking it up for its 5 or 8 major system sellers, meanwhile they should move their core audience onto next gen. I've been saying for a long time Switch 2 should come sooner than later (Fall 2021) and have period of cross gen.

-Soft 1st party launch with 1 or 2 big exclusive (i.e Metroid 4/Splatoon3/Starfox Reboot) targeted at their core audience.

-Cross generational launch titles which greatly benefit from the new hardware i.e Breath of the Wild 2/Bayonetta 3. (Outside of already announced games the OG Switch only receives low key, casual orientated titles which don't beg new hardware).

-Major 3rd party Support not available on OG Switch. FFVII, Assassins Creed etc. The key here is that PS4/X1 will still be receiving support into 2022. Switch 2 launching before or around could gather major support. Unlike the Wii U it would be a proven concept, have scalable engine support from the likes Epic, have the portable USP and have hadware that would show great promise towards the future (DLSS) and alignment with key PS5/SX features as oppose to the PowerPC mistake Nintendo made with Wii U.

On this logic I also think Switch 2 should be a premium €399 and live alongside OG Switch which would be an evergreen €199 family box.

They need to have their shit together for sure next time, because they really have a history of mismanaging generational transitions. 

They need to know like really within the next 6-8 months what they are launching the next system with because even if its a 2023 product, games don't magically just arrive out of nowhere. Game development cycles are increasing now becoming like 3 years on average, not even just 2 years. These decisions need to be made now. 

Mario Kart 9 IMO should be ear marked for the Switch 2, day 1. Don't fuck around and get stupid or cute, but just as importantly they need to make sure they have a second big game 1-2 months later. I would say a combo of Mario Kart 9 and Splatoon 3 probably ensures a good launch and both should be reasonable to be developed within 3 years with time to spare. 

Star Fox and Metroid are not big enough IP to bank an important launch on solely, they can be a support title but you can't bank your launch on that. 

It really depends on the nature of said Metroid game. If, for example, Metroid Prime 4 was ground-breaking, adding in multiplayer support, even deeper lore and more modern twitch game design, or even some form of open world or massive online gaming aspect, it could change the nature of the impact of the IP.

And you know that a few big industry professionals have been touching Prime 4 to make it the most epic Nintendo IP, probably also the reason it was cancelled a few times.

I'm not saying this to derail, on the contrary I'm saying this to support my idea of a Software-driven wave, as opposed to the typical Hardware-driven wave. I initially suggested that BotW2 could launch the second wave, but it could also be a combination of BotW2, MP4, SM:O2, or any other big IP and massive marketing push.

In other words, what I'm trying to say is that, with today's technological achievements in backwards compatibility (no fragmentation needed) and also the ability to use outdated tech to simulate modern tech, a Switch 2 could be very competitive and not necessarily be a fully new platform as we traditionally know it, and may not even be required to push the next wave.

By the way, I really encourage you to read my reply to Shadow1980, which shows that hardware charts of one platform don't tell the whole story. The chart that would tell everything would be a total software sales by platform owner (example: one total sw sales chart for Nintendo, one for Sony, one for MS). Then instead of pointing out individual games, we would point out new platforms, and see their effects on SW releases. It would be a completely different view on the data.

@Pemalite said:
padib said:

Good point, but that's assuming that the bus would not be upgraded in a V2, which is unlikely if the dock was intended to augment the capabilities like you mentioned. Also, I want to ask the question of serious upgrades in the slab itself. Perhaps with a modified flattened form of ssd, it would be possible to sandwich a large drive inside the casing. Do you know if such a tech exists?

You would need to ditch USB entirely and go to some other standard that piggy-backs off PCI-E... As although USB 4 might kick bandwidth up to 5GB/s that is still orders-of-magnitude less than 16x PCI-E 4.0 lanes which provides 64GB/s.

Although... Because the Switch operates at lower levels of performance capabilities to start with, it shouldn't need more than 8GB/s for a multi-GPU configuration to become viable unless the Dock didn't include it's own DRAM buffer.... But again, that latency issue would get in the middle of the problem.

And there is the other potential issue of compatibility being broken if Nintendo abandons USB and goes with a PCI-E based interconnect.

Nintendo would simply be better off adopting a faster Tegra chip like the X2, Xavier or Orin and upsell it as a Switch-Pro rather than take a Nintendo 64/Sega Gensis route of different peripherals with different performance modes that only die-hards would probably purchase anyway.

As for the internal drive... The Switch already technically uses an SSD, so did the Wii U and Wii... I mean, it's only a very simple and rudimentary drive (It's just some NAND on a very narrow bus with a simple controller integrated on the motherboard) that sacrifices performance for cost reasons... But there is a ton of room for Nintendo to expand the internal storage capacity and performance by several multiples.

Nice, I'll look into it. If you have any articles about the memory in the Switch, and even of the WiiU and Wii as it compares to today's SSDs, it would be interesting for me. But if you knew of form factors for SSD that match the tech of today's standards but allowing for something thinner that would fit into a phone, I would be very interested to read about it.

@curl-6 said:
The "Switch sales will drop off now they've used most of their big IPs" theory has been going since late 2017, it was wrong then and it's wrong now.
It's also a mistake to assume Switch will necessarily follow the sales trends of past Nintendo systems has it is quite unlike any of its predecessors.

I don't think it's completely without merit. Super Mario Galaxy 2 sold less than SMG, Majora's Mask sold less than Ocarina of Time, we could find more examples, and I'm sure we could find examples of the contrary (your PoV).

In the end, I think what makes the difference (leading to one outcome or the other) is the ground-breaking nature of the game (example Galaxy vs Sunshine), meaning that it treads new ground, or the marketing push the game gets (SMB3 vs SMB2).

Last edited by padib - on 05 May 2020