The State of Switch 2023
After six years what do folks think about Nintendo's hybrid machine? Let's find out.
The Nintendo Switch marked its sixth anniversary on March 3rd, 2023.
Nintendo’s hybrid has been an undeniable success for the company, having now sold more than 120 million units worldwide, along with close to a billion units of attached software. The sheer might of this sales triumph is all the more impressive when compared to the near-polar opposite of what came before it with the Wii U.
However, despite this year-after-year success story, it does feel that during the past twelve months, there have been early signs of a shift in favourability for the platform — chiefly in faithful gaming circles, but notable all the same. There’s been an uptick in folks not only discussing what may be next, but also lamenting (rightly or wrongly) the Switch’s now ageing hardware, and the limitations such a machine faces in 2023.
Yes, the Nintendo Switch is still a much-loved device, but the white-hot attention the console once enjoyed within devoted gaming circles is no longer as heated, and the intense enthusiasm and passion for the machine is not quite as spirited as it once was.
For the past six years, I’ve carried out this user survey to get an overview of what folks think of Nintendo’s console, year-in-year-out. During this time I’ve received feedback from over 40,000 Nintendo fans, and this year saw around 2,500 respondents fill out the questionnaire.
The survey asked questions on Switch ownership, software, Joy-Con drift, anticipated games, the OLED model, future hardware, and more.
Here are the results of what Nintendo enthusiasts think of the Switch in 2023.
Table of Contents:
- 🙅 Those without a Switch
- 🤩 Tell me about your Switch
- 🎮 All about the Games
- 🙌 How you play your Switch
- 📡 Switching Online
- 💸 Buying habits
- 🧰 Durability, Improvements & Changes
- 🔮 Looking ahead
🙅 Those without a Switch
I always start things off by asking if those responding to the survey actually own a Nintendo Switch. The survey is open to all, and I take this initial opportunity to check in with those who don’t have one yet and to see why that may be.
This year, of all responses, only 1.6% said they do not currently own a Switch. An expected figure for what is now an established enthusiast survey.
But what is it that's stopping folks from grabbing Nintendo's hybrid at this stage in the console's life?
In years prior a lot of folks detailed how they were waiting for a price drop, but since launching in 2017 the hot hybrid has never once received an official global price cut — an impressive steadfastness from Nintendo in holding the line, and an interesting lever that the company can still pull when things start to slow down sales-wise.
This year’s survey still saw a few folks mention the console’s price as a sticking point, but more folks seemed to highlight the ageing hardware as the primary reason for now holding back.
This concern around hardware was twofold: one on the performance of the current device, especially when compared to modern machines and more demanding games, with the other worry being a fear that a new Nintendo console could be imminent — be that a revision, or a completely new machine.
During my time compiling this survey price has been the leading reason behind folks not buying into the Nintendo Switch ecosystem, but over the course of the past two years, this price issue has fallen in importance to that of hardware concerns — a telling sign that the Switch is increasingly perceived as old hardware.
🤩 Tell me about your Switch
Next, I spoke to those who currently own a Nintendo Switch — 98.4% of respondents.
Switch ownership, across the three models breaks down as follows:
- Around 79% of respondents have the original model.
- Some 12% own the handheld-only Switch Lite.
- Over 31% currently own the OLED variant.
A good chunk of those responding detailed that they currently own more than one Switch, with around 19% noting that they have multiple machines.
Of those with an OLED Nintendo Switch - the latest model - around 78% shared that this was an upgrade purchase from an earlier version — another indication of the enthusiast demographic answering the survey. As for why folks upgraded to the OLED? Here’s what some respondents had to say:
"The nicer screen and better build quality has brought my experience to a whole new level and the colors on the screen still repeatedly surprise me today."
"I mainly play handheld, so I needed that new screen."
"My launch day Switch casing was starting to crack and break so we upgraded."
"..the double whammy of battery life and nicer screen was a no-brainer for me. I sold my launch Switch on eBay and used those funds towards the OLED model."
"My launch model was starting to show its age, and I really wanted the improved screen and battery life."
"The OLED Switch is just the definitive version of the Switch design."
