The Nintendo Switch could be around a lot longer than previous consoles, according to Shigeru Miyamoto during a recent investor Q&A.
The typical lifespan of a console is 5-6 years, before it is replaced by its successor. This is especially true for Nintendo, with every one of it’s consoles not lasting more than six years.
This includes the SNES released in 1990, succeeded by the Nintendo 64 in 1996, then the GameCube in 2001, followed by the Wii in 2006. Even the Wii U, which is typically regarded as an abject failure, had a pretty good shelf life (all things considered) spanning 2012 to 2017.
Miyamoto-san however has said due to the unique hardware capabilities of the Nintendo Switch, it is likely we’ll see it kicking around for much longer.
Here is his quote in full when asked about the Nintendo Switch’s lifespan:
“When you think about what can be done with the Nintendo Switch as a device that can be taken on the go and that every person has in their hands to play, you realise it has many features not available on any other hardware to date,” Miyamoto said. “Nintendo also has a system in place whereby the software developers focus on these hardware features in their development efforts for the continuation of the Nintendo Switch business. Up until now, the hardware lifecycle has trended at around five or six years, but it would be very interesting if we could prolong that life cycle, and I think you should be looking forward to that.”
The statement is particularly interesting given the wider industry’s talk of moving away from iterative console generations. With the diminishing advancement in graphics from generation to generation, it is likely there will indeed be a time when the console cycle will be greatly lengthened.
In any case, things do certainly look rosy at the moment, with the Nintendo Switch overtaking Wii U sales in just 10 months. Time will tell if we will still playing the Nintendo Switch in a decade’s time.