Wii shipments for the fiscal years ending March...
Like I said in my previous post, 2009 closed out with high stock levels; 5.43m were shipped in January to March 2009, followed by only 2.23m in April to June 2009. If you account for stock levels and take away 1m from 2009 and add it to 2010 which is more representative of sell-through, then you are only looking at a decline of ~3m from one fiscal year to the next which is under 15%. Consequently, that would make the decline for 2011 bigger, but 2011 was already notably weaker in releases than previous years.
2007: Wii Sports, Wii Play
The biggest fiscal years strongly correlate with the release timings of the biggest Nintendo games. SSBB and Wii Fit spilled over into 2009, because it wasn't until March 2008 that SSBB got released in America while Wii Fit got a spring 2008 release in both America and Europe. 2010's big releases (WSR, WFP and NSMBW combined for over 80m lifetime); 2011's releases couldn't even combine for 30m (Wii Party, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and all the rest). 2012's release schedule was underwhelming; I already posted what Nintendo did during calendar year 2011. It's no secret that the Wii lived by Nintendo's first party lineup, so it shouldn't be hard to believe that it died by the lack of it.
Moving on to your faulty hardware logic...
Someone who buys a revision isn't necessarily out of the ecosystem only three years later. All it takes to retain is a next gen console that is worth buying and if Nintendo pulled that off, they would prolong the lifecycle of Switch and get all the benefits from next gen. Your logic is that a good five years of Switch are enough and that should be used to fuel into (presumably) five good years for Switch 2, but it would obviously be better for Nintendo's business if they get a good seven years out of Switch that fuel into another long lifecycle for Switch 2. There's no good reason to believe that they can't pull that off. It would actually be easier to go that route, because their best first party developers can finish their Switch games in late 2020 and throughout 2021 and then prepare to launch next gen games in late 2024 and throughout 2025 to get Switch 2 strong out of the gates. But judging from your post, you are actually talking about second string teams being supposed to prepare the launch year titles for Switch 2?
You also mentioned a cross-gen release strategy, but how do you get Nintendo fans to upgrade for processing power when they've not shown to go for that in the past? You hamper Switch 2 sales by doing cross-gen and that in turn would make the already reluctant third parties (they never have faith in Nintendo) hesitate even more. You'd invite a negative feedback cycle where lack of sales leads to lack of games which leads to lack of sales.
But above all, you assume that Nintendo fans would be tired of Switch in only two years from now. What is that based on?
And what do you think Nintendo needed to do to not be down 13% YOY? It's still a notable decline with some of systems biggest software releases since launch, cumulatively bigger than FY09 software releases correct? Can Nintendo continually just pump out bigger sellers? NSMB alone outsold almost all of FY 2011's titles, despite FY 2011 having a more dense, more varied and higher quality release schedule. This is exactly why I don't see the 4 year green future some of you are predicting and I couldn't see the wii having much of an alternate ending in its life through more software output. If Animal Crossing outsells Pokemon Snap, Zelda BOTW2, Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonetta 3 combined, will we turn around and say 2021 just had a bad line up and thats why the Switch declined? I will wait patiently and see as I think there's only so much Nintendo can do to ensure a constant stream of new mega hits. At some point it becomes a throw of the dice, whereas there bread and butter releases do commendable 5-10m. If Mario Galaxy 2 is not seen as a major release in FY 2011, and a 5m selling holiday title like DK is dismissed, maybe it's not actually sustainable to keep software afloat in the way you imagine and thus not the hardware either.
With regards to Switch 2 launch titles, Whatever is releasing on Switch that holiday, also arrives on Switch 2. So the launch titles could be a Pokemon Remake, A Zelda Collection, Mario Odyssey 2. Whatever it is that Nintendo is already planning for 2022... Could that be enough? I absolutely think so, an exclusive here or there for less popular franchises like Star Fox or Metroid would be welcome before 2024, but I think superior versions and better third party support is enough reasons for Nintendo's core audience to upgrade in the initial year, whilst late adopters and casuals continue to see the cheaper Switch as attractive purchase if Switch 2 doesn't interest them right away. I don't think there has been a president set that Nintendo fans won't upgrade for processing power. Nintendo fans won't upgrade if there are a lack of big IPs, or if the system is not handheld, but the Switch 2 will be a handheld, have physical benefits and can easily launch with big IPs.... By your own estimation, you expect hugely successful/high selling software line ups for the next few years. I think a Switch 2 would certainly sell much better than a SKU update and I'm sure many people expect to see one of those in the coming years.
Would it be better to just wait til 2024? I don't think so. It's hard to predict a trajectory for the Switch and its audience in 4 years time, but the same way people were just not here for the 3DS, I could see many people just loosing interest in a hybrid Nintendo platform which is why I think laying the foundation for their future userbase whilst interest is in its peak and using that peak to introduce something future proof is vaulable.
Regarding 3rd party. I think people deeply overestimate the value developers see in big hardware sales, not that I expect a Switch 2 will launch poorly but it may be a more modest 10m first year. to due to cross gen. But developers are more concerned about the ability for their games to sell and function well on said platform, which is why Xbox One is so well supported. This is why the wii was mostly given shovelware and why 90-80% retail releases skip the Switch and will continue to do so. Switch 2 does not need to sell faster than Switch to receive games, it needs to be a more viable platform with a future ahead where the technology fits with developers own pipeline. A Switch 2 would never be in lack of games from Nintendo (unless the Switch was also in lack of games in 2023), it will never be lack of indies (infact I could see many more making exclusives), nor do I think it will be ignored from many big third parties for whom it is also be a handheld device in line with a PS4 specs, but much better memory and more powerful when docked. This is in a market where diminishing returns, 4k ambitions and reconstruction technology makes it a no brainer for far more developers to support it then they supported Switch, especially as PS5/SX wouldn't be quite so dominant in terns of software sales or userbase yet. Of course the Switch 2 will come into its owns with exclusives like Zelda, its own smash bros, new 3D Mario in and around 2024-2025.
On the last point, 2 years and 6 months is a long time. 2 years and 6months ago, we were discussing whether Labo would be a flop or not. Typically by this 5 and a 1/2 year point, Nintendo would have already released a new premium SKU like the DSi XL. The biggest software sellers are behind it and usage dwindles. There is no concrete data to go on, its just a collection of anecdotes including personal. If people would be ready for a premium SKU, they would be ready for a Switch 2 imo.Last edited by Otter - 4 days ago