Nintendo has been enjoying a fairly positive outlook in no small part thanks to the Nintendo Switch and a few successful mobile games. That was made its rather conservative earnings guidance surprising for analysts. Almost everyone was expecting it to confirm a new and cheaper Switch as well as a launch in China, neither of which is coming any time soon. Unsurprisingly, this has left analysts and shareholders wondering if something else is afoot.
Nintendo might be going back to its old habits of sitting on its laurels and milking a cash cow until it’s dry. To be fair, the two-year-old Nintendo Switch still has a lot going for it and its potential hasn’t been maxed out yet. In comparison, the Xbox One is now six years old while the PlayStation 4 is five. Those two did launch new configurations but mostly after the second or third-year mark.
The market, however, seems to be fixated on at least a smaller and cheaper Switch that was rumored a few months ago. While it neither confirmed nor denied that, company president Shuntaro Furukawa did say they’re always working on new hardware but that it won’t be launching any such thing come E3 in June this year.
Furukawa also had some bad news for Chinese gamers expecting to officially get their hands on a Switch soon as well. Nintendo did confirm it was working with gaming giant Tencent in getting the Switch approved in China but also cautioned that it’s still in the early stages of the process. It did already receive regulatory approval for the hardware but software requires yet another round of testing and inspections.
Launching in China will be a huge deal for Nintendo and the Switch. Although considered to be the world’s biggest gaming market, it was only four years ago that the government finally allowed gaming consoles into the country where PCs and, more recently, mobile dominate the gaming scene. Nintendo shares fell after the double whammy of disappointing news.