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Forums - Sales Discussion - Let's settle this once for all...


Which generation is Switch ?

WiiU and Switch are both gen. 8th 33 33.00%
WiiU is gen. 8th and Switch is gen. 9th 56 56.00%
None of them !! 11 11.00%

My stance is that Switch is neither. It’s a Gen 1 hybrid console that competed with both PS4/XBone, and now PS5 and XSeries. Like the NES vs calculator/keyboard consoles like C64 and Wii vs PS3/X360, it’s an “indirect” competition. By indirect, I mean that it’s capturing market share in a way that isn’t really contested by Sony or Microsoft, at least right now. While there’s a ton of overlap in users, Switch offers a unique experience that makes the extra power of PS5/XSeries irrelevant. “PS5 has X floppies of power and 14,000 zetacoids of blumagons, oxynontenistic splining vaporeel gammaquads” means nothing because Switch offers games that look good enough for most gamers, and they can pick up the experience and go - on top of some really key software experiences like Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, and Breath of the Wild - but also all that stuff that can be played local multiplayer and handheld.

Unified generations have been irrelevant at least 15 years now. You can probably consider PS/Xbox to be other same generation because they released about the same time, and are basically clones. But the reality of the matter is PS5 is the 5th PlayStation gen, the XBox Series is the 4th Xbox gen, and the Switch is Nintendo’s first hybrid console - a combination of their 7th gen home/5th gen handheld console.

What’s relevant is what’s currently competing - directly and indirectly in the dedicated gaming console space. Putting the Switch in the 8th generation or 9th generation is completely meaningless. How could it matter? Saying something like the Switch doesn’t compete with a 9th gen console PS5 because it competed with the 8th gen PS4, or the other way around, isn’t based on reality. I can’t think of any reason to try to shoehorn these generations of different types of consoles together... aside from insanity =)

Last edited by Jumpin - on 03 May 2021

I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

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Amnesia said:

So I see on HOME page that Switch is very clearly considered as a 9th gen machine.


For the current systems, the term 'generation' was removed.
For Gen 6, 7 and 8 the term 'Generation' is still there though.

So I guess think of it as the current systems from each platform holder.

By the two major parameters that defines a generation, technology and what it was meant to compete with, the Switch is 8th gen.

RolStoppable said:

The reason why the battle over which generation Switch belongs in continues to be a thing is because the initial "Nintendo exited the home console market" argument didn't stick. The PlayStation Vita sold only ~15m units lifetime and forced Sony to exit the handheld market which was the first such occurence since Sega called it quits in the home console market after the Dreamcast had failed, and we all know how significant of a defeat such an occurence is in the console wars. So because Nintendo's Wii U sold about the same amount as the Vita, there was a strong desire that Nintendo had to have failed equally. This is what brought us "Nintendo exited the home console market" in the first place, a nonsense argument that was pitched by the PS fanbase.

However, there was never anywhere close to a majority in the gaming community in late 2016/early 2017 who was willing to consider such a statement reasonable. That's why the conversation moved on to "Switch is 8th gen" because if Nintendo didn't have to make an exit like Sony, at least they should have lost so bad that they had to do the embarrassing thing of launching another console during the same generation. That's what behind this.

If you've observed this over the years, you may have noticed that the people who have tried to convince themselves that Switch is 8th gen have kept making bad Switch lifetime predictions; not just their initial predictions, but each update they make continues to be wrong. On the other hand, those who've been able to put Switch in the correct generation have been much better with their predictions, because their expected end of Switch's lifecycle is far further in the future, so they calculate lifetime sales accordingly.

So while on one hand it is annoying that people are in denial of Switch being in the same generation as the PS5 and XS, it provides continuous entertainment on the other hand because the "Switch is 8th gen" crowd keeps making bad Switch predictions, both in sales and expected lifecycle. The latest hot topic that is emerging is whether or not the upcoming Switch revision is a revision or a new generation, and that's derived from the same premise as which generation Switch belongs to.


That being said, here's a rundown of the timeframe in which console generations have been launched:

Gen 9: 2017-2020
Gen 8: 2011-2013
Gen 7: 2004-2006
Gen 6: 1998-2001
Gen 5: 1994-1996
Gen 4: 1987-1990
Gen 3: 1983-1986
Lost Gen: 1980-1982
Gen 2: 1976-1978
Gen 1: 1972-1975

Generations are defined by when consoles are launched, not by when their lifecycles end, hence why the Dreamcast is considered gen 6 despite its lifecycle coming to an end before Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox arrived on the market. Also, an especially easy way to determine a generation is to look whether a console succeeds another one by the same manufacturer, hence why both the Dreamcast and Xbox 360 constitute a new generation despite launching only 4 years after their respective predeccessor.

If you look at the list above, you'll notice that the launch timings of each generation fall into a 3-4 year window, although including every single oddity in console history would extend some of these timeframes to 5 years. If someone believed that Switch was gen 8, then they'd get the first 7-year-timeframe for a generation (2011-2017).

Yeah for me it has been really amusing because thanks to the reasoning you explained lots of people were quick to categorize switch as 8th gen. But now that switch is on pace to outsell ps4 lots of people shot themselves in the foot because switch being 8th would mean conceding things like ps4 wasn't as dominant as we first thought and that Sony lost 2 gens in a row against Nintendo.

So yeah in next couple of years some guys won't be so eager to say switch is 8th gen or will rely on things like "switch is a handheld" or "Nintendo wasn't really competing in the first place"

29 November 2013

updated with request:



Gen Prediction Time





Xbox One

Playstation 4



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Consoles have overlapped gens before when starting closer to the end of a console generation than the beginning. The Famicom (NES) released in July 1983, less than 1 year after the ColecoVision which was released in August of 1982. The Famicom/NES has been labeled as 3rd gen, while the Colecovision is considered 2nd gen. This despite the fact that Colecovision and the Atari 5200 were both advertised and described as "3rd Generation/3rd Wave Consoles" at the time of their release in '82.

The Sega Dreamcast was released in November 1998, just 2 years after the Nintendo 64. It was discontinued in April 2001, one year after the release of the PS2. The Dreamcast is still considered a 6th gen system alongside the PS2, even though the 5th gen N64 was still in production and being sold at the time of Dreamcast's discontinuation. Meaning the 5th gen was still active the entirety of the Dreamcast's existence, but the Dreamcast has been assigned as the starter of Gen 6, since the Saturn was Sega's 5th gen console.

So, it's not like this confusing/gray area hasn't existed before when trying to pile different devices from different manufacturers operating on different release schedules.

Another one of these threads

I don't think the answer to this question is as black and white as "The Switch is either in this generation or the other generation" The Switch is likely going to be spending half it's life competing with gen 8 consoles and the other half of it's life competing with gen 9 consoles. If I had to put the Switch anywhere, I'd consider it to be more of a generation 8.5 thing, but to be honest, I'd rather not even put it in a generation at all. The console generation model seems a tad dysfunctional when talking about the Switch.

This must be one of the silliest arguments that i have ever seen. PS5 is sony's 5th generation, XSX is Microsoft's 4th generation and switch is Nintendo's 7th generation. I really don't understand why some people have to put this generation bs on consoles, you don't do that with your phones, cars or tv's do you? Anyway, must be an american thing. Sorry for my bad english.

I mean.. the Switch is doing more in terms of hardware innovation than all 8th/9th consoles combined, call me up when Xbox/PS are more than PCs in a branded box.

Switch Pro will be the first 10th gen console

And this comparison is funny...

Last edited by numberwang - on 03 May 2021