Former Nintendo employees Kit Ellis and Krysta Yang have weighed in with their thoughts on the next Nintendo console, including a prediction for when it could be announced and what the system might be.
In a video outlining their predictions for 2024, both Ellis and Yang agreed in their prediction that the Switch successor will be announced in the first half of 2024. Yang believes it will be announced in Q1, which runs January-March this year.
Yang said the timing of the announcement could be tied to Nintendo’s next financial year, which begins on April 1, 2024. “Based on hardware patterns from the past, it does seem like you want to get an official announcement out before the end of the fiscal year, so you can remain really strong with your shareholders,” Yang said.
Ellis, for his part, said he believes Nintendo management now more meaningfully considers its shareholders, including what they think and how they feel. He said this is a marked change from the past.
When will the next console be released? Yang said she believes it will be revealed in June or July, with marketing ramping up in April-May. She predicted stock for the Switch successor will be constrained at launch, but she expects these problems to be sorted out before the holiday shopping season. Ellis said he generally agreed with Yang’s thoughts on when the console might launch, saying he believes it will be out by September 1.
As for what the Switch successor might be and the improvements it will offer over the current Switch, Ellis said he believes the console will feel most like the transition from DS to 3DS. Yang said she thinks the console will be similar in form factor to the Switch “but with more power.” Both Yang and Ellis agreed the console will be a handheld device that can also dock into a television like the Switch currently does.
Yang and Ellis also agreed that the next Nintendo console will support backwards compatibility. Ellis went on to say he thinks there will be two models of the new console–one will support digital backwards compatibility through eShop purchases. Then, a “higher-end” version of the console will have a physical cartridge slot for games that only work on the newer console, he predicted.
Ellis said Nintendo is conscious of making its products appeal to the masses, and offering a lower-end version for less money could be a way for Nintendo to achieve that. Yang did not agree on this prediction, though, predicting there will not be multiple SKUs because she believes Nintendo is afraid of offering too many options that could confuse the brand and messaging.
In terms of price, Yang said the next Nintendo console will likely launch at $400.
As for the games, one of the predictions made in the video by Yang and Ellis is that Mario Kart 9 will be a key launch title for the next Nintendo console. This game has not been announced, of course, but Nintendo making another Mario Kart game is pretty much the safest bet anyone could make given the enormous success of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
In other news about the next Nintendo hardware, a video game analyst recently predicted that that the Switch 2 will cost $400 and have $70 games.
In July, it was reported that Switch 2 development kits were already with developers, with a 2024 launch in mind. Digital Foundry also has investigated what the Switch 2 hardware internals may offer and built a PC that could come close to matching that power. They found that Switch 2 might be able to run Death Stranding at 1080p at roughly 35 frames per second.
Nintendo hasn’t officially revealed a Switch successor yet. However, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser said the aim of a new system would be to “surprise and delight.”