Next week could end up being very busy (pic: Nintendo)
As sales of the Switch approach 140 million, Nintendo has insisted that it will remain its ‘main business’ going into 2024.
Next week may end up being a very busy time for video games, with Microsoft promising an ominous sounding ‘business update event’ and rumours of a Nintendo Direct, most likely on Thursday, February 15.
It is only a rumour, as there had been suspicions there wouldn’t be a spring Direct, since Nintendo has already released new trailers for its biggest upcoming games, but if it does still happen it will still probably only focus on games being released in the first half of the year.
In terms of the second half, we currently know nothing and Nintendo boss Shuntaro Furukawa has refused to talk about new hardware. Instead, he’s said only that the Switch will be the company’s ‘main business’ going into 2024. Which doesn’t mean it will be by the end of the year…
Although there’s still no guarantee that Nintendo’s next console, nicknamed the Switch 2 by fans, will come out this year, it is clear that Nintendo is building up to a new launch in the near future.
The coyness isn’t just Nintendo being Nintendo, they know that as soon as they announce the new console sales of the current Switch will drop.
Not only that but their share price will fall, and it’s currently at an all-time high (remember that Nintendo is a 135-year-old company) due to speculation over their plans – which will end once Nintendo explain exactly what’s going on.
Nintendo can’t keep quiet forever though and while a new Direct is unlikely to reveal the new console there may be some kind of hint at it. A full reveal isn’t likely until the summer, but this is Nintendo we’re talking about, so nothing is certain.
It’s not even clear that there will be a Nintendo Direct next week, although Universo Nintendo claims it is due somewhere between Monday and Thursday, and a second Portuguese source claims that is actually Thursday 15th.
The reason all this has come out now is that Nintendo has just announced its quarterly sales which, despite the Switch’s age, still came out better than expected.
Lifetime sales for the Switch now stand at 139.6 million, putting it well ahead of the PlayStation 4 on 117.2 million. It’s also within spitting difference of the 154 million of the Nintendo DS, the second best-selling console of all time, but the Switch is unlikely to surpass that, or the PlayStation 2 on 158 million, if it ends up being replaced this year.
The Switch has had an incredible run though, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sales passing the 60 million mark and 2023 titles Super Mario Bros. Wonder already at 11.96 million, with Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom on 20.28 million, Super Mario RPG on 3.14 million, and Pikmin 4 on 3.33 million.
That’s the most successful Pikmin has ever been, which all but guarantees more, while Super Mario RPG has also been an unexpected hit, for a SNES remake, and that will no doubt influence future titles as well.
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