For the first time, Nintendo has acknowledged that future hardware is on the way, but notes not to expect any news on that front during the Direct presentation this summer.

Nintendo has today shared their financial results for the last three months, bringing a close to their 2024 financial year — but they also chose to use this briefing as a chance to offer some hints as to what the future has in store.

The company gave an update Tuesday on both total Switch hardware sales, and information on how recent software releases (such as Princess Peach: Showtime) have fared.

The headlines on those fronts? Well, the Nintendo Switch now sits at a total of 141 million units sold worldwide. Both Princess Peach: Showtime and the remake of Mario vs. Donkey Kong have surpassed a total of 1 million in unit sales. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom now sits at just under 21 million copies. Super Mario Bros. Wonder now has a lifetime sales figure of just over 13 million, and the remake of SNES classic Super Mario RPG has sold just over three million copies to date.

Nintendo shared a full rundown of their financial year 2024 million sellers (found below) — it's worth remembering that this list only includes titles that sold over a million copies during the past financial year. As such, this means games like Another Code: Recollection, Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp, and Metroid Prime Remastered, have not reached that sales figure during the past twelve months.

Million-seller first party Nintendo games (FY 2024)

Software Financial year 24 Lifetime sales
All figures are in millions
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom 20.61 20.61
Super Mario Bros. Wonder 13.44 13.44
Mario Kart Deluxe 8.18 61.97
Nintendo Switch Sports 3.51 13.11
Pikmin 4 3.48 3.48
Super Mario RPG 3.31 3.31
Animal Crossing: New Horizons 3.15 45.36
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.13 34.22
Pokemon Scarlet / Violet 2.82 24.92
Mario Party Superstars 2.72 12.89
Super Mario Odyssey 2.20 27.96
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury 2.10 13.47
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2.04 31.85
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe 2.03 17.45
Super Mario Party 1.52 20.66
Luigi's Mansion 3 1.42 14.25
Splatoon 3 1.29 11.96
Princess Peach: Showtime 1.22 1.22
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 1.12 1.12
Kirby and the Forgotten Land 1.06 7.52

Nintendo's Expectation Management

Of course, the company also took some time to share an outline of plans for the rest of the year, and it seems like Nintendo want to now get out in front of things and set some basic expectations for what they will (and won't) be delivering.

The key takeaways from what they shared are as follows:

  • Yes, the company will announce its next console this financial year (which could mean any time before April of 2025).
  • A Nintendo Direct has been confirmed for June of 2024.
  • This summer Direct will be focused only on the Nintendo Switch, and will feature no information on the Switch 2.
  • Nintendo are still hoping to sell nearly 14 million Switch units this financial year.

So, there's a couple of things we can take from these broad announcements.

It was generally expected that Nintendo would confirm something regarding their future hardware plans at this end-of-year briefing. These events typically feature an investor Q&A section — so by announcing this now they answer that inevitable question before it gets asked, setting the narrative somewhat and setting expectations.

Even thought we've had countless rumours and tidbits about the Switch 2, this marks the first time Nintendo has really publicly acknowledged the existence of there being new hardware on the way — it's somewhat amusing to me that it's just a casual mention in a tweet (as seen above).

We now know very little about future first-party software planned for the Nintendo Switch. Beyond the imminent releases of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and Luigi's Mansion 2 HD, the only other games we know Nintendo have on the way are 2025's Pokemon Legends: Z-A and the elusive Metroid Prime 4.

By confirming a Direct (in the usual E3 slot) Nintendo has essentially committed to more key software coming to the Switch platform in the latter half of this year. The fact that the company has set a lofty goal to sell 14 million hardware units before this time next year rather seems ambitious to me. This either means they've still got some heavy hitting software releases lined up to see out the Switch's twilight era, or they're finally going to pull that price cut lever — which should go some way to help them reach that all-time best selling console goal that's now within reach.

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All of this essentially boils down to the following:

Nintendo has today essentially thrown a bone to their fans, giving them a few nuggets of information. Confirming new future hardware finally makes things official — good. We've got word from the top that the original Switch era is essentially reaching its end. Outlining when a future Direct presentation is stops endless rumours and speculation. Getting out in front and saying not to expect Switch 2 news this summer sets the narrative.

For me, this all points to the company looking to replicate the timeline of the then NX. It had an end of year reveal, and a spring launch. With today's announcements I could see Nintendo going for a similar timeline with whatever they have next. The only difference this time around is that back in the Wii U era, announcing their next hardware wasn't going to do much damage to already woeful Wii U sales — this time however, any pre-Christmas reveal of a Switch 2 could hurt a successful 2024 Switch Christmas.

Once again, Nintendo find themselves between a rock and a hard place, where getting the timing right on their future hardware is tough. Today however, that timing has started to come into focus.

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