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Things Aren't Looking Good For The Rumored Switch Pro

Since early 2020, rumors have circulated about the possibility of Nintendo releasing a new model of its current system called the Switch Pro. However, a recent interview with Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser has put some of those reports to rest and made it look less likely that the gaming company has a plan that includes an updated 4K Switch for 2021. 


Bowser did not directly answer questions about a new console, but he did say that Nintendo was "always looking at technology" and the ways it might enhance and improve gameplay. He also noted that the Switch was at the midpoint of its lifecycle.

"However, we also see right now ... that the momentum on Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite in the fourth year is strong," Bowser said. "And we believe we're changing the trajectory of another typical console life cycle. And we will continue, for the foreseeable future, to really lean into both of those platforms and the content that comes with it, because it's the symbiotic relationship that makes the real difference. And it's why Nintendo Switch is so differentiated."


Bowser asserted that the Switch was unique because it can be used both as a handheld and a home console. And, its current momentum is not dependent on flashy new titles to keep its player base interested.

"We see the platform appealing to a wide range of consumers. This year, in particular, we've seen more women gamers come into Nintendo Switch platforms, women that had not owned a Nintendo Switch platform in the past, and they're engaging in our content in new and different ways," he stated. "We've been able to introduce not only games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but from our partners, games like Hades or Minecraft Dungeons, or Ori and the Will of the Wisps. We have a number of different ways that players are coming in and engaging the content, and it's not all AAA content. But former AAA content is doing incredibly well, too."

In other words, Bowser doesn't sound too worried about competing with Sony and Microsoft, as the Switch has a library of 4,000 current and older games that its audience would be happy to play even without the more powerful next-generation technology that the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 offer. 

Perhaps Nintendo is right not to be concerned: as reported by GamesBeat, a new analysis from industry-watcher The NPD Group shows that the Switch actually beat out both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X in units sold in November — the month the systems launched. That makes 24 consecutive months that the Switch has been on top. What's more, eight of the 20 best-selling games from November are Switch-exclusive titles. 


Of course, the November numbers might have been influenced by the shortages the next-generation systems have experienced, making it harder to get them into the hands of waiting customers. And Nintendo's performance in the rest of 2020 has been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which, as Bowser acknowledged, video games became a safe form of entertainment for families at home or players getting online. Additionally, Nintendo is still seeing criticism about its problem with the lawsuit spawning Joy-Con drift and the fact that some of its Mario games are being released for a limited time only, a strategy Bowser noted in the interview was specifically for the little plumber's 35th anniversary. 

It'll certainly be interesting to see how things shake out in 2021.