December 5, 2023

Even although Nintendo appears to be attempting to set a world report for the way lengthy they will drag a nicely promoting system earlier than lastly introducing its successor (and to their credit score, the Change continues to promote at a flabbergastingly thoughts boggling tempo greater than six years into its life), sooner or later sooner or later, a successor to it is going to exist. It is likely to be this 12 months, it is likely to be subsequent 12 months, or possibly it’s 5 years down the road – however until Nintendo plans to exit video video games completely, sooner or later they’ll have new {hardware}. 

This new {hardware} has been relentlessly leaked, rumored, and speculated on for fairly actually years now. The primary rumor of a extra highly effective Change dates again to late 2018, which was only a 12 months and a half into its life span (and virtually 5 years in the past now…). Since then, the rumors have solely gone increasingly assertive and insistent, whilst actuality has steadfastly refused to accede to them – virtually as in the event that they’re attempting to will the rattling factor into existence just by wishing for it laborious sufficient. 

The present crop of rumors, which feels pretty cheap, claims that the Change successor is occurring a while subsequent 12 months (some rumors get a bit extra particular and put it at a late 2024 launch); which, fantastic, we will settle for that. This present crop of rumors additionally goes a good bit into what the Change successor is meant to be, and hypothesis on what everybody needs from Nintendo’s subsequent {hardware} can also be a subject that has by now been completely run into the bottom – I actually have written sufficient on the potential Change successor over time that it could take the fingers on each arms to rely all of it. 

So this time, I’m not going to speak in regards to the specs, or nature, or options, or launch lineup, or pricing, or launch window, or anything, for the Change successor. These discussions have already been had, go discover the few billion ones that exist already on the web if that’s what you had been going for. As an alternative, for this dialogue, I’ll hone in and hyper fixate on one very particular facet of the (hopefully not hypothetical) system that may really feel a bit trite, however is definitely a reasonably vital level of dialogue – particularly in terms of Nintendo. The identify. 

nintendo switch oled

Nintendo console names are among the many most fascinating within the trade for a mess of causes. For starters, usually Nintendo doesn’t keep on with the identical model throughout their numerous methods, which suggests, to start with, you flat out can not guess with something approaching certainty what the following Nintendo is likely to be referred to as. You may go from the Nintendo 64 to the GameCube to the Wii in a span of ten years – there is no such thing as a by way of line there, no connective tissue. The there’s a normal sense of caprice and enjoyable and unpredictable pleasure with their system names. You by no means know what to anticipate, and a number of their names and branding find yourself being house runs (and not less than certainly one of them finally ends up being Wii U, however you’re certain to have some missteps). Every system is called particularly in context of what it’s presupposed to be and with reference to what Nintendo feels greatest epitomizes that. 

There are exceptions – the Nintendo Leisure System was adopted by the Tremendous Nintendo Leisure System, the Gameboy by the Gameboy Advance, and extra infamously, the Wii by Wii U, and DS by 3DS. Nonetheless, usually, Nintendo likes to offer every system its personal identify that represents the identification and goal it has been constructed in direction of. 

Which additionally is smart given the character of Nintendo {hardware}, and the way it differs from the strategy of Sony and Microsoft in direction of {hardware}, is that Nintendo methods are very hardly ever iterative and linear progressions over their predecessors – the successor to the PlayStation is solely a greater, extra highly effective model of that console. Due to this fact, it’s referred to as PlayStation 2. The successor to that? PlayStation 3, for the very same causes. And so forth. 

Nintendo, then again, swerves wildly. The Nintendo 64 is nothing just like the Wii, which is nothing just like the Change. These methods didn’t construct upon one another – although they’re every a era other than the opposite, even for those who take the GameCube and Wii U under consideration, the road from one to the following isn’t as easy as you discover with PlayStation and Xbox. Which suggests, until you fairly know the character of what Nintendo goes to go for with their subsequent {hardware}, even attempting to guess the identify is a idiot’s errand in a number of methods. 

nintendo switch oled

Present widespread knowledge holds that the Change’s successor will simply be a greater Change – extra highly effective, extra succesful, a linear development over the present system. No matter gimmicks it is going to have can be extra minor additions by the aspect, fairly than central to the system’s identification. In different phrases, it is going to be the PlayStation model of a subsequent era Change – a easy linear improve over what we have now. 

This at the beginning assures one factor – the Change branding will in all probability keep for this successor. Historically Nintendo introduces new branding for brand spanking new methods, however as we famous above, there are exceptions to that, and people are inclined to occur after we get a extra easy successor that’s supposed to construct on what got here earlier than – which is what the Change successor appears to be. 

So let’s assume it’s the Change… one thing. What, although? Change 2? Nintendo is presumably not fearful in regards to the quantity inferiority complicated that plagues Microsoft with Xbox naming and makes them go from Xbox to Xbox 360 to Xbox One (?) to Xbox Collection X (????) in an try and keep away from slapping a easy quantity on the finish of their console to speak its standing as a successor, since that quantity will at all times be one lower than PlayStation owing to the unlucky circumstance of timing that was Xbox’s entry into the market – they joined one era after PS, and so their quantity would at all times be one much less. And prospects will assume Xbox 4 is worse than PlayStation 5. Gasp! That may’t be allowed to occur. Xbox Collection is unquestionably higher and in no way complicated. 