The remaining 22% of OLED owners indicated that this model was their very first Switch.
I also ask respondents which specific model it is they have. This further splits the hardware question down to the colour choices folks make.
- 81% of OLED owners opted for the white model.
- Year over year, there was a nearly 5% increase in OLED model ownership amongst respondents.
- Turquoise remains the most common Switch Lite — as has been the case since it launched.
- This year saw an uptick in 'Other' models - likely helped by the popular Splatoon 3 OLED.
Another related data point on Switch ownership from the survey comes from asking respondents when they got their Switch. As shown in the chart below, nearly half (46.5%) of those answering the survey shared that they got their first Switch during the launch year (2017).
Around 1.7% of respondents were fresh to the Switch console, getting their first Switch in 2023.
🎮 All about the Games
Moving on from hardware — next comes a set of questions all about Nintendo Switch software.
Nintendo Switch owners have around 35 games. Curiously, this number is the exact same as the median response seen in last year’s survey.
As mentioned, this questionnaire does seem to attract an enthusiast crowd — as such, the numbers around Switch software attach rates tend to skew a little high. Some respondents state they own thousands of Switch games — such responses push the average up, landing us on a figure of 63 games owned on average. The more sensible and likely representative figure can be found via the median response, which falls at 35, as mentioned above.
The below chart (a violin plot) shows the distribution of all the responses to this question over the past six years. The wider the shape on a line represents how common a response was in a given year.
The clear pattern here shows that in earlier years, when the overall Switch library was smaller, folks' game collections were smaller to match. Over time Switch owners' game libraries have grown more diverse and also grown in number.
It is curious to see for the first time, little in the way of year-over-year change in library size. The 2023 figures match the 2022 results nearly to the digit.
Next comes a question about which recent Nintendo-published titles respondents have picked up for their Switch. Note: Nintendo is the publisher of certain titles listed in select regions/countries.
Although Nintendo does provide their own sales data on occasion (typically at quarterly earnings), I do think it worthwhile to ask this question to get a more immediate sense of what recent games have resonated with Switch owners.
So, when it comes to recent Switch releases (those from 2022 and 2023), here's how things look:
- Pokemon Legends: Arceus was the most selected game here — but it's also been out the longest.
- Pokemon Violet is marginally the more popular version over Scarlet.
- Outside of Pokemon titles, Kirby and the Forgotten Land was the most popular Switch release from the past ~15 months.
- A notable number of folks had already picked up Metroid Prime Remastered, despite only being on sale for a few days prior to this survey opening.
The stats on digital game ownership versus physical remains consistent, with Nintendo Switch owners stating on average that 55% of their owned games are digital versions.
This slight edge in favour of digital ownership isn’t wholly surprising when considering just how much of the Switch library is only available in digital form. However, the stats here being a near consistent 50/50 for the last six years show that Switch enthusiasts are still keen on physical software and the benefits and appeal that such boxed copies still hold.
Each year I ask Switch players what single game it is that they have spent the most time with on their console. The results year-in-year out are fairly consistent, and once again, 2023 didn’t result in any major surprise, with all the top results being solid evergreen hits.
The top five games people have spent the most time playing on the Nintendo Switch are as follows:
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been a constant mainstay, taking the top spot on this question every single year. Exploring this version of Hyrule is clearly quite the time sink, and the steady top billing here speaks to the enduring compelling nature of that much-loved launch title.
Last year saw Fire Emblem: Three Houses in 5th place, with Splatoon 2 taking 4th. For 2023 the Splatoon player base was seemingly split across the second entry and the more recent Splatoon 3, as such, the franchise fell out of the top five and was replaced with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — which no doubt has seen a notable increase in playtime thanks to the Booster Course Pass DLC tracks.
Mario Kart 8 is a fascinating example of the sheer staying power some games enjoy — it’s a game that’s nearly ten years old, having first released on the Wii U back in 2014, got a huge second wind on Switch, and is now enjoying a fresh flurry of attention thanks to the unexpected and generous DLC. The only other games that seem to spring to mind in terms of their longevity and seemingly ceaseless success are Rockstar’s GTA V and Minecraft.
