Nintendo plans to release an updated version of its uber popular Switch gaming console in 2021, after the important holiday shopping season.
The Japanese gaming giant is plotting a sequel system with upgraded processing power and 4K graphics, according to Bloomberg, as well as a lineup of new games to accompany the new hardware launch. But the new Switch won’t likely be ready until after rivals Sony and Microsoft are expected to release their hotly anticipated PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles this winter.
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The Nintendo Switch is the fastest-selling console in Nintendo history, and has sold particularly well during COVID-19 lockdowns thanks to the mega-popular game “Animal Crossing.” Shares of Nintendo are up just under 75 percent since the pandemic began make waves in the US in March.
But the virus’ closure of Nintendo’s plants in China caused production bottlenecks, and prevented the company from taking advantage of all the demand for its system in recent months. Nintendo sold 21 million Switch consoles in the financial year ended March, and said it expects to sell 19 million in the current financial year.
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The company’s production and shipping are recovering following pandemic-induced delays, but CEO Shuntaro Furukawa has warned that continued work from home could slow game development.
“It is difficult to expect the same productivity” from employees working at home, Furukawa said in May, adding delays to game releases are a possibility if the crisis is protracted.
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