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New Nintendo Switch? Activision Briefed On Next Gen Console By Nintendo, Uncovered Documents Reveal

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Nintendo has discussed the successor to its popular Nintendo Switch gaming console with Activision-Blizzard executives, according to new documents uncovered in the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust investigation into Activision-Blizzard's merger with Microsoft—revealing new details on what to expect from the highly anticipated console.

Key Facts

A heavily redacted December 2022 email between Activision executives describes the incoming console as having “closer alignment to gen8 platforms,” referring to Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.

The Nintendo Switch, which has a plethora of popular first-party games (like the Legend of Zelda series) developed in-house by Nintendo, has often missed out on many popular third-party titles like the Call of Duty series, which is developed by Activision for the PlayStation and Xbox.

However, the email, which was apparently sent by Activision CFO Armin Zerza, says “it is reasonable we could make something compelling for NG Switch as well,” suggesting that Nintendo is attempting to attract the kind of third party titles the Switch lacked for its next console, most notably by upgrading the technical capabilities to match that of the PlayStation and Xbox.

The email also said: “It would be helpful to secure early access to development hardware prototypes and prove that out nice and early.”

The email, which was revealed as part of the FTC probe, shares an executive summary of the company’s discussion with Nintendo, which was with Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, as well as an attachment entitled “NG (or next generation) Switch Draft.”

Surprising Fact

Earlier this month, Eurogamer reported that Nintendo showed its next-generation console to developers behind closed doors at the Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany, last month, suggesting Activision’s briefing was part of a larger effort from Nintendo.

Key Background

Nintendo has yet to publicly announce any successor to the Nintendo Switch, which was wildly popular and has sold 129 million units, but many, including Eurogamer and Tom’s Guide, say it's widely expected the company will announce the new console some time in 2024, but they caution that reports are conflicting.


This email also gives insight into the FTC’s battle with Microsoft and Activision. In January 2022, Microsoft announced it was trying to purchase Activision, the makers of Call of Duty, Candy Crush and World of Warcraft, for $69 billion—a deal that would make Microsoft the world’s third-largest video game company. For months, the FTC has waged a legal battle to stop the deal on antitrust grounds. Among the FTC’s chief complaints was that the deal would allow Microsoft to make popular Activision games like the Call of Duty series exclusive to its Xbox consoles and deny other console companies like Sony and Nintendo the ability to offer them. Microsoft and Activision have been working to alleviate those concerns, most notably by committing to keeping Call of Duty on Sony’s PlayStation console for the next 10 years and introducing the series to the Nintendo Switch. In July, a California judge rejected the FTC’s argument and its effort to stop the deal.

Further Reading

Nintendo Launching New Mario, Detective Pikachu, Pikmin Games As Profits Slump—But No New Console Announcement (Forbes)

Microsoft Can Close $69 Billion Activision Blizzard Merger, Judge Rules (Forbes)

Activision Blizzard Stock Surges 11% After Judge Allows Microsoft Merger (Forbes)

Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom’s Record Launch Reportedly Boosted Japan’s GDP (Forbes)

Here’s How Microsoft’s Impending Acquisition Of Activision Blizzard Impacts PlayStation And Nintendo Gamers (Forbes)

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