Forums - Gaming Discussion - Poll - Is Switch a 9th gen console?

With Sony and MS releasing new hardware, will Switch be considered as 9th gen?

Yes 79 51.97%
 
No 73 48.03%
 
Total:152
JWeinCom said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

Well, let's explicitly spell out what scientific reasoning looks like.  The first thing is that scientific reasoning uses Occam's Razor which means that "the simplest explanation is most likely the right one."  If one says "systems are selling this way because they are in the same generation", it is simpler than saying "systems are selling this way because of a variety of factors such as marketing, price point, features, and specs".  The simpler explanation is most likely the correct one.  That is why I am talking about generations.  In fact one reason people practice science and develop theories is to give a simple explanation for phenomena that appear complex.  A key part of scientific reasoning is to keep things simple while still taking all of the data into account.

Secondly, the scientific method can basically be described using the following steps.
1. Do Research
2. Ask a Question
3. Form a Hypothesis 
4. Make a Prediction Based on the Hypothesis
5. Test the Prediction
6. Use the Results to Make More Hypotheses.
(With the understanding that a correct prediction means the hypothesis is strengthened while an incorrect prediction means the hypothesis needs to be changed.)

So, I actually use this process a lot when studying the video game industry.  There are some ideas that I am confident with and others where I had to change my thinking.  Here is one relevant example of a prediction I made about 7 years ago.

1. Research - There is a ton of past data on game sales to study.  I've looked at plenty and also read books on video game history, etc....
2. Question - Why is it that some systems for sale at the same time seem to compete with each other and others do not?  For example why did the Genesis/Megadrive compete with the SNES and not the NES when all 3 were for sale for many years together? 
3. Hypothesis - Systems need to be in both the same generation in order to compete with each other.  Generations need at least 4 years before the next one begins, and they begin when the first console maker releases a successor. (This is all based on previous observation.)
4. Prediction - Sales for Generation 8 systems will be similar to sales for Generation 6 systems.  Specifically, PS2+GC+XB = WiiU+PS4+XB1 with a margin of error of +/-20%.  (Generation 7 seemed to have a lot of customers that came and left, so it is left out.)  Any system released 2016 or later will be considered part of the next generation.
5. Test the Prediction - Basically I wait and see until all of the systems have stopped selling.  Although at this point, I'm fairly confident that my prediction will be correct.  (There is also a bunch of specific analysis I could do both here and for #4, but for now I am keeping it simple.)
6. Results - The generation system explains the market data pretty well.  We are also far enough along in time that I am now confident in putting Switch in Generation 9, the next generation.  Predictions that I make going forward will be based on this.

When I am talking about scientific reasoning, this is the sort of thing I am talking about.  Of course people can, and will, quibble about the details, but this is a solid framework to go by when analyzing the data.

Occam's Razor is that the simpler explanation is preferred. Not that the simpler explanation is correct. Basically, it's that you don't add anything unnecessary to your explanation. But you still have to include everything that IS necessary. 

There are two problems. First of all, generation doesn't explain things as well as looking at multiple factors. Take gen 7 for example which you just like... chucked out cause you didn't like the data. By your framework the Wii, PS3, and XBox 360 are simply both gen 7 consoles... yet, obviously the PS3 and 360 competed with eachother in a way that they didn't really compete with the Wii. Appealing to generations offers no explanation. On the other hand, looking at all the factors, we would expect incredibly similar PS3 and 360 to compete directly and split up the lion's share of the existing market , which they did. We would expect the Wii to take some part of that market (as it launched at the same time, was Nintendo's marketing focus, had some library overlap, and was somewhat comparable in price at various points) but not a great deal, because of the differences in specs and advertising. We would also expect that because it has new features, it would have the potential to reach new customers. 

More importantly generations doesn't actually explain anything. You're trying to explain why certain systems compete with eachother. Your conclusion is that systems compete with eachother because they are part of the same generation... Which is just another way to say that they compete with eachother.  It's entirely circular.

The one that's actually violating Occam's Razor is you. Technological specs, timing of release, price point, game libraries, marketing etc, are factors that are undeniably real, and I don't think any rational person would deny that these impact how systems will sell overall, and how they will interact with each other. These aren't unnecessary things I'm adding, these are necessary things.

