The Nintendo Switch will celebrate its sixth anniversary in March 2023. It's hard to believe that the beloved console/handheld hybrid has been on the market more than half a decade, selling upwards of 114 million units, over 900 million games, and many, many memorable experiences.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Metroid Dread - the list goes on and on surrounding the countless fantastic titles that can be found on Switch. However, 2023 is looking a little bit different. Questions have begun to rear their head surrounding the longevity of Nintendo's hybrid console – namely, that the Japanese games maker might be preparing the console's successor. Is the Switch 2 closer than we think?
That puts anyone who is thinking of jumping on the Switch bandwagon in a difficult position. The same can be said for anyone considering upgrading their launch console to a Nintendo Switch OLED (opens in new tab) model. Is it better to pull the trigger now, or save money for the next big shiny thing? To help with that, we've rounded up all the latest information to hopefully, make that decision a little bit easier.
How much does a Nintendo Switch cost?
As the cost of living is pressing us all more than ever, let's first look at the price. A Nintendo Switch in 2023 is priced at $299.99 / £259.99 / AU$469.95, while anyone looking to purchase the Nintendo Switch OLED will need to part with $349.99 / £309.99 / $539.95. This is before any games are purchased, though there are cheap Switch bundles (opens in new tab) that can help a little.
Anyone happy to sacrifice the ability to play games via a TV can pick up a Nintendo Switch Lite for $199.99 / £199.99 / AU$329.95. That equates to a $150 / £110 / AU$210 difference in price from the Switch Lite to Switch OLED.
See a full breakdown of the costs below:
- US - $199.99 / $299.99 / $349.99
- UK - £199.99 / £259.99 / £309.99
- AU - AU$329.95 / AU$469.95 / $539.95
For comparison, a PlayStation 5 (opens in new tab) costs $499 / £479.99 / AU$749.99 and a PlayStation 5 digital is $399.99 / £389.99 / AU$599.99 for the price of admission. That cost of entry is significantly higher with a $200 / £220 / AU$280 difference in price from purchasing a standard Switch to a standard PS5. That difference is reduced to $100 / £130 / AU$130 if you sacrifice a disc drive but still is quite a bit higher.
Meanwhile, an Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) is $499.99 / £449.99 / AU$749.99 and an Xbox Series S (opens in new tab) can be bought for $299.99 / £249.99 / $499. Gaming isn't a cheap hobby at the end of the day. A similar cost of entry for the Xbox Series X, when compared to the Switch, is needed with a $200 / £190 / AU$280 difference in price. Although the Xbox Series S could be quite tempting over a standard Switch with the fee for one being equal in the US at $299, £10 less in the UK, and $30 more in Australia. It all depends if you're happy to go all digital but want true next-gen gaming today.
What Nintendo Switch games can we expect in 2023?
While much of Nintendo's game calendar for 2023 is still a mystery, we do have a good idea of what we can expect in the first half of the year. This includes Fire Emblem Engage, Octopath Traveler 2, Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (opens in new tab). The latter will serve as the highly anticipated sequel to Breath of the Wild, so naturally, it is one of, if not the, biggest game release of 2023.
Other titles not yet given a release date but are expected sometime in 2023 include Pikmin 4, Hogwarts Legacy, Marvel's Midnight Suns, Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals, and Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp. Little else aside from Metroid Prime 4, which was unveiled back in 2017, has been announced for the console.
It was also noted by GamesIndustry.biz reporter Christopher Dring (via Twitter (opens in new tab)) in November that "Nintendo doesn't have a significant game for quite some time" following the release of Tears of the Kingdom. A similar statement (opens in new tab) was then made more recently by VGC editor Andy Robinson, where he shared his belief that Tears of the Kingdom could be one of the final major first-party releases for the system.
Looking at its competitors in 2023, Sony has Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Forspoken, and Final Fantasy 16 as three of its biggest exclusives. Microsoft then has Starfield, Redfall, and Forza Motorsport planned for Xbox, among others. And this is just what we know about.
