Nintendo Switch discontinuation argument is ‘incredibly dumb,’ says consultant

Gaming industry analyst Michael Pachter has made an argument for the Nintendo Switch discontinuation, prompting industry consultant Dr. Serkan Toto to categorize that analysis as “incredibly dumb.” Currently, there are two distinct versions of the Nintendo Switch: The original Nintendo Switch console and the Nintendo Switch Lite.

The original console has the ability to detach the Joy-Con controllers (which will be soon be sold individually), dock to a television, or be used as a handheld. On the other side of the coin, the Nintendo Switch Lite is an integrated unit without detachable controllers that can only be used in handheld mode. Pachter has since suggested that Nintendo ought to discontinue the original Nintendo Switch in favor of the Lite.

Why a Nintendo Switch discontinuation is a bad idea

Nintendo Switch discontinuation hybrid mode report slide

“I don’t really understand the whole hybrid concept,” Pachter recently told GamingBolt. “I think that was something Iwata did to differentiate the Switch, and he wanted to have a console that could go back and forth from console to portable. But I don’t think most people play it in both modes, I would say that maybe 20% of Switch owners play both modes; and I think most Switch owners play it handheld only. So I honestly don’t understand the whole point of the hybrid. Who cares? Play it as a handheld.”

It has since come to light that Pachter’s estimation of Switch owners who use both modes falls short of the actual data. Nintendo’s Financial report for 2018 features a slide that breaks down how players make use of the Nintendo Switch:

  • 52% of users primarily use the Nintendo Switch in both docked mode and handheld mode/tabletop mode.
  • 30% of users prefer handheld mode or tabletop mode.
  • 18% of users prefer docked mode.

Pachter’s analysis is sensible in some parts — he points out that Nintendo could create a dongle in the style of the Fire Stick to allow a Nintendo Switch Lite to connect to a television. He also highlights that the Nintendo Switch Lite is cheaper to make, providing better opportunities for improving its features. However, his incorrect information on hybrid mode usage doesn’t support a Nintendo Switch discontinuation.

Nintendo doesn’t make a habit of canceling its consoles early. For example, it most recently discontinued the Nintendo 3DS product line earlier in September following years of declining sales; the handheld console first made its debut in 2011. It’s unlikely that a Nintendo Switch discontinuation will happen anytime soon, especially in light of its stellar sales. That doesn’t mean its adverse to cancelling newer products; earlier this year, Nintendo announced that it was discontinuing three of the seven available Joy-Con colors.