• Four years since its launch, the Nintendo Switch has proven to be a critical and commercial success for Nintendo, in large part due to its hybrid design
  • After the Wii U underperformed, Nintendo made a commitment to have both home and handheld functionality for its next console
  • First-party titles like "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" has certainly helped as Nintendo's resources focused on developing content solely for the Switch

It’s still relatively early in the life of the Nintendo Switch, but don’t expect the next console from Nintendo to stray from its hybrid design.

Since launching four years ago, the Switch has been a commercial success for Nintendo and the momentum for the console seems to still be trending upward thanks in no small part to its hybrid design. As both a handheld and a home console, the Switch answered the desire for gamers to both have a unit to play with at home and while on the go.

Although Nintendo had success with both the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii, its next console, the Nintendo Wii U, failed to match even the Wii’s success. This is believed to at least partly be due to the rise of mobile gaming, ScreenRant reports.

No less than the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata changed his way of thinking about mobile gaming and the seeds for a console that would be able to play games on the go were planted. This became the central idea for Nintendo and has proven to be at the core of the rise of the Switch.

Since its initial launch in 2016, the Nintendo Switch has been a resounding success. In Japan, the Switch's early sales numbers were on par with and quickly surpassed PlayStation 4 sales, and it sold more than 2.7 million units worldwide in just its first month. Sales for the Switch have only increased since then, rewarding Nintendo for its commitment to home-handheld hybrid gaming.

A recent Nintendo shareholders meeting echoed this victory as current Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa and director Ko Shiota stated that they believed the versatility of the Switch is a large part of its sustained success.

"From the perspective of playing with the image displayed on a TV we believe that because consumers can play Nintendo Switch on a TV or the game console screen itself, it has greatly increased the opportunities for gameplay in various scenes in their lives, compared to previous consoles,” Shiota was reported as saying.

Through Nintendo Switch, we’ve made many discoveries about where a dedicated video game platform can fit into a consumer’s daily life... We will utilize these experiences in carefully considering the form our future game consoles will take,” Shiota said.

Aside from frustrating issues such as Joy-Con drift, ScreenRant notes that there is no denying the commercial and critical reception that the Switch has achieved. First-party titles like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” and “Pokemon Sword” and “Pokemon Shield” have contributed to that success, but the hybrid nature of the console continues to set it apart from others on the market.

"The second factor is that Nintendo’s development resources are concentrated on developing content for a single platform, Nintendo Switch. We want to extend the life cycle of Nintendo Switch while maximizing such advantages,” Furukawa said.

The Nintendo Switch has proved opular since launching in 2017 but the firm said it has entered a 'crucial' fourth year
The Nintendo Switch has proved opular since launching in 2017 but the firm said it has entered a 'crucial' fourth year AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY