We’ve been anxiously awaiting official news about the Switch 2, but while the Switch continues to sell like hotcakes, there’s not much incentive for Nintendo to rush its successor out. That said, there’s no stopping us from extrapolating hints about the Switch 2 from the company’s comment. For instance, in its financial briefing published on Wednesday, Nintendo was adamant that it will continue to support and release games for the Switch throughout 2024. But in doing so, it might have also hinted at a feature of the Switch 2.
We have countless unanswered questions about the Switch 2, but chief among them is whether or not it will be backward compatible with the Switch. Leaks have given us hope that this will be the case, but there are obviously no guarantees. That’s why this specific line from the financial briefing stood out to me when I saw it today:
“We will continue to release new titles and content for Nintendo Switch without being bound by the traditional concept of the platform lifecycle.”
There are a few potential implications here. One is that Nintendo isn’t worried about whether or not it launches a new console next year at all. As we discussed previously, Nintendo has never waited more than seven years to release a new home console. If all the leaks and rumors are wrong, it’s possible the Switch 2 will skip 2024 altogether.
That does not seem especially likely, so the other possible implication is that Nintendo will keep releasing new games for the Switch after the Switch 2 debuts.
If that does end up being the case, my guess is that those games will be playable on the Switch 2. After all, it would be quite a confusing strategy to continue launching new Switch games that are incompatible with the next-gen console after it goes on sale.
Assuming the Switch 2 is backward compatible with the Switch, it begs another question: How will Nintendo differentiate Switch games from Switch 2 games? It might look something like the jump from DS to 3DS, where the DS cartridges could fit in 3DS consoles, but not the other way around. Or maybe it will be more like disc-based consoles, where a PS4 console simply won’t recognize a PS5 disc (don’t try that at home, by the way).
Whatever the case, Nintendo’s recent comments have generated more questions than answers. Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa even went as far as to dispute online rumors, which the company typically ignores. As we speculate, at least we can look forward to a GTA6 trailer.