Historically, game consoles from all major hardware companies get refreshed with hardware revisions over time. This will likely happen for the Nintendo Switch, but it won’t be until 2019 at the earliest, according to a new report. Citing sources, The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo is not planning a new version of the Nintendo Switch to launch in 2018.
Instead of that, the report said Nintendo will look to beefing up the Switch’s online features and offering more peripherals to boost sales, according to GI.biz. The report cited Nintendo Labo, the wacky, wonderful, and weird game that uses actual cardboard as an example of this. WSJ went on to say that Nintendo is looking at more peripherals that use the console’s USB-C port.
It’s not hard to see why Nintendo would want to do this. Peripherals and online services can have more lucrative margins, and in the case of Nintendo Labo, the company is literally selling cardboard that you could buy yourself very inexpensively.
Nintendo does not typically release major hardware updates for its home consoles in the first two years, so this report is not all that surprising. Portable consoles are a different matter, however, as Nintendo launched hardware revisions for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and 3DS during their second year into their lifecycle. The Switch is a hybrid system that lives between a home console and a mobile system, so the update cycle for the device was never a sure thing.
Back in January, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima teased that the Switch will have a longer lifecycle than previous Nintendo consoles. “Up until now, the hardware lifecycle has trended at around five or six years, but it would be very interesting if we could prolong that life cycle, and I think you should be looking forward to that,” he said.
In terms of the Switch’s online features, right now it is free to play games online. However, that’s changing in September when Nintendo rolls out its paid subscription plan. Interestingly, Nintendo has teased that the service will have “appealing benefits” to encourage people to sign up, but it remains to be seen what these might be.
And regarding Nintendo’s overall thoughts on growing Switch sales, Shigeru Miyamoto recently said that instead of one per household, he wants every person in a home to buy one.
The Nintendo Switch launched one year ago this month. It’s gotten off to a very hot start, selling 14.86 million systems by Nintendo’s latest count. In fact, the Switch needed just 10 months to outsell the lifetime sales tally of its predecessor, the Wii U, which sold around 13.5 million units.
The Switch’s first year was not without its problems. Check out GameSpot’s video above where we talk about how the system missed the mark and what can be done to improve things.