Nintendo rejects “platform lifecycle,” talks long-term Switch support


Nintendo has big plans for the Nintendo Switch and suggested plans to indefinitely support the console, even as reports paint a clearer picture of the Switch 2 and what it will have to offer.

Despite the company having a strong track record of backwards compatibility, Nintendo games have a history of not being future-proof. Several games such as Pokemon Black and White, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Kid Icarus: Uprising remain confined to their respective discontinued platforms to this day. Nintendo is currently preserving its gaming history through its Nintendo Switch online subscription service, but numerous titles remain stranded on the GameCube and other retro consoles.

Nintendo Switch games could face the same fate. It’s unknown if Nintendo will allow Switch games to be playable on upcoming consoles like the long-rumored Nintendo Switch 2. It’s also unknown whether the sustainability of the Nintendo Switch eShop and other online services will be assured in the long term. Nintendo has been pruning back support for older platforms, recently shutting down online multiplayer and services for the Wii U and 3DS beyond just the eShop closure.

3ds Eshop

While it’s impossible to see into the future, a financial report from Nintendo suggests the Switch may not face the same issues any time soon. The company is indicating that it plans to keep the platform alive for a long while.

Will Nintendo stop supporting the Switch after Switch 2?

Nintendo claims it is not giving up on the Nintendo Switch and will continue to release new titles into the future.

“Nintendo will continue to release new titles and content without being bound by the traditional concept of the platform lifecycle,” reads an excerpt from Nintendo’s Future Outlook presentation slide. 

Switch Infographic
Nintendo financial report’s stated goals for Switch.

In a way, this strategy is in keeping with Nintendo’s tradition of extending support for consoles such as the Wii and Nintendo 3DS long after their successors were released. The Wii continued to receive new games as far along as 2020 even though production of new Wii hardware ended in 2013. Similarly, the Nintendo 3DS continued to receive games on its eShop until 2022 when production of 3DS hardware ended in 2020.

Previous leaks suggest that the Nintendo Switch 2 may not support backwards compatibility, or at least won’t have it available on every model of the upcoming console. It’s also unknown whether Nintendo will release a digital-only console or whether that console will accept game cartridges from the Nintendo Switch, with one report suggesting it will use a completely new type of cartridge.

Are they still making new Switch games?

Nintendo has expressed its intention to support the Nintendo Switch platform with new games into its 2025 fiscal year.

In an interview with Nikkei, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa stated that Nintendo is still actively developing Nintendo Switch software planned for release in its fiscal year running from April 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025.

Multiple games have already been announced by both Nintendo and third-party developers into that fiscal year. Furukawa may have simply been referring to these titles, such as the remaster of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD, rather than suggesting plans to release new Switch games into 2025.

Regardless, the Nintendo Switch will remain relevant for nearly a decade, surpassing the longevity of most previous Nintendo consoles. This relevance is also reflected in the number of upcoming titles that have been announced including Super Mario RPG Remake, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, and Princess Peach: Showtime!

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Written by Mohamed Hassan

Mohamed still treasures his time playing games on the original PlayStation, speedrunning through the Megaman X games and replaying acclaimed role-playing game Chrono Cross countless times. Since then, his love for JRPGs and platformers has only grown and is among the driving forces behind his passion for writing about video games. He has previously written for DualShockers and Same Old Gaming, and he can be found on Twitter / X at @Weltschmerz2887.

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