Other popular Switch mainstays (mentioned as responses to this question) included Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Splatoon 2 and 3, Stardew Valley, Monster Hunter Rise, and a selection of various Pokemon titles, led by Sword and Shield.
I also ask which single game folks felt they had spent the most time playing during the last year. This offers a more timely look at what games are resonating with the Switch audience now. Here’s what Nintendo Switch games players spent the most time with during 2022:
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3
- Pokemon Legends: Arceus
- Splatoon 3
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was a huge summer 2022 release, with a mammoth, lengthy campaign — so it's no surprise to see this one snag so much playtime.
Other popular responses to this 2022 playtime question included Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, Monster Hunter Rise, Persona 5 Royale, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and others.
Next, I asked about what genres folks feel are both well-represented on the Switch and which types of games are underrepresented on the platform.
In terms of genres that are well served on Nintendo's machine, RPGs, JRPGs, and Platformers came out on top. Plenty of responses also highlighted how the Switch is home to many Metroidvania titles. It was also noted how the Switch remains a good home for a range of indie games.
Amusingly — maybe due to a certain recent Nintendo Direct, the survey saw a lot of folks commenting on how there is now a good chunk of 'Farming Sims' on the Switch.
As for genres folks feel are lacking on the Switch the top response was for first-person shooter (FPS) experiences by quite some margin. Racing games was also a common response here.
Every year, I like to ask respondents if they had to pick a focus for Nintendo going forward, what would it be? Folks filling out the questionnaire are given two choices: more new titles with fresh IP, or to see older series, such as F-Zero, returning.
Each and every year the split on this question remains pretty much 50/50.
As you can see this year is no different, with the split coming in at 50.37% in favour of Nintendo bringing new experiences and properties to market. I've always said I think this balance over the years is likely a good thing, suggesting that folks like seeing a balanced mix of old and new, but with an ever so slight preference for wanting to see what's fresh.
In the last few years, there's been a slow rise in the number of titles being offered as ‘Cloud’ versions on the Nintendo Switch. These games (such as Control, Resident Evil Village, Assasin's Creed: Odyssey, and others) are not downloaded to a user's device and instead are streamed via a constantly required internet connection. I asked survey respondents whether they had ever bought one of these types of games on the Switch.
The results reveal that the majority of Switch owners (a massive 95%) have yet to purchase a Cloud game on the hybrid. This sizeable snub of the purchase-streaming format is highly consistent with the findings from the 2022 survey — suggesting that attitudes towards this model have not yet shifted.
The results here indicate that there is still a notable degree of reluctance among Switch users to embrace Cloud gaming, as well as a possible need for further improvement in both the delivery and execution of Cloud games on the platform. While some users may be willing to try out Cloud gaming, there appear to be lingering concerns around the cost and ownership of games that are not downloaded locally.
Those who indicated they have purchased a Cloud game on Switch (just 5% of respondents) provided feedback on their satisfaction with the experience — there was an even split between satisfied and dissatisfied customers. This split suggests that while Cloud gaming on the Switch has some appeal, there are still challenges that need to be addressed in order to improve satisfaction and adoption rates.
Based on the data for 2023, the majority of Switch owners have played a free-to-play game on the platform, with 62% responding 'yes' to having downloaded and played at least one. Popular titles that employ this free-to-play model include Fortnite, Rocket League, and several others.
🙌 How you play your Switch
The following set of results looks at how Switch owners use their console — covering things like time spent playing, where they play, controller preference, storage, and more.
- On average, a Switch owner will play their console for around 5 hours, 4 minutes per week.
- This is down from last year's 6 hours 24 minutes.
- Year over year, weekly playtime is down about ~24%.
- However, when asking respondents to think about whether they had played on their Switch more or less during the last 12 months when compared to the year prior — most (52%) said they had played more.
- 4.67% of respondents indicated they play their Switch ten or more hours per week.
- 5.90% said they play their Switch for less than an hour per week.
- Playing docked on the TV remains the most popular way to play the Nintendo Switch — but only by a small margin.