No matter nonsense leads Microsoft to their naming scheme, nonetheless, Nintendo doesn’t appear to care as a lot about. They’re circuitously competing with Sony and Microsoft. They’re not pitching their methods as a direct substitute for PlayStation or Xbox – they CAN be, for many individuals, and so they ARE for lots of them, however Nintendo is promoting the Change in a principally uncontested market. It doesn’t matter if the two in its identify is decrease than the 5 in PlayStation’s identify, any greater than it issues that the two within the Meta Quest’s identify is decrease than the 5 in PlayStation’s identify – whereas they’re all promoting throughout the similar normal market, they’re additionally in very explicitly outlined separate lanes. 

So, Change 2 could be easy, easy, immediately talk the purpose (it is a Change, however new, extra highly effective, higher) with out having to make the shopper guess what the heck the identify is meant to be speaking. It will in a single easy character enable them to keep away from your entire crap present that was the Wii U’s branding and naming and that, greater than anything, doomed that console to failure earlier than it even had an opportunity (it was by no means going to have an opportunity to do nicely, however that’s a complete different dialogue). Nintendo can also be extraordinarily traumatized by the Wii U’s failure – and whereas the final meme across the firm is that they refuse to be taught from their errors and failures, they’ve in actual fact gone out of their strategy to display a number of occasions that they do perceive what went flawed with the Wii U, and that they’re reluctant to repeat it. 

In order that appears to recommend Change 2. Drawback solved, shifting on… proper?

Nicely, no. It’s nonetheless Nintendo we’re speaking about right here in spite of everything. Whereas they in all probability don’t wish to get too intelligent or cute with their naming this time, it’s extraordinarily doable they don’t wish to go along with an easy “2” for the identify both.  Over the previous few years Nintendo has turn out to be increasingly open to utilizing easy numbers to iterate successors and observe ups, not less than for his or her video games – all three Splatoon video games do exactly this, for instance. It’s clearly not an throughout the board pattern, nevertheless it does point out SOME willingness to do it the place it’s referred to as for. 

Nonetheless, Nintendo as an organization additionally abhors the linear development of tech getting used as a promoting level for {hardware} – that’s the entire purpose they went with their alternate {hardware} technique to start with. They don’t like the easy “similar console however extra highly effective” advertising and marketing angle they’d be caught with in any other case. They WANT to have the ability to experiment and take a look at different issues, introduce new improvements, experiment with more strange nonsense. Calling their successor a Change “2” is the last word capitulation to the very philosophy they’ve now spent over 20 years very steadfastly avoiding  – it’s a Change, however higher, communicated within the literal most boring (if efficient) Yay. 

So they may attempt to convey that very same level in a method that lets them retain not less than a number of the whimsy they appear to imagine is central to their imaginative and prescient as an organization. Previously, Nintendo used prefixes like “Tremendous” and suffixes like “Advance” to speak a extra highly effective model of what got here earlier than. The NES was adopted by the Tremendous NES, and the Gameboy was adopted by the Gameboy Advance. Perhaps they’d simply do this? Tremendous Change and Change Advance each sound good, don’t confuse the participant, talk that it’s a brand new system, sidestep utilizing boring numbers to indicate sequence, AND evoke nostalgia (a commodity Nintendo is nearly a grasp at weaponizing). Why not these, proper? 

Except, after all, they’re simply so spooked by the Wii U failure, and so unwilling to rock the boat of the insane and unprecedented success of the Change, that they simply throw reticence to the wind, and go along with Change 2 as a result of why threat ANY confused patrons with “Advance” or “Tremendous” or anything? Numbers are boring however they’re efficient and they’re confirmed to work. Why NOT simply do this?

wii u

In the end, this turns into a round dialogue at this level, as a result of we don’t know what Nintendo is considering how they strategy the branding for this subsequent system. We don’t even know in the event that they’ll retain the Change model! We will guess, as a result of it appears smart that they do, however when was the final time Nintendo did one thing smart? We don’t know what the brand new system is, which means we will’t use its nature to guess at its identify, and we will’t depend on priority to information us right here, as a result of most of that priority predates their worst failure within the trade (which in all probability modified the paradigm for them a bit), and since the Change is actually an unprecedented success, which means arguments that will have utilized to methods with much less success don’t essentially apply to it. 

So what’s the takeaway? The takeaway is, we don’t know what it is going to be referred to as. We will in all probability safely (although not definitely) count on it is going to retain the Change branding. We will assume with some extent of reassurance that it’s going to in all probability be a easy identify to convey that it’s a successor. We will in all probability assume that numbers are the best way they’ll go, as a result of that’s the trail of least resistance. However every assumption in that sequence is constructed on shakier floor than the final. In the end, that is all guesswork. 

We don’t know what Nintendo will name the Change successor, we will solely guess. After which be totally dumbfounded when it finally ends up being referred to as one thing weird just like the Nintendo Pi Hello Play.

Word: The views expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t essentially symbolize the views of, and shouldn’t be attributed to, GamingBolt as a company.