Last week Nintendo delivered its annual financial results, and it's fair to say it had a spectacular year. We wrote about some key takeaways, and one that was worth noting was that Nintendo had set a new record for its spending on R&D (research and development).
Many leap to conclusions about new hardware of course, which is understandable in the 2 years+ of frenzy over a revised 'Nintendo Switch Pro', which is still - in reality - a mystery despite the rumours. However, R&D costs going up is also exciting for everything else it can cover, such as new technology for making games and some of the services and products that can surprise us each year. Ranges like Labo and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit don't all take off, but it shows Nintendo is always trying new ideas.
Company President Shuntaro Furukawa was asked about the continual rises in R&D costs in an investor Q & A, which had its official English translation posted today, and here's what he said.
"Our software development costs, which include outsourcing, are increasing as we work to maintain a continuous stream of new titles for Nintendo Switch as it enters the middle of its lifecycle. Because per-title development costs are higher now than they were on past platforms, we anticipate that R&D expenses will continue to rise as we work to maintain a sizeable lineup of titles. We are also conducting a variety of studies, which include investigating ways to enhance our digital business, and future services that will help maintain long-term relationships with our consumers, as was touched on in the Corporate Management Policy Briefing last September.
"In addition, the development of the next generation of hardware needs to begin years before launch, so R&D expenses for that are gradually rising. We are aiming to grow by continuing our integrated hardware-software entertainment business, and that means conducting all sorts of research and development in various areas including both hardware and software."
In terms of new Switch hardware, it still feels like Nintendo is managing expectations rather carefully, so try not to get your hopes up too much. It'll be interesting to see if anything is said at E3 or through the Summer.
Let us know what you think in the comments; aside from a new Switch, what sort of big-scale and innovative projects would you love to see from Nintendo?
That means new Switch Pro is coming...what else could that be.
Will it truly be "next gen" or will it still be sub-PS4/Xbox One specs?
I think we all know the answer to this question.
Let’s see a “fat switch” with built in grips for people who have larger hands. It should also come with a proper D Pad, just saying
I doubt it will get bigger anytime soon considering the cost and tech is getting smaller and smaller chips.
Interesting that they’re talking about next-gen rather than mid-gen refreshes. Perhaps Switch Pro isn’t a thing and we’re getting a true next-gen console instead.
I think (My own thoughts btw) nintendo is going to sick with the switch for a wile, even if they finish the pro, I think they will only show it off when needed, if people are still happy with the switch, and nintendo is still making money, they will stick with the switch. (It would also be great if they actually had some in stock when it show's up)
And the fact that nintendo said "Next Gen" make's me think??
@uptownsoul what time zone are we living in. One would think the Switch would not support the same cart designs. Those carts are SD chips and out in the wild where 64gb carts where talked about so to say no compatibility is just dumb here.
the fact they cant make enough ps5 and whatever the bloody new xboxs are called. I doubt they will be bringing anything out this year with shortage chips and the costs. especially as they dont sell anything at a loss
@Ambassador_Kong not really Apples for Apples, is it?
Great, another 2+ years of Switch Pro rumors...
@MaxiPareja They said next gen, do they mean actual next gen (a.k.a. more powerful than a PS5) or do they mean two gens ago (a.k.a. more powerful than the switch, but less powerful than a PS4) or do they mean something in-between which would still not be next gen, but more powerful than the Switch?
@uptownsoul For the love of god it better be backwards compatible
@Ambassador_Kong I think depends on how the whole Nvidia/Nintendo relationships pans out.
If Nintendo continues doing business with the company and relies on Nvidia hardware for the next console, I think it could be something special.
If Nintendo goes with another hybrid console, all it needs is RTX (with a non-DirectX Version of RTX IO), DLSS, VRS, a decent RAM pool, and a better CPU and the system could be a BEAST given the form factor! Native 4K doesn't even have to be an option since it will look the part.
Nvidia has done an amazing job of achieving more with less these days. Something Nintendo strives for as well.
It's very simple, development of the next-gen console starts as soon as the current one is shipped to stores. This has been so for decades now.
@SwitchForce no it does not and seriously were only 2 years away from switch 2 so i think nintendo should avoid doing mid upgrades like sony and microsoft keeps on doing.
@nessisonett "next-gen rather than mid-gen"
How much R&D $ goes into adding longer battery life and more storage? Or swapping in a new Tegra chip for the current one? A lot of money on testing to make sure it works, but not R&D. The real R&D $ goes towards next gen.
