Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Switch follows Nintendo’s successful portable playbook-issue

Image: Nintendo

With the Nintendo Switch OLED model just a few weeks away, we’re heading for the fifth holiday season for systems with three different “layers” in the hardware family. Earlier, I wrote about how each iteration of Switch offers different features and prices, and how it overlaps with other gaming systems for this year’s most competitive and important shopping season. rice field. Nintendo is in its own “bubble” with a switch role that sets it apart from its games and other hardware, but it still competes for the same amount as Sony and Microsoft.

Of course, OLED has been triggered since its announcement Many Talking about hardware strategy, whether Nintendo is doing it right, and so on. To weigh Switch’s massive sales success with the online cry for more powerful hardware, there’s more to this topic than movies that go directly to DVD.I have Many Of the factors involved. Until 2020, and until this year, there was a shutdown and a huge mess. Since then, there has been a continuous and troublesome chip shortage in manufacturing. It’s difficult to make electronic devices at the moment, and it definitely influenced Nintendo’s thinking and approach.

Nintendo’s plans are subject to change or delay due to the turmoil of the last 18 months, but it is impossible to ensure that. However, looking at the company’s history and trends in portable hardware, the switch path is perfectly typical. Yes, it’s a hybrid device, but technically it’s basically a tablet / handheld, powered by a clever controller and docking solution. After decades of balancing handheld game consoles and consoles, Nintendo is now a one-system company, but in most cases sells more portable games than TV-based systems. So it’s not surprising to see the company using the familiar portable playbook as it gets deeper into the Switch generation.

The similarities with the DS and 3DS generations are interesting enough that it’s worth laying them out in a day as a reminder for those who find the company “slow” to move to more powerful systems. ..

Nintendo switch
Image: Nintendo Life

Nintendo Switch (Original)-March 2017

It’s very similar to the original 3DS, but the main difference is that a good start and continuous good sales help drive the results. It’s still the foundation of the “family”, but unlike the original 3DS and actually the initial design of the DS, it’s still the foundation of the range, and it’s not surprising given its popularity.

Nintendo Switch (revised edition)-August 2019

The model “HAC-001 (-01)” is a very minor revision and has one notable boost for those who have it, the standard in the market since its first arrival in August 2019. It replaced the “original” as a model. A more efficient version of NVIDIA’s Tegra GPU, significantly extending battery life.

The comparison with the era of DS and 3DS is not so straightforward. The DS Lite was physically very different from the original product. This also disagrees with the New Nintendo 3DS system, as it has slightly improved performance, added some dedicated games, and improved some features (more stable 3D). In this switch revision, Nintendo is the only feature that locks performance to match the original model and has some improvements in battery life. Everything else about the hardware was the same.

How about why It was released, it could have been related to supply and manufacturing, and could have closed the hackable exploits and weaknesses inherent in the original Tegra chip.

Switch Lite
Image: Nintendo Life

Nintendo Switch Lite-September 2019

At least from a brand perspective, the more notable release in 2019 was Switch Lite. This comparison is easy because it serves a very similar purpose to the original 2DS. To remind you, the 2DS has eliminated the 3DS stereo screen, offered it at a lower price, and was designed as a rugged tablet-style device to withstand the rigors of childhood play.

Like the 2DS, Lite removes some of the key selling points of the standard model, offering an affordable price and a more robust design. In this case, there is no ability to dock the system to the TV and the switch pitch definition itself is lost. This is a true handheld-only experience, as the Joy-Con controls are built into the unit (the controller can be used wirelessly) and there is no kickstand.

Sales grew in 2020, when it was difficult to get a standard model, but trends show that the system is returning to the 2DS realm. It’s an important member of the family and contributes to a decent number, but ultimately second only to the core. Terminal.

Switch official
Image: Nintendo

Nintendo Switch OLED Model-October 2021

This is another simple comparison and ultimately matches well with the DSiXL and 3DSXL models. Increasing the screen size from 6.2 inches to 7 inches isn’t as important as these XL systems, but it’s worth noting when viewed side by side with the original model. Unlike those XL units, the basic shell and dimensions are very familiar ( small We’ll tweak them too), but the focus of the model and its position in the market are certainly comparable.

