Nintendo CEO and president Shuntaro Furukawa told investors today that the company has “no plans” to launch a new model of the Switch in 2020. Speaking as part of a corporate management policy briefing following yesterday’s release of financial results, Furukawa instead pointed to today’s announcement of the new Animal Crossing-branded model.
“According to the conventional wisdom for dedicated video game platforms, Nintendo Switch should be entering the midway phase of the hardware lifecycle,” Furukawa said. “But we believe we have built a foundation on which we can pursue further growth opportunities for Nintendo Switch.”
It wouldn’t really be surprising if there were no new Switch hardware this year. The original system came out in early 2017 and received its first significant updates last year with the Switch Lite and a refreshed model with better battery life, both of which were made possible by a more power-efficient version of the Nvidia chip inside. Anything more substantial would likely require new custom silicon from Nvidia, which no longer designs general-purpose chips aimed at tablets or other mobile devices.
Things could change, of course, but Nintendo seems happy with its current product mix. Furukawa noted how sales of the original Switch were almost flat year-on-year between April and December, with the Switch Lite helping push Nintendo to its improved numbers overall. The Switch now sits at 52.48 million units shipped overall as of the end of 2019, with Furukawa believing the sell-through numbers to be more than 48 million.
“However, we feel that we have not yet fully communicated the special features and appeal of Nintendo Switch Lite, so we will continue to address this going forward,” Furukawa said. “Regarding Nintendo Switch, we believe that it is important to continue to communicate the appeal of both Nintendo Switch systems and expand the installed base.”