@SwitchForce "new Switch Pro"
Funny if they literally named it "New & Improved Switch". 🤣
@Ambassador_Kong "next gen"
Apparently you missed @damo 's article.
Was the DS next gen over Gameboy? Was the 3DS next gen over DS? Will the Switch 2 be next gen over Switch? 🤷♂️
Digital Foundry did mention a reliable source that was saying this wasn’t a mid gen upgrade but instead a full next gen revision. E3 might be where we see something instead of rumors.
Can't wait for the Switch Pro reveal. Hopefully E3 will be the day.
@Ghost_of_Hasashi you might end up disappointed since its not going to happen.
I can't see them announcing a next-gen system when he said Switch is in the middle of its life cycle. An update (the 'pro' version if you will) is more likely but maybe not too soon either. That wouldn't make sense as the past few years have been amazing in terms of sales for them. For the rest, it's just corporate chit-chat and obvious statements. Of course they've started R&D on their next console.
@echoplex i agree and some people shouldnt be hyping it up and might end being burned really badly wen it doesnt happen.
I think "Nintendo Switch as it enters the middle of its lifecycle" is a pretty significant statement. Even the Wii didn't make it to an 8 year lifecycle. If they really expect Switch to run for another 4 years then they must be planning some kind of hardware "refresh".
"we work to maintain a continuous stream of new titles for Nintendo Switch"
I must have missed those titles 🤔
@Ambassador_Kong by that logic, the Wii is the same generation as the Dreamcast?
Console generations refer to the period in which they are released, and their competitors. It doesn’t really have much bearing on their computing power.
Why does him mentioning 'next gen' have to mean anything about current hardware plans? None of this is news - it's nearly all said year after year.
I thought it was interesting Nintendo count 'software development costs, which include outsourcing' as R&D. That statement makes it look like 2nd party dev work, as well in-house, contributes to the R&D spend. Or have I misunderstood that, and it doesn't mean games development?
I also thought the comment 'the development of the next generation of hardware needs to begin years before launch' was interesting as it looked like their R&D spend broke records in both 19/20 and 20/21.
When Switch started out, I thought it was on a race to become my favorite console of all time. If they unceremoniously end Switch in the next couple of years and replace it with Switch 2, this will end up being possibly the most underwhelming console of all time, at least for anyone that already played the WiiU games on a WiiU, with only a handful of stand-out games on Switch. The thing has felt like it's on life support since year 3, yet dominates sales charts. If they never rebound with it and just move on, it's a massive disappointment after the otherwise excellent WiiU+3DS combo (emphasis on 3DS.) What continuous stream of titles? They literally had 4 titles last year, including the outsourced ones. Switch really deserves to be "relaunched" and get its second wind with new hardware and a new batch of high profile games. As in, more than one per year.
@rjejr My Money's on "Nintendo Switch (newest version!)", because that's all we'll ever see it as in the eBay listings.
@NEStalgia Nintendo Newierest Switch
But my money is on either just Switch - like the last battery upgrade - or New Switch. Nothing like Pro - which Sony just used last gen so that's stupid - and it's 2 years too early for Switch 2. If it doesn't come out until 2023 even if they call it Switch Pro once the first exclusive hits I'll only be calling it Switch 2. The public shouldn't have let them slide on New 3DS and it's list of exclusives. 😝
@NEStalgia "The thing has felt like it's on life support since year 3,"
To be fair, the entire planet has been on life support since then.
I think this holiday could be make or break since we really don't KNOW what else is coming this year. We know a lot of games but none dated. The new rumoured DK would help. I'm not writing an obituary mid-lifespan. A proper Switch Pro, meaning no exclusives, just 4k out, 60FPS for 1080, giving it a longer life could get us a lot of new games. Or a Switch 2 next year means Switch was indeed cut short.
So Nintendo will have it both ways, call it Switch Pro, say it's an upgrade, then make BotW 2 exclusive. 😝
"We are also conducting a variety of studies, which include investigating ways to enhance our digital business, and future services that will help maintain long-term relationships with our consumers".
Studies like "Do NSO users want N64 and GC games on there?", I bet. Well, Nintendo, finish up your study already! Do the users want it or don't they?! Don't keep me in the dark!
@Ambassador_Kong If you actually think that this is what "next gen" truly means, then you really haven't got any clue whatsoever...