A notable part of marketing the Nintendo XL model in both the DS and 3DS era was to emphasize the role of “premium” within scope. The OLED model focuses on screens, improved speakers, significantly improved kickstands, and updated dock LAN adapters.this is very It’s debatable how these luxuries will drive current switch owners to upgrade, and in response to bundles and deals, the writer said the standard model would easily sell OLED variations during the holiday season. thinking about.

Assuming Nintendo can produce enough to meet that demand, the sales it produces will be interesting. At the upper limit of the Switch family price range, the number with Lite may be more similar than the standard model, but similarly, the profit margin per unit of Nintendo may be higher. Ultimately, like its predecessor XL models, its role is to be a premium option for those who are willing to pay extra to improve it.

Switch Lite Switch comparison 2.JPG
Image: Nintendo Life

So was Nintendo “slow” in the Switch family?

The internet is a very impatient place, at least if you spend a lot of time on social media. However, one common thread of dissatisfaction when OLED was announced is that Nintendo is late and shows little initiative.In other words, Nintendo has the opinion that even if Sony and Microsoft follow the “Pro” / “X” approach adopted by previous generation consoles, they still need to move to hardware improvements-supporting and repeating. And add power to all the original hardware or many game.

But how does Switch’s evolution and timeline compare to the DS and 3DS era (using the NA release window)?Let’s focus on the keys (not necessarily all) Iteration.


Switch → Switch Lite → Switch OLED- 4 years 7 months

DS → DS Lite → DSi → DSi XL- 5 years 5 months

3DS → 3DS XL → 2DS- 2 years 7 months

3DS → 2DS → New Nintendo 3DS / XL- 3 years 11 months


The 3DS family was particularly “busy” from Nintendo, so I created the multiple 3DS timelines above to add context. It is highly controversial that the new 3DS will be comparable to future OLEDs. What we’re seeing is that with the extraordinary sale of the DS and the addition of download games on the DSi, Nintendo took a long time as its generation sold so impressively. However, the start of 3DS was particularly bad, and Nintendo announced revisions and new models with the release of various initiatives and big games to gain momentum. The 3DS eventually recovered from a poor start and recorded very good lifetime sales, but Nintendo continued to repeat and expand its reach to attract consumers.

Switch has two factors that help explain why it has less revisions and activity than 3DS. One is that its sales momentum is more in common with the DS / Wii era. This is a popular system at the heart of game culture. Second, the significant impact of the blockade and related challenges by 2020, and in fact 2021, cannot be ignored. Manufacturing in the technology sector has been and still is under heavy burden. existing Demand don’t care about new products. Nintendo, like many companies, has been working on things like length of time working from home and travel restrictions. All of this has important implications when working on the logistics of hardware (or software for that matter) design, manufacturing, and sales.

Switch OLED desktop
Image: Nintendo

Perhaps OLED was originally planned to be available at this time last year, but it’s possible that a boosted system was temporarily on the card. Only Nintendo knows it internally, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities. The hardware plan for the second half of 2019 may have been significantly adjusted, demolished, or simply delayed due to the takeover of global events.

Even so, the timeline shows that Nintendo still follows the usual pattern variations of portable hardware. Should you be surprised that Nintendo isn’t rushing out all-new hardware when existing switches and their iterations are selling very well? Nintendo has no reason to hurry, as it did in the DS era.

Besides, the switch yet Under 5 years old. Some of us especially want to improve third-party gaming performance and see the Switch logo at the end of more multi-platform trailers. But in the end, it’s impatient, and in reality, Nintendo is just making a practical move, especially in all of the unforeseen challenges of the last 18 months.

If, a year later, there’s still no word for new and enhanced hardware, the argument that Nintendo is overly cautious and inactive would be more compelling. However, the reality at this point is that it follows its own (often successful) formula.