What’s Coming For the Nintendo Switch After the Zelda Game

by | Feb 11, 2023

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be the final major game release for the Nintendo Switch. So, what’s next?
An image of the Nintendo Switch connected to a TV.

via Dan Schleusser/Unsplash

The Nintendo Switch is nearing the six-year mark and is still stirring up news every now and then. However, the handheld has started to show its age, and it seems like Nintendo is planning to give it one last profit-churning push, considering that it will be getting its final “major” game this year.

Ever since Nintendo originally unveiled the Switch in 2017, news of a more powerful version has been floating around. After all, a handheld cannot compete with the quality something like the PlayStation 5 is pushing.

This version of the Switch has been dubbed many things, including the Switch Pro, the Switch 2, and even the Supercharged Switch.

Honestly, I’m not a fan of the last one. All we’ve gotten since then is the Switch OLED, and while the better image quality certainly makes a difference, there comes a point where new hardware just cannot be made up for.

rumors about the “nintendo switch 2” have been all over the place

The handheld has started to show its age, evident with the lackluster performance of the otherwise wonderful Scarlet and Violet.

The Switch sales slowed as the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft became more readily available, and the company simply has scrapped or at least delayed its plans for a newer Switch.

The news came via Bloomberg journalist Takashi Mochizuki (thanks Tom’s Guide) on his Twitter account, which stated that no new Nintendo hardware will be released this fiscal year, which ends March 2023.

According to a recent report from Game Revolution, however, Nintendo Switch 2 is already in the works, and we might see it as soon as 2023. In the latest issue of the Japanese magazine Famitsu, tech reporter Zenji Nishikawa stated that Nintendo will “make some moves” for new hardware, although we might not be seeing anything go to sale.

According to the report, Nishikawa was presumably referring to NVIDIA hardware, since the Switch 2 is expected to be powered by another NVIDIA chip like the Tegra X1.

We still don’t know how reliable this news is, as reports previously surfaced that Nintendo had scrapped its plans for the “Switch Pro”, and is looking to focus on a next-generation console to better compete with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

This report came from a podcast by Digital Foundry, where they revealed that the Switch Pro was a real thing that Nintendo was looking to develop.

The company later scrapped these plans to put its focus on its next-gen console, especially since they’ve had a history of failed consoles over the recent years.

At one point internally, from what I can understand from talking to different developers, is that there was some sort of mid-generation Switch update planned at one point, and that seems to be no longer happening and thus it’s pretty clear that what they do next is going to be the actual next-generation hardware. I don’t think it’s going to be 2023. (Thanks, The Gamer)

tears of the kingdom will be the final “big title” for the switch

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the breakout game for the Switch and a big reason for its early popularity. Its sequel, titled Tears of the Kingdom was supposed to release in 2022, but was later moved to a 2023 release date.

According to predictions from industry insiders, this is going to be the final major title that will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, as the company has reportedly moved on to developing more powerful hardware.

While you could argue that the new Fire Emblem game and the Bayonetta spin-off will be major releases, even Nintendo realizes the weight that the release of Tears of the Kingdom carries.

Andy Robinson, industry insider and the editor-in-chief of VGC News tweeted about the future of the Switch after the new Zelda game, stating that new hardware might be coming in 2024.

From what I’m hearing I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo starts talking about new hardware by 2024. I’m not convinced another huge first-party game other than Zelda is left on Switch (usual Nintendo prediction caveats apply…)

A screenshot from the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Tears of the Kingdom is one of the most anticipated games of the decade.  |  via Nintendo

Nintendo previously announced that it had lowered its sales forecast for the Switch in November due to component shortages. However, according to Bloomberg, the company has ramped up the Switch production.

If the Nintendo Switch manages to beat the analysts’ expectations, it would be surpassing 150 million lifetime sales, joining the PlayStation 2 in the list of the best-selling consoles ever.

Sales of the Switch have always been carried by the launch of major titles, with Animal Crossing: New Horizons being the pandemic driver and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet bringing profits during the holiday season.

This ramping in production could be owed to the new Zelda game to a certain extent, especially since the special edition console has already been leaked extensively.

All this seems to reassure that the Nintendo Switch is prepping for its final stretch. Hopefully, they don’t pull a Wii U with its successor.