Nintendo seems to be conceptualizing its long-awaited successor to the 2017-released Nintendo Switch, but it isn’t giving much details to what it might be, or when it might actually exist. The Legend of Zelda developer is, however, willing to say that whatever and whenever the new console releases, Nintendo Accounts—which give players access to online amenities like the eShop—will be important in creating a smooth transition to it.
“In the transition from Nintendo Switch to the next-generation console, we would like to make every effort to ensure that customers can make the transition smoothly while using their Nintendo Account,” Furukawa replied to a question wondering if seven years of the Nintendo Switch marks its end-of-life, like how the Super NES rose to replace the NES seven years after it came out.
That said, though Furukawa would consider the Switch’s year seven as “uncharted territory,” and he accepts that the Switch won’t sell as easily as it has in the past, he still praises its software.
“Never before in hardware has software sold at such a pace,” he said. “Like last year’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet and this year’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo Switch titles sold more than 10 million units in the first three days of their release.”
Those impressive sales numbers are clearly important to Nintendo. Though Furukawa was straightforward in that Nintendo Accounts would carry over to a new console, he was less willing to directly respond to a question asking for his thoughts on transferring “downloaded software purchases on Nintendo Switch [to play on] future game consoles.”
“Like you did when you switched from Wii U to Nintendo Switch,” the shareholder said.
“Our company is constantly considering various future hardware specifications, but I would like to refrain from making specific comments on future hardware at this time,” Furukawa replied. “Going forward, we would like to continue to propose unique ways to play games on dedicated game consoles that combine hardware and software, so please look forward to it.”
Nintendo is the latest developer to embrace the $70-per-game industry norm. It would be frustrating if players were unable to take their new games to a new console, though something like a Switch 2 or Switch Pro is very unlikely to materialize within the year, another 2023 shareholder Q&A suggests.
But even though we’re apparently in it with the Switch for the very long haul, Furukawa’s answer is comically nonspecific. At least I’ll probably be able to keep my Nintendo Account profile picture.