Life Will Change
it's been six years. The Switch is officially old hardware, and that is increasingly begin to show its age
While the Switch is a more modern chipset than most consoles on the market, functionally, its hardware spec is equivalent to the PS3 and Xbox 360 - 2005 era hardware, and the last generation where games felt constrained by their hardware. The Switch managed to extend the life of that spec level by a few years, but as of right now, games are increasingly running into the limits the hardware imposes on them, and I think it is time we get something better. Soon.
Within the last year, Shin Megami Tensei V, Pokemon Legends, and then Xenoblade 3 all increasingly showed us the Switch hardware was no longer able to keep up with the ambitions of the developers working on it. Even before then, we had started to see the Switch hardware start to falter, in games such as Age of Calamity. Then Bayonetta 3 was probably the straw that broke the camel's back, a game that is so utterly beyond the hardware it is running on it would be hilarious if it wasn't constantly and pervasively noticeable how much the game's ambition is being curtailed as a result.
Look, the Switch is almost 6 years old. For every system ever, at this point, we start either hearing about the successor, or we get the successor outright. This is no longer a controversial point, even if you yourself are absolutely fine with the Switch hardware, we are objectively at a point where it needs a successor, where the games running on it are making that clear, and where it is increasingly clear that third parties, who have found so much success on the system, are not going to be willing to lower their base spec to what is now two generations and 20 year old levels to keep things going. 50% of all software sales on the Switch were third party, which means that what those third parties want is something Nintendo will absolutely consider too – before someone tries to tell me they won't.
I don't know how many of you, like me, are finally feeling the Switch hardware is long in the tooth now. Perhaps you've felt this way for a long time. Perhaps you never notice any of these technical deficiencies in any of these games, and having played Hyrule Warriors, SMTV, Pokemon Legends, Xenoblade 3, Bayonetta 3, and Sonic Frontiers, you are wondering what the hell I am talking about.
That's totally fine! But like I said, this is now beyond opinion. We are objectively entering this system's seventh year on the market in a few weeks. Nintendo needs to have a successor ready to go, and soon. Or a lot of what they achieved with the Switch will be in needless jeopardy.