Nintendo Switch OLED
Image: Zion Grassl / Nintendo Life

How long is a console lifecycle? It really depends on the system, but conventional wisdom seems to suggest that it's around five years – although there are exceptions, of course, such as the original Game Boy.

Going by that accepted wisdom, the Switch should be entering the twilight years of its lifespan as it will be five years old in February 2022 – but Nintendo has repeatedly stated that it sees the machine at the mid-point of its commercial existence.

Speaking during the recent Q&A session at Nintendo's Corporate Management Policy Briefing, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa once again stated that the Switch isn't going anywhere at the moment:

It is now the fifth year since the launch of Nintendo Switch, and the total hardware sell-through has exceeded 90 million units. We recognize that the system is at the mid-point of its lifecycle. The launch of Nintendo Switch – OLED Model has also been contributing to continued sales momentum and we are now offering consumers three Nintendo Switch models to match their play styles and lifestyles, as well as a wide range of software. With this, we believe a foundation for growth has been laid that exceeds what we previously considered to be a conventional hardware lifecycle.

With two additional variants on the market, the Switch family is expanding in the same way that Nintendo expanded the DS and 3DS lines, and, if rumours are to be believed, it could add a 'Pro' model to the range at some point in the near future. That would expand the console's lifespan even further, so a 10-year lifecycle isn't all that outlandish.

One thing is clear; with over 90 million units sold since 2017 and demand remaining steady, Nintendo sees little reason to start openly talking about its next hardware platform.