Next gen is looming with Sony preparing their PS5 and Microsoft preparing the Xbox Series X. These consoles will be even more powerful and capable than the current Switch lineup, which leads many to believe that Nintendo is not in a good spot against their console counterparts. However, looking beneath the surface tells a different tale. The Switch is in a very convenient place in the current gaming landscape.
Compute power is very important as technology advances and changes to meet people’s wants. Yes, PS5 and Xbox Series X will be much more capable than Switch but the landscape of gaming has changed compared to what it was during the beginning of the current generation. A leap in raw compute power doesn’t matter as much as it would have 15 years ago. As we head into the next generation, focuses are shifting toward higher frame-rates, faster load times, better power-efficiency and ray tracing. Graphical fidelity is reaching a plateau of sorts. Of course, HDR and higher resolution like 4K/8K help players view more crisp and clearer images but 1080p is still the most widely available resolution for players. The next generation focuses on how well we play our games rather than how graphically capable they are. This is Nintendo’s strong suit, as they focus on how players want to play their games rather than raw power and higher resolutions. This leads us to current developers and the transition to next generation hardware.
Japanese developers like Square Enix have stated that they won’t transition to next gen hardware exclusively for a long while. Multiple factors come into play, like the large install bases of PS4 and Switch, as well as finishing current development plans. Cross-gen games will be present for years to come, maybe even longer than the cross-gen period between PS3/Xbox 360 and PS4/Xbox One. This is due to backwards compatibility and hardware containing similar architecture. Games are scalable and missing out on larger install bases is foolish. Microsoft is prioritizing this with Xbox Series X’s smart delivery, allowing players to experience new Xbox One games on Series X with enhanced features. The current install base of Switch is over 51 million and developers want to bring even more games to Switch. These games will also be playable on the Switch’s competing platforms and next gen. This is why Square Enix would not want to transition fully into next gen for a while to come.
The Switch will not get EVERY game like others want, but developers won’t stop bringing games to the platform anytime soon. The console has proven itself as a huge seller in the market with software sales proving that owners want more and more games. The Switch will benefit greatly from the cross-gen period of next-gen consoles, while Nintendo continues to prepare their true Switch successor (Switch 2) in the meantime. Nintendo has positioned themselves to grow the Switch install base to Wii-like numbers in the years to come as well as prepare for when the true next-gen transition arrives. Lots of games and surprises are bound to come to Switch soon, we at Final Weapon can’t wait to cover them in due time.
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