Nintendo prepares for future Switch 2 release as Furukawa downplays next-gen hardware details but is ready for a scrap with scalpers
A recent Nintendo shareholder Q&A involving Shuntaro Furukawa has been posted online, and depending on the accuracy of the machine translation (both DeepL and Google Translate were utilized here for the Japanese-language transcript), there are a few potential Switch 2 details to be extracted. However, one of Furukawa’s first comments was to make it clear that specific teasers were not on the table:
We are always considering various future hardware specifications, but I would like to refrain from making any specific comments on future hardware at this time. (DeepL)
Regardless of that firm standpoint, there were still some points made throughout the Q&A that could concern the Nintendo Switch 2, although the following worrying statement was also thrown into the mix:
Going forward, I don't think it will be easy to sell hardware at the pace of the past few years. (Google Translate)
Obviously, more and more rival devices are appearing on the market, with the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally being just two shining examples in the handheld space and the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S dominating the standard console arena. It's likely a Nintendo Switch 2 console would sell in its millions, but matching the current Switch’s level of 125 million units sold would be a considerable mountain to climb.
But Nintendo might have some aces up its sleeve here, with Furukawa continuing:
Regarding the transition to next-generation consoles, in the past hardware was the only way we could connect with our customers. With new hardware, we had to rebuild our relationship with our customers. On the other hand, with the Nintendo Switch, we can directly connect with various customers through Nintendo Accounts. (DeepL)
This has been speculated as indicating Switch 2 backwards compatibility is on the cards, as it appears a next-gen console would immediately link up with existing Nintendo Accounts.
Naturally, one of the biggest concerns for fans in regard to a Switch 2 release would be availability. The PlayStation 5 launch showed just how quickly, and ruthlessly, scalpers become involved when there is a profit to be made on must-have tech, and gamers who could not wait or did not want to wait were either fleeced or angered by images of scalpers getting hold of dozens of PS5 units. Furukawa had some affirming words to make about this potential situation:
In addition, regarding resale measures when releasing new hardware, first of all, we recognize that the most important thing is to produce and ship a sufficient number of products. On top of that, anything else is possible. We will look into whether there is a workaround. (Google Translate)
So, if the Nintendo Switch 2 release date ends up falling in 2024, the big N has time to make sure there are enough consoles to go around at the start, thus foiling any scalper plans to hoard limited stock. The remainder of the comment also indicates that Nintendo is not turning a blind eye to scalping activities and wants to actively combat them on multiple levels when the Switch 2/Switch successor hits the shelves.
(Full Q&A pdf - in Japanese.)