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Nintendo couldn’t have asked for a better first year for the Switch. The hybrid console, which celebrates its 1st birthday this weekend, got off to a red-hot start with sales of nearly 15 million units in 2017. According to Nintendo, the Switch was the fastest-selling game console in US history.
Given its early success, it should come as little surprise that Nintendo has no plans of following rivals Microsoft and Sony down iterative alley.
Sources familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal that Nintendo isn’t yet working on a mid-cycle release like Microsoft and Sony did with the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, respectively.
During an investor briefing in February, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima reportedly said he wanted to extend the Switch’s product cycle beyond the industry standard of five to six years. Waiting longer to introduce iterative hardware would certainly help accomplish that goal.
In the interim, Nintendo plans to focus on peripherals (and of course, games). The company has found plenty of success with its amiibo accessories and could be positioned for similar success with its recently announced Labo cardboard accessory kits.
The response to Nintendo’s line of retro-inspired miniature consoles has also given the company a boost. Demand for the NES and SNES Classic Editions remains high and with additional offerings ripe for production (I’m still waiting for a miniature Nintendo 64 to round out the collection), Nintendo’s immediate future looks bright.