What is being added is the concept of generations. This is something that doesn't exist inherently the same way price points, marketing campaigns, and games libraries do. It's a framework that we're creating to categorize things, perhaps in a useful way or perhaps not. Since we're adding it, it has to have some value, and if not, that's violating Occam's Razor.

So again, I ask, can we make the same predictions based on factors that you and I both know are real and agree are relevant (timing, marketing, library, price point, etc.)?  If so, why would we add the concept of generations, which based on this topic is something that people don't agree is relevant, and something people can't agree on the meaning of?

"Occam's Razor is that the simpler explanation is preferred. Not that the simpler explanation is correct. Basically, it's that you don't add anything unnecessary to your explanation. But you still have to include everything that IS necessary." 

Einsten put it this way, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler."  You think my explanation is too simple.  I think your explanation is too complex.  If you are right, then there should be a situation where we predict different outcomes, because I have neglected relevant information.  If we always end up predicting the same thing, then our explanations are equivalent, but mine is better because it is simpler.  So, can you think of a situation where we would predict something different?

I think I can, but I may be misunderstanding something with your explanation.  I think your explanation would have the NES and Genesis competing in the US during 89-90.  Mine would not.  Would this be accurate or no?


"There are two problems. First of all, generation doesn't explain things as well as looking at multiple factors. Take gen 7 for example which you just like... chucked out cause you didn't like the data. By your framework the Wii, PS3, and XBox 360 are simply both gen 7 consoles... yet, obviously the PS3 and 360 competed with eachother in a way that they didn't really compete with the Wii. Appealing to generations offers no explanation. On the other hand, looking at all the factors, we would expect incredibly similar PS3 and 360 to compete directly and split up the lion's share of the existing market , which they did. We would expect the Wii to take some part of that market (as it launched at the same time, was Nintendo's marketing focus, had some library overlap, and was somewhat comparable in price at various points) but not a great deal, because of the differences in specs and advertising. We would also expect that because it has new features, it would have the potential to reach new customers."

I didn't use Generation 7, because I think the market temporarily changed in size.  There were a lot of temporary customers.  There was too much variability.  Normally, to perform an experiment you want to control as many extraneous variables as possible.  Galileo wanted to show that 2 objects of different mass fall at the same speed in a vacuum, so he dropped 2 objects of different mass from a tall building.  His experiment is not negated by the fact that he didn't choose a feather as one of his objects.  Often, experiments are performed in a controlled laboratory environment.  Since I can't do that in this case, I chose to compare generations that seemed to have similar initial conditions.

Also, I do actually think that the Wii, XB360 and PS3 were all competing.  They all had motion controls of some sort, so they seemed to all be competing.  Perhaps this is where our explanations would differ.  However, I am not clear how your explanation makes them not compete.  Is it because of technology or something else?

More importantly generations doesn't actually explain anything. You're trying to explain why certain systems compete with eachother. Your conclusion is that systems compete with eachother because they are part of the same generation... Which is just another way to say that they compete with eachother.  It's entirely circular.

Incorrect.  There is no circular reasoning, because I am saying a generation starts when the first successor system is released.  Generations explain why some systems compete and others do not even when they are for sale on the market at the same time.  For example, take the Genesis during 89-90 in the US.  The only home system available from Nintendo at this time was the NES.  They did not seem to compete.   The SNES released in 91.  It did seem to compete with the Genesis.  I am saying that the first successor starts the next generation, which is the Genesis in this case.  I claim that a new generation starts when the first successor is released.  That is why it is not circular reasoning.


"So again, I ask, can we make the same predictions based on factors that you and I both know are real and agree are relevant (timing, marketing, library, price point, etc.)?  If so, why would we add the concept of generations, which based on this topic is something that people don't agree is relevant, and something people can't agree on the meaning of?"

If we really are predicting the same thing, then my explanation is superior.  That is the meaning of Occam's Razor, regardless of how it is stated.  If two explanations predict the exact same thing, then the simpler one is the better one.  If you can take a bunch of charts and data and sum it up in a single sentence, then the sentence is better than the charts and data.  Simplicity is better than complexity if the two explanations actually are equivalent.  

