Sharp's admission that it's making LCDs for a new console points to Switch successor
A new Switch next year is looking increasingly likelyBy Rob Thubron
What just happened? Talk of a Nintendo Switch successor has been around for a long time now, but the biggest hint yet that it is in development has come from an unlikely source: Sharp. The Japanese company said it was supplying LCDs for "a new gaming console."
Bloomberg reports that Sharp Chief Executive Officer Robert Wu said his company has been working closely with an unnamed firm on developing a gaming console since it was in the R&D phase.
Wu added that Sharp is planning to launch pilot LCD-panel production lines for the new device during its current fiscal year, which ends in March 2024.
Sharp's involvement in a Switch successor would make sense. It has worked with Nintendo in the past, including providing LCDs for DS consoles and helping assemble the Switch, notes VGC.
Will anything ever beat the PS2?
There have been plenty of potential references to a new Switch console in the past, including one in the UK government's Microsoft Activision acquisition files. Most people believe Nintendo is working on one, though it's unlikely to launch until next year. Nintendo itself suggested in its recent earnings call that it won't be launching any new hardware before April 2024.
News of Sharp's possible involvement comes as sales of the Nintendo Switch have started slowing. It sold 17.98 million Switch handhelds for the year ending March 31, a decline of 22.1% from the 23.06 million units sold last year. The forecast is pretty pessimistic, too, as it expects to sell 15 million consoles through the end of March 2024.
But the current Switch shouldn't be written off just yet. There's a reason why the hybrid has gone on to sell 125.62 million units despite only launching in 2017, making it the third best-selling console of all time behind the Nintendo DS and top-selling PlayStation 2. There's also the fact that the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has just launched to rave reviews, and plenty of other big titles, perhaps even Call of Duty if the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard deal completes, are in the pipeline.