Nintendo may be developing a new console, according to redacted filings from documents provided to the CMA (Competitions and Markets Authority) of the UK
The company - who for many years have been the strongest presence in handheld gaming - have been mainly focusing on their hybrid Switch console for years now. But new filings to the Competitions & Markets Authority of the UK, related to the Activision Blizzard acquisition, have revealed redacted documents that indicate a new system may be in the works.
As reported by ArsTechnica, a report by the CMA related to the Activision Blizzard acquisition which explored a variety of console shares and other data included this relatively benign line: “Nintendo Switch Online has been excluded from our shares as Nintendo’s cloud gaming service is very limited. Nintendo’s cloud gaming service is only available on the Nintendo Switch device and [Redacted].”
What may it indicate?
At the moment, it’s unclear whether [redacted] refers to a potential new console or an expansion of the Nintendo Switch platform (possibly the rumoured “Switch Pro”). However, what’s certainly clear is that Nintendo is considering or has plans to expand their Switch Online service to another platform. We know that Nintendo are planning a new system, as reported as far back 2020 and proposed for a nebulous “20XX”.
But could the Nintendo Switch Online service be coming to another platform, such as mobile? It’s possible, but unlikely as Nintendo has already expressed that they see mobile as being a support for their mainline games and not as an additional business. Bringing the Switch Online Service to another console or PC would be a major shift in-and-of itself, by allowing other companies to host Nintendo titles and especially as Nintendo’s crackdown on ROM’s and emulation may’ve turned PC players - many of whom are emulation enthusiasts - against the company.
While Nintendo has, of course, been swinging further and further back to the home console market after pursuing the DS, 3DS and 2DS platforms, they’ve still been unwilling to break fully from handhelds. The Switch’s portability has been touted as a major selling point, but the lack of power coming from such a small console and the demands of major AAA titles makes it less “the best of both worlds” and more “adequate for both.” It’s possible that Nintendo may decide to pursue a solo handheld console once more, dropping the hybrid angle.
Alternatively, the ten-year deal signed by Nintendo and Microsoft for Call of Duty may also be an indication that a more high-powered console is in consideration. As in many cases optimization and playability of titles on the Nintendo Switch has been a major issue for AAA games. Bringing Call of Duty in its present AAA format to Nintendo platforms wouldn’t prove viable with the current Switch hardware, and Activision’s flagship franchise continues a trend of pushing graphical boundaries with each iteration.