The real question then, is "Are our two explanations equivalent?"  Can you think of an instance where we would predict different outcomes?  If the answer is "no", then "generation" is one word that means everything you are saying.



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Traditionally a console generation represented a significant leap in technology. The 1st gen of consoles was the Magnovox Oddyssey with it's CPU-less design in 1972, along with Atari Pong. Then came the 2nd gen with the Atari 2600 in 1977. The first 'proper' console with a CPU and GPU (or custom co-processors). And with every generation came a new plateo of technology and capability. That's still the case today. Handhelds exist in their own continuity and this includes the Switch.

The term 'console generation' only really applies to PlayStation and Xbox anymore. However, it does effect PC and Switch in terms of third party development (positively for PC, and negatively for Switch).

The Switch is selling on the merits of it being a powerful Nintendo handheld (with a cool TV-out feature). It's success wouldn't be nearly as high as a home console only device. In fact It would suffer a similar fate as Wii U, because it would have all the same problems. I'm not saying the hybrid part of the Switch is a gimmick or anything, in fact it's a huge selling point and is integral to it's design (and name). I'm just saying that fundamentally the Switch is seen as a handheld device first, and is selling to that market. It's not really eating into PS and Xbox marketshare at all.

So if you suggest it's gen 9, then it is in the same way the 3DS was gen 8, DS gen 7, GBA gen 6, etc. But only as a handheld, and not in the traditional sense of a home console generation.





LethalP said:
Traditionally a console generation represented a significant leap in technology. The 1st gen of consoles was the Magnovox Oddyssey with it's CPU-less design in 1972, along with Atari Pong. Then came the 2nd gen with the Atari 2600 in 1977. The first 'proper' console with a CPU and GPU (or custom co-processors). And with every generation came a new plateo of technology and capability. That's still the case today. Handhelds exist in their own continuity and this includes the Switch.

The term 'console generation' only really applies to PlayStation and Xbox anymore. However, it does effect PC and Switch in terms of third party development (positively for PC, and negatively for Switch).

The Switch is selling on the merits of it being a powerful Nintendo handheld (with a cool TV-out feature). It's success wouldn't be nearly as high as a home console only device. In fact It would suffer a similar fate as Wii U, because it would have all the same problems. I'm not saying the hybrid part of the Switch is a gimmick or anything, in fact it's a huge selling point and is integral to it's design (and name). I'm just saying that fundamentally the Switch is seen as a handheld device first, and is selling to that market. It's not really eating into PS and Xbox marketshare at all.

So if you suggest it's gen 9, then it is in the same way the 3DS was gen 8, DS gen 7, GBA gen 6, etc. But only as a handheld, and not in the traditional sense of a home console generation.



Fair points!

So if the rumors of Xbox having a third console are true, and it happens to be a Switch competitor, or if Sony does, that will solve all are problems as we can track it and Switch in the traditional handheld slots of 3DS/Vita for this generation?



Dulfite said:

Fair points!

So if the rumors of Xbox having a third console are true, and it happens to be a Switch competitor, or if Sony does, that will solve all are problems as we can track it and Switch in the traditional handheld slots of 3DS/Vita for this generation?

Is it really necessary to have a competitor to be tracked in the handheld slot?

It's not like it isnt a handheld anymore, just because noone else released one, right?

Plus, while it's already very plausible to track the switch as a handheld, because its hardware is that of one,

it's also sales data on purchasing behavior which put the switch more in line with handhelds.

1. People are likely to buy more than one system. This has been true for every nintendo handheld thus far.

Be it because a household has multiple kids or because the parents themselves play on it. (And many more reasons, not named here)

But I've never seen any data, that it's normal for asingle household buy multiple N64s, GCs, Wiis or even WiiUs.

Compeared to handhelds households with multiple nintendo home consoles of the same kind are rare.

And from my experience, switch behaves like a handheld in that regard, because it's not uncommon at all for someone to have 2 or more switches.

2. Not a strong argument and more like a hint, but Nintendos HC dont tend to be all that "sucessful". Most have been below 50m, with only the wii being above.