- This slight preference for TV mode play is reconfirmed by the data from the 'What percentage of time do you play docked?' question — it had a similar 51.9% response for docked play.
Related to play style, I asked how often Switch owners use their console beyond their home. As you can see, most respondents (a combined near 64%) said they never, or rarely play the Switch outside:
- The Pro Controller remains the most popular control method for the Nintendo Switch, by a considerable margin — this dedicated controller being top again aligns with the preference for TV mode play.
- As has been consistent for a few years now, the average Switch owner has three controllers.
- The majority of respondents (~62%) indicated that they do not own a third-party controller for their Switch.
- Of the 38% with a third-party controller, popular options included those from 8bitdo, PowerA, and Hori.
- Nyxi, the brand behind those split GameCube Joy-Con, also saw a few mentions here for the first time.
- When it comes to microSD card storage for the Switch a 128GB card is the top choice (32.68%), followed by 256GB, and then 512GB cards.
- Some 4.4% of Switch owners have a 1TB microSD card installed.
- Only around twenty percent of Switch owners (19.64%) indicated that they have a portable battery charger that they use with their Switch.
- The majority (80.36%) said they do not use a battery with their console. This suggests that battery life on Switch isn't much of a concern — probably because most are not taking the device out of the home.
📡 Switching Online
This next section features data around Nintendo's online subscription service — Nintendo Switch Online. I asked questions around membership type, reasons for being an active member, what retro content folks want to see come to the service, and more.
- Around 80% of respondents indicated that they were currently a member of the Nintendo Switch Online service. This is a fall from near 90% in 2022.
- Nearly 56% of those with a membership are on the Annual plan.
- Around 38% make use of the cheaper Family plan.
- Primary reasons for holding an active subscription were: Playing online, accessing classic games, and cloud saves.
- A sizeable 66% indicated that they make use of Discord for voice chat when playing online on the Switch.
- 51.65% of Switch Online members shared that they have not signed up for the Expansion Pack tier. As such, 48.35% are Expansion Pack members.
- Of all the retro platforms available to play across the Nintendo Switch Online service the SNES library remains the most popular.
- Out of the Expansion Pack only libraries, N64 games are the clear favourite. However, the recently added GBA games have seen a near similar level of interest.
- The SEGA Genesis / Mega Drive titles are the least played of all the available retro libraries.
As mentioned above, a slight majority (51.65%) have not signed up for Nintendo's second-tier subscription — the Expansion Pack. I asked why. Here's some commentary from survey respondents:
"Tempted, but resent the current model of paying a subscription in perpetuity for access to games. I’d rather buy a title and own it."
"I don't care for N64 games and if I wanted to play the DLC for Animal Crossing or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I would buy it outright. I am tempted to upgrade for GBA games, however, as the rewind feature is so nice."
"Value isn't worth it for me yet, might be when GBA selection is better"
"Too expensive and I rarely play retro games these days (backlog is too big)"
"The price jump from the regular service to the Expansion Pack is steep."
"It's too expensive and inconvenient. I only want the GBA games, I don't care about anything else. If there were piecemeal options to buy individual systems for $10-20 each, I'd be all over that. But there isn't."
"Because I find the subscription to access to games (or anything), especially single-player games ugly and anti-consumer."
"Currently it's a lack of value: the free DLC is either for games I don't own or I've already bought it, and N64 and Genesis titles were simply not worth the price. However, with the addition of GBA titles, I might change my mind as more titles are added."
As you can see from the comments above, a fair few mention the price and the value offered by the service. I asked Switch Online members outright if they believe the current membership tiers represent good value for money. Here are the findings:
There's a stark difference in how the regular membership is perceived versus the pricier Expansion Pack tier. Whereas nearly 75% of members believe the basic Switch Online membership does offer good value for money, the same is only true for around 40% of Expansion Pack members.
Last year some 46.6% of Expansion Pack members said the membership represented good value — as such, despite Nintendo adding new DLC and libraries of games to the second tier, the number of folks saying this service is good value is down just over 8% year over year.
I conclude this section by asking Switch Online members to rate the current Switch Online service on a scale of one to five. The average response came in at 3.7.
