Nintendo is apparently not resting on its laurels after the massively successful launch of the Nintendo Switch, as the video game company is said to be already working on a smaller version of the hybrid console.
SuperData estimated that there were 2.4 million units of the Nintendo Switch sold for the month of March, with the research firm increasing the expected 2017 sales for the hybrid console from 5 million units to 7.2 million units. Will a Nintendo Switch Mini rake in even more sales for Nintendo?
Nintendo Switch Mini In The Works
Analysts Alicia Yap, Kota Ezawa, and Minami Munakata from Citigroup said that they expect Nintendo to release a smaller version of the Nintendo Switch in the company's next fiscal year, spanning April 2018 to March 2019.
The analysts believe that the size of the Nintendo Switch is still too big to combine home and handheld gaming for all customers. While the device already comes at a convenient size for most gamers, it is still too big for a certain piece of the video game market demographic.
"Although the Nintendo Switch can be used as a handheld device, we think smaller children could struggle to use it comfortably in that format due to its size and weight," they wrote in a report, leading to their belief that Nintendo will release a lighter and handheld-mode focused version of the hybrid console. The device, the analysts claimed, could be called the Nintendo Switch Mini.
Will Nintendo Really Release A New Nintendo Switch So Soon?
Among Nintendo's various devices, only the Nintendo 3DS has received various iterations, ranging from the original version of the handheld gaming console to the New Nintendo 3DS XL. Meanwhile, the predecessors of the Nintendo Switch, the successful Nintendo Wii and the failed Nintendo Wii U, did not receive any significant changes over their lives.
With the Nintendo Switch only having been released on March 3, it might be too soon for Nintendo to release a smaller version of the hybrid console, especially with the company still trying to catch up with the massive demand for the device.
However, if the reduction in size will also mean that Nintendo will be improving the device's performance while in portable mode, the reason behind developing the Nintendo Switch Mini becomes much clearer. There were previous reports that the performance of the Nintendo Switch drops when it is taken out of the dock and used as a handheld console. Nintendo could be looking to address these concerns by creating a portable-focused Nintendo Switch Mini in terms of both size and performance.
Nintendo Switch Sales To Stay On Fire
After SuperData's prediction of 7.2 million units sold for the Nintendo Switch this year, the Citigroup analysts predicted that over the first 12 months of the Nintendo Switch Mini, 6.7 million units of the smaller version of the hybrid console will be sold.
The Citigroup analysts did not release an expected price for the speculated Nintendo Switch Mini, but stated that after the device's first year, the total sales for the hybrid console would have reached 25.7 million units.