Handhelds however have always been far above 50m and sometimes even above 100m (GBC, NDS)

As of now, it's more likely that the Switch's success comes from it being handheld, not a home console.

3. Sales data on 3rd party games show a fascinating image. People tend to say that 3rd party games

dont sell on nintendos systems, but history says otherwise, at least for their home consoles.

In fact, nintendos home consoles are ones which have good sales numbers on 3rd party games.

I've made a comparison a few weeks ago, and these are number I got.

AVG = average, ATR = attach rate, IB = install base

What we can see is that regardless of the home console being a flop or top, 3rd party game sales are strong relative to its installbase

with an attach rate of 5% +/- 1% (roughly).

Handhelds on the other hand have a much lower attach rate within the 2% range.

Also, from what I've seen, this trend continues throughout the majority of 3rd party games.

This puts 3rd party sales ~ 2:1 in favor of Nintendos home consoles... at least if you go by attach rate.

Switch falls right into the typical 2% range for handhelds.

That means that people purchase games with the same behavior they purchased games for nintendos past handhelds.

Last edited by GamingRabbit - on 03 August 2020

Nintendo Switch:

... announced as a Home Console

... advertised as a Hybrid

... delivered as a Handheld

The switch's software numbers don't count anything for the past year and a half, nor does it count digital sales, I suggest using the shipped number off of Nintendo IR, as it does include digital, and has been updated.



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GamingRabbit said:
Dulfite said:

Fair points!

So if the rumors of Xbox having a third console are true, and it happens to be a Switch competitor, or if Sony does, that will solve all are problems as we can track it and Switch in the traditional handheld slots of 3DS/Vita for this generation?

Is it really necessary to have a competitor to be tracked in the handheld slot?

It's not like it isnt a handheld anymore, just because noone else released one, right?

Plus, while it's already very plausible to track the switch as a handheld, because its hardware is that of one,

it's also sales data on purchasing behavior which put the switch more in line with handhelds.

1. People are likely to buy more than one system. This has been true for every nintendo handheld thus far.

Be it because a household has multiple kids or because the parents themselves play on it. (And many more reasons, not named here)

But I've never seen any data, that it's normal for asingle household buy multiple N64s, GCs, Wiis or even WiiUs.

Compeared to handhelds households with multiple nintendo home consoles of the same kind are rare.

And from my experience, switch behaves like a handheld in that regard, because it's not uncommon at all for someone to have 2 or more switches.

2. Not a strong argument and more like a hint, but Nintendos HC dont tend to be all that "sucessful". Most have been below 50m, with only the wii being above.

Handhelds however have always been far above 50m and sometimes even above 100m (GBC, NDS)

As of now, it's more likely that the Switch's success comes from it being handheld, not a home console.

3. Sales data on 3rd party games show a fascinating image. People tend to say that 3rd party games

dont sell on nintendos systems, but history says otherwise, at least for their home consoles.

In fact, nintendos home consoles are ones which have good sales numbers on 3rd party games.

I've made a comparison a few weeks ago, and these are number I got.

AVG = average, ATR = attach rate, IB = install base

What we can see is that regardless of the home console being a flop or top, 3rd party game sales are strong relative to its installbase

with an attach rate of 5% +/- 1% (roughly).

Handhelds on the other hand have a much lower attach rate within the 2% range.

Also, from what I've seen, this trend continues throughout the majority of 3rd party games.

This puts 3rd party sales ~ 2:1 in favor of Nintendos home consoles... at least if you go by attach rate.

Switch falls right into the 2% range for handhelds.

That means that people purchase games with the same behavior they purchased games for nintendos past handhelds.

The switch's software numbers don't count anything for the past year and a half, nor does it count digital sales, I suggest using the shipped number off of Nintendo IR, as it does include digital, and has been updated.

Last edited by badskywalker - on 03 August 2020

badskywalker said:

The switch's software numbers don't count anything for the past year and a half, nor does it count digital sales, I suggest using the shipped number off of Nintendo IR, as it does include digital, and has been updated.

Do they include 3rd party sales?

If yes, can you give me a link to them?

I was actually looking for them, but couldnt find 'em so I had to rely on the numbers of this site.