💸 Buying habits
- In an average month, a Switch owner will spend around $60 on gaming.
- 63% of Switch owners use the Wish List feature on the eShop.
- 87% of Switch owners have downloaded at least one demo from the eShop.
I asked Switch owners for their thoughts on Nintendo's eShop and for comments on how they would like to see it improved:
"Needs to be faster and smoother! Layout needs to be clearer especially in regards to sorting new releases, genres etc. Search could do with being more accurate as well."
"How can I count the ways? Better filtering, accurate screenshots that are actually always guaranteed to be Switch ones, reviews. I just use Deku Deals."
"Better discovery, faster load times, more filters/ways to search, a way to hide games you own from showing up, background music."
"I generally only use the eShop to find games I already know about — it's fine for that. But being able to buy a game from desktop/laptop and have it automatically download to my console would be swell."*The ability to buy online in the browser is a feature of certain regions official Nintendo sites.
"It really needs to work faster."
🧰 Durability, Improvements & Changes
For this next section, we look at the findings from a series of questions on hardware durability, software bugs, etc.
I lead this section with what has become the most prominent hardware question of the Switch era: have you experienced Joy-Con drift?
- Over 63% of respondents indicated that at some point they had seen Joy-Con drift in one or more of their controllers.
- This figure stood at 68% in 2022, so it's good to see it come down, albeit by a little, year over year.
- Despite the majority of respondents having experienced Joy-Con drift at some point, only roughly 30% of those said they had sent their Joy-Con to Nintendo for repair.
- 88% of those who sent in Joy-Con for an official repair with Nintendo, received the repair/fix for free. This aligns with recent news regarding out-of-warranty fixes.
- Of those who have sent a faulty Joy-Con to Nintendo, some 37% have had to do so more than once.
- Of all OLED owners, only 6.75% said they had experienced Joy-Con drift. Suggesting the issue is improved on the OLED model, but not wholly resolved.
In addition to asking about Joy-Con drift, I also ask a broader, multiple-choice question about any other hardware-related problems with the Switch.
As the data below shows, outside of Joy-Con drift, the main issue folks have with the Switch is their screen getting scratched from the dock — an issue which has been flagged with the Switch from the very beginning.
A lot of the other issues highlighted here (battery health, buttons jamming, broken kickstand, cracked/warped plastic) could well be attributed to the age of hardware - especially when you consider the majority answering this survey bought/got their Switch in 2017.
I then ask Switch owners what one single thing they would most like to see improved about the Switch hardware.
Again, to no surprise, fixing the Joy-Con drift issue persists as the primary request here. Every single year that I've written up this survey report, this has been the case — it's frankly a little shameful for Nintendo to have let this persist for over six years.
Performance (more powerful hardware - CPU, GPU, etc) was the second highest request here. Other hardware improvements that folks want to see include a better battery, more internal storage, and analog triggers on the controllers, along with a handful of responses requesting improved ergonomics / a more comfortable standard controller.
At this point, I invited respondents to share any comments they may have about the Switch hardware and it durability in general:
"Eight-year old tablet chip and it shows. Still impressive what games on it can look like though."
"Apart from Joycon drift - seems very durable."
"Drift is unacceptable and happens way too frequently"
"Durability is great and as a console I've loved the Switch. It does feel a bit dated compared to newer things on the market and when it struggles to run games smoothly it definitely shows its age."
"I am worried that I will not be able to continue playing my Switch once Nintendo stops supporting Joy-Con repair sometime in the distant future. This has never been a concern for any other Nintendo hardware I have owned before."
"I’m still so impressed with the feel of the unit and how well it travels. It’s my constant travel companion."
Beyond hardware issues, I asked whether Switch owners have made use of two software features added to the console in recent years:
- 53% of Switch owners have used the Bluetooth headphone feature added to the Switch in 2021.
- Only 39% of Switch owners have used the organisation 'Folders' feature added to the Switch in 2022.
When it comes to software changes folks want to see on the Switch platform more theme support is the most requested feature. A native achievements system comes a close second. Improvements to the eShop are the third most requested software change.