BUT THEY TOLD ME SWITCH PRO WOULD ARRIVE THIS YEAR!! D: D:
Not entirely sure why you list RTX there of all things.
No matter how you look at it, RTX is still very demanding on the hardware and, on a weaker system, rarely worth the cost (some argue it isn't even worth it on a high end system...).
As far as I remember, Playstation 5 and Xbox Series already support VRS as well, even without Nvidia. Though I am not 100% sure...
Anyway, VRS is not specifically an Nvidia feature, Nvidia was just the first to support it.
Your conclusion mostly rests on just DLSS. That alone could be a big thing for a next gen Nintendo console though, so I still agree with that conclusion.
@rjejr PS4 Pro. If you play video games professionally, you need professional grade tools. But then, wouldn't you use a PC?
And if that's the PS4 Pro, then what's the PS4 Con?
But yeah, "Pro" is the worst name. Even worse than S (which is different from X, especially over the phone.) "New" 3DS. It's like naming your dog "Dog." Or Mr. & Mrs. James naming their kid James James. All manufacturers should have to pass the Abbot & Costello Branding Consultancy Group first.
No, the rest of the gaming planet has happily been producing games and hardware at a slightly reduced pace. Only Nintendo just stuck their feet through the floor of the Flintstone car and hit the brakes. "We released ACNH. It's huge. 2020's done now." They could have a huge holiday, but it's Nintendo. They'll sit on it (unless they announce Switch Pro for holiday) and hold the games for when they need them when sales slow. Which at this rate means Switch will be their primary console till 2027 or beyond, or it'll dumped before it ever launches, and it'll truly end up being little more than WiiU's mid-gen refresh.
It all hinges on Pro. If they do Pro, all is good, everything is awesome, Switch gets a second wind and sails home. No Pro and holding off for Switch 2 means you can hear that balloon deflating sound from here.
Your last sentence...boom. Nailed it.
Maybe, just maybe, this will quell some of the ridiculous rumors on the Super Switch. My guess is they are dropping money on new IP and some of it hits this holiday season with some teasers at E3. There could be a mid cycle upgrade but I would rather see investment in accessories and better games.
@NEStalgia "Your last sentence...boom. Nailed it."
Well Nintendo is pretty much unnailable, nothing they do makes any sense, they just continue to do things out of the blue, but I still stupidly keep trying.
So while in actuality I do think BOTW 2 will be on the current Switch, Nintendo will claim New Switch is just an upgrade but there will be exclusives just like New 3DS.
Or something, it's Nintendo, who knows?
@BloodNinja I already modded a Dpad into my official joycon.
@GamingFan4Lyf Nintendo isn't going to launch a ln $800 console.
I'd cool your expectations.
@BloodNinja I bought a shell replacement that comes with a Dpad. So I use the front face and the dpad from the replacement, and everything else from the original. The Dpad works perfectly. It doesn't keep wobling and is very precise. just like straight from nintendo. One thing that might be an issue for some people is that it feels clicky.
@Ambassador_Kong Well Nvidia's tech has proven time and time again that it doesn't need to be equal in numbers to out perform AMD's. So I expect anything close to XboxOne and PS4 specs will visually supercede both of those systems
@Gus_Campos That’s awesome, where did you buy it?
@BloodNinja I bought it in an online shop, for 16 usd. I bought it in China, because I live here (I'm not Chinese). I don't think they ship it abroad.
@Gus_Campos Good to know, I’ll hunt around and see what I can find. Thank you for the info!
@BloodNinja This is exactly like the one I got. But I got the white one: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Translucent-NS-Joycon-Handheld-Controller-Housing-D-Pad-Button-DIY-Replacement-Shell-Case-Nintendo-Switch-Joy-Con-L-R-Without-Electronics-Joycon-D-Pa/407713148?selected=true SO I used the front shell and the dpad, everything else (including the back shell) from the official joycon. Because I didnt want to change the whole shell, too much trouble lol.
@Gus_Campos That’s amazing, thanks for the link! Definitely gonna get one today, the price is excellent.
@BloodNinja It is worth it. cheers.
@Gus_Campos Dude! I just installed that controller mod you told me about and it looks great and is a million times better than the original joycon! I even like it better than the mushy Switch Lite d-pad. I got the grey ones that look like Super Famicom controllers with the colorful buttons. Very fashionable. Good recommendation, thanks a million mate!
@BloodNinja Yeah I have the lite too and I agree. These mods are even better. Happy gaming!
@Gus_Campos You too!
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