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This Is Nintendo's Biggest Fear About A New Console

Nintendo fans have waited over five years for a follow-up to the Nintendo Switch. As per GamesIndustry.biz, the handheld hybrid earned the title of Nintendo's best selling console when it reached over 100 million units shipped in February 2022. It might seem like a mystery why the company wouldn't want to further improve on such a popular device. However, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa revealed that the main concern centers on how to smoothly transition between the Switch and its successor. 

During the Japanese investor Q&A on May 10, Furukawa explained that the Nintendo Switch's successful debut allowed the company to continue developing games for the system even almost half a decade later. "Thanks to the smooth launch of Nintendo Switch itself, we have been able to concentrate our development resources on one platform," he said. "On the other hand, looking back on past experiences of generational change such as the change from the Wii and Nintendo DS eras, we recognize that one of our tasks is ensuring the transition to future generations of hardware is as smooth as possible."

Creating a new console and marketing isn't as easy as it looks. Here's what Nintendo plans to do.

How Nintendo will lower the risks with its next generation

Furukawa's words referenced Nintendo's less successful releases like the 3DS and Wii U, both of which paled in comparison to their predecessors. The Wii U in particular was Nintendo's most famous flop, selling less total units than the Switch did in one year. Its lifetime sales hit 13.56 million. Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch sold 23.06 million units just in fiscal year 2022 (a figure lower than the previous fiscal year). 

Critics attributed the Wii U's failure to problems ranging from poor marketing to a lack of third-party titles, so there's legitimate reasoning behind building trust between users so that they invest in the next generation. With that in mind, Nintendo plans to establish "long-term relationships" with its customers to bridge the risks of a new console. 

"While continuing to release new Nintendo Switch software for consumers to enjoy, we aim to maintain relationships across hardware generations through services that utilize Nintendo Accounts and by providing opportunities for them to experience our IP through other non-gaming channels," Furukawa said during the Q&A. As per its latest financial report, Nintendo has over 102 million annual players using its accounts.