Nintendo Switch:

... announced as a Home Console

... advertised as a Hybrid

... delivered as a Handheld

GamingRabbit said:
badskywalker said:

The switch's software numbers don't count anything for the past year and a half, nor does it count digital sales, I suggest using the shipped number off of Nintendo IR, as it does include digital, and has been updated.

Do they include 3rd party sales?

If yes, can you give me a link to them?

I was actually looking for them, but couldnt find 'em so I had to rely on the numbers of this site.

So Nintendo reports its quarterly shipments to the public on both hardware and software (its why this sites hardware numbers shift a month after the previous quarter ended) I'm 90% positive it counts 3rd party as in the actual quarterly report it specifies what % is first party and other.

The link is https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/hard_soft/

That link is just hardware and software figures for every Nintendo console while this one is the breakdown of the quarter

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/events/index.html

I believe this is the right link to where you can look at past quarters

Last edited by badskywalker - on 03 August 2020

badskywalker said:

So Nintendo reports its quarterly shipments to the public on both hardware and software (its why this sites hardware numbers shift a month after the previous quarter ended) I'm 90% positive it counts 3rd party as in the actual quarterly report it specifies what % is first party and other.

The link is https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/hard_soft/

That link is just hardware and software figures for every Nintendo console while this one is the breakdown of the quarter

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/events/index.html

I believe this is the right link to where you can look at past quarters

Thank you for your work.

But apparently, either I am too stupid to find the right numbers, or Nintendo doesnt really share 3rd party game numbers in detail.

All I've seen so far are numbers for 1st party or nintendo owned games.

I'd say adding +25% should do the error justice, and also not affect my statement.

Especially with other reports saying that games, which are sold at retail for premium price, having a significantly higher share.

Last edited by GamingRabbit - on 03 August 2020

Nintendo Switch:

... announced as a Home Console

... advertised as a Hybrid

... delivered as a Handheld

d21lewis said:
NyanNyanNekoChan said:

If people define what generation a console belongs to based on the generation of it's predecessor, all the while Nintendo keep releasing their systems more frequently than Sony or Microsoft do, we'll eventually end up in a scenario where the next Sony and Microsoft console will release after a Nintendo console, but the Sony/Microsoft console will be a generation behind despite releasing afterwards.

Something that approximately looks like this:

Spoiler!

(2017) Switch released, succeeds 8th Gen WiiU, so is defined as 9th gen

(2023-2024) Switch 2 released, succeeds 9th gen Switch, so is defined as 10th gen

(2028 - 2030) Switch 3 released, succeeds 10th gen Switch 2, so is defined as 11th gen

(2034 - 2036) Switch 4 released, succeeds 11th gen Switch 3, so is defined as 12th gen

(2039 - 2042) Switch 5 released, succeeds 12th gen Switch 4, so is defined as 13th gen

(2020) PS5 released, succeeds 8th gen PS4, so is defined as 9th gen

(2027 - 2028) PS6 is released, succeeds 9th gen PS5, so is defined as 10th gen

(2034 - 2036) PS7 is released, succeeds 10th gen PS6, so is defined as 11th gen

(2040 - 2043) PS8 is released, succeeds 11th gen PS7, so is defined as 12th gen

tldr - Switch 5 released before PS8, Switch 5 is 13th gen, PS8 is 12th gen

To get around this issue, either the next Playstation and Xbox jump two gen instead of one, and Nintendo end up being in a generation by themselves for one gen despite having competition, or two of Nintendo's systems need to be a part of the same gen.

Alternatively you could be all like "to hell with it, screw this generation system

I see what you mean but it's entirely possible to skip a gen. If Sega released a console for the first time since 1999, it wouldn't be a gen 7 machine. It would be gen 9 along with everyone else.

I still say the Switch is gen 8 but if Nintendo released 3 systems (gen 9,10, and 11) and Xbox/PS only released one, one could argue that they just sat the generation out. Just playing devil's advocate, here.

Precisely. There seem to be a few people saying the Switch is a 9th Gen system because it succeeds an 8th gen system, but it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to define what generation a console belongs to, solely based on the generation of it's predecessor, when you start encountering the issue that I highlighted, and some companies could straight out take a 20+ year break as you just highlighted.