2019 was quite a year for Nintendo. Not only did it release some amazing games, it also saw its Switch console become the talk of the town in the world of video game hardware – and industry analysts think the situation will remain much the same for the majority of 2020.
While Sony and Microsoft are both expected to launch new systems this year, they won't be available until Christmas, which means the Switch will be facing off against the PS4 and Xbox One for most of 2020 – the two consoles it out-sold during 2019. Because of this, analysts feel it will be Nintendo's year to shine yet again.
"Switch will again be the best selling console during the year," says Piers Harding-Rolls of IHS Markit Technology, who has been speaking to GamesIndustry.biz – along with several other industry experts – about what 2020 will hold for gaming. "2020 is also set to be Switch's best hardware sales performance since launch. The Switch Lite will launch in mainland China."
I predict 4K support, bigger cartridge sizes, and of course beefed-up components. I also think the device will launch after the summer holidays to counter the roll-out of the PS5 and next-gen Xbox later in the year - along with a first-party, system-seller game
Mat Piscatella of NPD Group agrees. "Nintendo Switch carries tremendous momentum into 2020," he told GamesIndustry.biz. "Nintendo Switch will remain on top in the hardware space, perhaps into 2022." However, he adds that the industry could well see a decline next year, mainly down to the fact that the PS4 and Xbox One are nearing the end of their life cycles. "While Switch growth has been able to offset some of those declines in 2019, in 2020 we're likely not to see that trend continue. All in-market hardware should see declines throughout 2020."
While these boffins can agree that 2020 is going to see more bumper sales for Nintendo, the topic of the Switch Pro seems harder to pin down. "I think the likelihood of a higher-end Switch in 2020 has significantly diminished since the launch of an improved flagship Switch and the Switch Lite," says Harding-Rolls, and he has a point – with the existing model selling so well and the Lite offering a new entry point for younger players, do we really need to split the market with an enhanced edition of the Switch?
One person who thinks we do is Dr. Serkan Toto of Kantan Games, who correctly predicted the arrival of the Switch Lite and thinks the Pro is still happening. "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Nintendo will launch a "Switch Pro" in 2020, my guess is at $399," he says. "More specifically, I predict 4K support, bigger cartridge sizes, and of course beefed-up components. I also think the device will launch after the summer holidays to counter the roll-out of the PS5 and next-gen Xbox later in the year - along with a first-party, system-seller game." Toto also thinks we'll see more Microsoft games making the jump over to Nintendo's console, too.
What do you make of these predictions? Do you think Switch will have another runaway year in 2020, or could the console be running out of steam? Will the Switch Pro actually launch? Share your thoughts below.