Finally for this section I ask which of the following changes/modifications, if any, Switch owners have made to their Switch, and Joy-Con controllers.
584 respondents replied to this question, revealing:
- 430 respondents noted that they had carried out their own repairs on their Switch.
- Some 175 said that they had changed the look of their Joy-Con controllers by replacing the plastic housing/shells with aftermarket options.
- Just shy of 100 folks (96) went one step further and changed the housing/shell of the entire Switch console.
- 118 respondents indicated that they had Jailbroken their Switch.
- When it comes to modding the Switch hardware in any other way, 87 respondents shared they had done this.
🔮 Looking ahead
To wrap up the survey I ask a selection of questions around what games folks still want to see come to the Switch, how long they wish to see support for the platform continue, and more.
First is a question asking which Nintendo franchise people feel is still missing from the Switch's software line-up. Thankfully the Switch library is now home to many of Nintendo's most prominent franchises — this means that many popular and common responses from previous surveys have now seen Switch entries released. However, there are still some notable series that remain absent.
Here are the five Nintendo franchises folks feel are most missing from the Switch's library:
- Star Fox
- Kid Icarus
- Golden Sun
- Donkey Kong
F-Zero was the top response last year —
In last year's survey Earthbound (Mother) was listed as a common response — but this year it was pushed outside of the top five to make way for Donkey Kong. Admittedly, we have had a DK game on the Switch by way of Tropical Freeze — however, as this was a Wii U port, it's clear respondents are keen to see an all-new Donkey Kong experience on the Switch.
Other popular responses outside of the top five included Earthbound, Rhythm Heaven, the Mario & Luigi RPGs, Wario Land, and Tomodachi Life to name but a few.
When it comes to which third-party game or franchise people feel is missing from the Switch, the most common responses were as follows:
- Metal Gear Solid
- Yakuza / Like A Dragon
- Call of Duty
In years prior Persona has taken the top spot here on more than one occasion, however, this desire is now fulfilled due to several games from the series now being available on the Nintendo Switch.
Out of the top five responses for 2023, Call of Duty seems the most likely contender to end up on Nintendo's platforms - if Microsoft gets their way with the Activision Blizzard deal.
Other common responses to this question included Elden Ring, The Sims, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy Tactics, Genshin Impact, and Red Dead Redemption.
I also asked Nintendo Switch Online members which single retro game they would most like to see come to the service in the future.
In years prior, titles such as Earthbound, and GoldenEye 007 were common responses — both of which are now available to Switch Online members.
This year, there was one clear standout: Pokemon. Respondents have a clear desire to play older Pokemon titles — with Red, Blue, Yellow, and the GBA's Emerald being the most common requests to this question.
Plenty of folks also want to see games such as Mother 3, Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, Golden Sun, Diddy Kong Racing, and the Zelda Oracle games added to the Switch Online service.
Another question related to the Switch Online service asked respondents to pick a library of games that they would most like to see added to the Switch Online service in the future. This would be just one collection of titles from a past, retro console.
Just like last year, the GameCube was by far the most requested and has the library of games Switch owners would most like to see added to the Switch Online service next. Last year's survey saw the GBA take the second spot, however, as that is now available (to Expansion Pack members), the second most requested library was DS titles.
The Sega Dreamcast, Wii, 3DS, and Sega Saturn also saw a small, but notable number of responses.
Next, I asked what is the one upcoming announced game that respondents were most looking forward to. Here are the top five most anticipated Switch games:
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- Metroid Prime 4
- Pikmin 4
- Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp (Now available)
- Hollow Knight Silksong
The top responses here aren't particularly unexpected — both Metroid Prime 4 and the upcoming Zelda game were also top five responses last year, so to see them remain is no shocker. The prominent presence of Advance Wars here is likely due to the game's promotion and imminent release coinciding with the questionnaire timing — the game was likely front of mind for many.
Outside of the top five, other top responses here included Hogwarts Legacy, the upcoming Professor Layton game, Fantasy Life I: The Girl Who Steals Time, Sea of Stars, the Baton Kaitos Remaster, Hades 2, and others.
