It sounds like Nintendo is really putting a lot of thought into not only ensuring that the roughly 130 million Switch owners have a good incentive to upgrade to its next console without worrying about starting fresh, but also keeping the momentum of it’s unstoppable current platform going straight into the next iteration.
In an interview with Inverse, Nintendo of America’s President, Doug Bowser, has somewhat addressed the escalating rumours of a successor to the Switch, stopping short of confirming anything we’ve heard but stressing that the transition to the next system will be smoother than in previous major Nintendo console launches thanks in some part to the existing Nintendo Account system.
“Well, first I can’t comment — or I won’t comment, I should say — on the rumours that are out there,” Bowser told the outlet. “But one thing we’ve done with the Switch to help with that communication and transition is the formation of the Nintendo Account. In the past, every device we transitioned to had a whole new account system. Creating the Nintendo Account will allow us to communicate with our players if and when we make a transition to a new platform, to help ease that process or transition.
“Our goal is to minimize the dip you typically see in the last year of one cycle and the beginning of another. I can’t speak to the possible features of a new platform, but the Nintendo Account is a strong basis for having that communication as we make the transition.”
What this all sounds like (at least to me) is a very roundabout way of suggesting that, as per the commonly-held beliefs out there at the moment, the successor to the Switch won’t stray too far from the design and functionality and potentially even offer proper backwards compatibility with existing Switch games and the carrying over of users’ digital libraries. At the very least, we now know you won’t need to sign up to yet another new account system.