Naturally, this all comes down to personal taste but it's set to be a big year for third-party titles too. Be that Assassin's Creed Mirage, Dead Island 2, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Skull and Bones, Resident Evil 4, Dead Space, Street Fighter 6, or Diablo 4, there's a lot expected to launch. Some of these may come to Switch in the future but it will undoubtedly be an inferior version in comparison. If multiple of these take your fancy over Nintendo's releases, then your decision has already been made.
Nintendo's console history
While the Nintendo Switch might be six years old (March 2017), the Nintendo Switch OLED has just celebrated its one-year anniversary (October 2021). Not to mention, the Nintendo Switch Lite, a dedicated handheld iteration of the console, is now three years into its lifespan (October 2019).
Furthermore, the Nintendo Switch is set to surpass the Nintendo Wii as the company's longest-ever lifecycle for a home console. All of this adds up to one thing for certain: something is definitely in the works. The question is, when?
Is a Nintendo Switch 2 on the way?
Naturally, talk of a successor to the Nintendo Switch began as soon as the console first made its way to store shelves but lately, it's started to pick up more traction. Couple the longevity of the Switch and the fact that the hardware is becoming outdated with modern software, Ampere Analysis game industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls recently predicted that Nintendo will launch new hardware in 2024.
"The upcoming Zelda will sell plenty of Switch hardware, so it could be close. I'm not expecting a next-gen Nintendo console in 2023: we have 2024 in our forecasts," said Harding Rolls (via GamesIndustry.biz (opens in new tab)).
There are two counterpoints to this actually happening. The first is the COVID-19 pandemic and how the ramifications are still affecting manufacturing and distribution issues globally. It's still not simple to purchase a PS5 or Xbox Series X, so waiting a few more years for things to return to 'normal' might be what the big N is thinking.
The second is the comments made by Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa in February 2022, where he stated that the Switch is halfway through its lifespan.
"Switch is just in the middle of its lifecycle and the momentum going into this year is good," said Furukawa as part of an earnings call (via Bloomberg). "The Switch is ready to break a pattern of our past consoles that saw momentum weakening in their sixth year on the market and grow further." If true, this means the proposed Nintendo Switch 2 might not release until 2027.
Sales are strong too. The Nintendo Switch has proven to be the best-selling console over the last few years. At the time of writing, it's the fifth best-selling games console of all time at 114 million units, likely to overtake the PlayStation 4 (117.2 million) and Game Boy / Game Boy Color (118.69 million) over the next few months.
But officially, no, nothing has been announced and nobody is expecting a new games console from Nintendo to launch in 2023.
Should you buy a Nintendo Switch in 2023?
Taking this all into consideration, it really does come down to your own personal circumstances. If you don't own a Nintendo Switch and want to play some of the best games of the last six-years, then yes you should get one. It's perfect for single-player adventures and frantic family titles with the cost unlikely to decrease anytime soon. In fact, Nintendo products are infamously known for rising in price - you only need to do a quick search on eBay to verify this.
There's also the question of backward compatibility and whether Switch games will work on the next device. If this feature proves to be absent, that's a lot of tremendous games to miss out on. We might see some games ported across such as what we've seen with the Wii U to Switch as an alternative but that's still a big if.
On the other hand, if you own a Switch and are thinking of upgrading to a Switch OLED, I'd say wait another 12 months and see if Nintendo's future is any clearer. We're big fans of the Switch OLED but it can honestly be seen as an unnecessary expense with the regular Switch more than adequate. If you prefer handheld, then just go for the Switch Lite and save some cash.
If you are considering getting a console, make sure to read up on our guide to the best cheap Nintendo Switch games on sale, including Pokemon, Mario + Rabbids, Ring Fit Adventure (opens in new tab), Splatoon 3, and more. Then you can get started playing the best of the best right away. We've also rounded up the cheapest Nintendo Switch Lite bundles (opens in new tab) in case you fancy committing to a handheld.