Briefly, I also ask the Switch-owning respondents what other systems they have — this is just to get a broader sense of the current gaming landscape among Switch owners. Some 845 respondents said they had a PS4, whereas 618 own a PS5. 246 have an Xbox One, with 389 owning either a Series S or X. 283 Switch owners also have Valve's Steam Deck. 281 have a VR headset of some sort. Just 72 own the Analon Pocket, with 46 saying they have Panic's Playdate handheld.
How many more years do folks want Nintendo to continue supporting the Switch platform?
The most common reply (nearly 25% of responses) was for Nintendo to support the Switch for an additional two years — until 2025.
Across all responses, the average comes out closer to four years — this would take the Switch up to 2027.
As for what's next? We're reaching a point where discussion around Nintendo's next hardware play is inevitably going to ramp up. As such, I asked two questions of this Switch-owning group: How important is backwards compatibility, and what price are you hoping Nintendo's next machine debuts at?
On price, most folks would be willing to spend around $350 and $450 USD at launch for new Nintendo hardware. This $350 price point aligns with Nintendo's current hardware costs.
As for backwards compatibility, a huge number of Switch owners see it as a vital feature for Nintendo's next hardware:
To wrap up, I asked on a five-point scale generally, how satisfied are folks with the Nintendo Switch platform?
The response? 4.3 out of 5. This is essentially the same as last year (4.4) — pointing to a generally high level of sustained satisfaction with the Switch platform.
In closing, here's a collection of comments (both positive and negative about the Switch platform as a whole) from a selection of survey respondents:
"Amazing console that deserves all the love and all the legitimate criticism it has received."
"An excellent console that is beginning to show its age, but I prefer my games to be fun rather than technical and graphical powerhouses, so as long as devs can make fun games and take full advantage of the Switch hardware, I'm happy to keep playing for many years to come."
"I absolutely love my Switch. It's probably my favorite Nintendo hardware, going back to my Super Nintendo and original Game Boy. That said, it's time for the Switch Successor. Unless a game's art style is very special, most games aren't especially easy on the eyes."
"Don’t think Nintendo can go away from a hybrid system now. This is it. Great system with superb software. Probably about ready for an upgrade, but next system must be backwards compatible and let’s keep supporting the OG Switch for at least two years beyond launch day of Switch Two. Especially because the next system will be hard to get hold of, as every console launch has shown in recent years."
"As an older 40+ female gamer with limited time and, honestly, limited skills the Switch in its current form is actually still perfect for me. I think Nintendo have really settled into and owned this hybrid console niche. I’d be happy for them to continue inhabiting this space on their own without trying to compete with Sony or Microsoft, but I think that a bump in processing power and a more reliable joycon is needed in the very near future."
"Nintendo is on to something good with this console. I just hope that the next one is an iterative, not a revolutionary, upgrade, that maintains full backward compatibility with the Switch library and possibly controllers as well."
"I think Nintendo could still get a few years out of it. The upcoming games announced are just fantastic and truly things to look forward to, so a new console is just unnecessary at this point. The consoles games seem to still thrive."
"At this point it’s time to focus on the successor console. It clearly should be more powerful, be able to support voice chat parties and messaging. Be more social, achievements, backwards compatible, and all digital purchases need to transfer over."
"Despite all its many faults, the Switch, hardware and especially software wise is one of the greatest consoles ever made. It doesn't feel like the hardware is aging in a meaningful way (I have a PS5 so I don't mind the Switch being less than cutting edge graphics-wise). However long it lasts, and it clearly has to end someday, it'll be a tough act to follow for Nintendo and the industry at large."
"A triumph! I'm mainly a console gamer, so having a handheld is a treat, and I love it."
🎉 That's it!
That concludes this year's findings — I hope it's proven interesting.
As ever, if you've got any feedback, comments, or kind words please do reach out, either on Mastodon or via email: email@example.com — I'd love to hear from you.
Finally, if you've enjoyed this work then it would mean a lot to me if you'd consider either 'buying me a coffee', or supporting my ongoing work via Patreon. I'd also encourage you to subscribe to my free weekly Nintendo newsletter.