With recent rumors swirling around the potential for a successor to the Nintendo Switch, many fans and developers have been concerned about a possible lack of backward compatibility for such a console. And while the verdict hasn't quite been delivered on whether or not a "Switch 2" would have the feature, one major publisher doesn't seem too concerned about the prospect: Take-Two Interactive.
Speaking to IGN ahead of the company's Q1 earnings announcement, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick stated that he felt backwards compatibility was "a benefit to consumers." However, he added that he'd "be surprised if platforms didn't offer that with an upgrade that is sort of mid-cycle, however I'm not certain it's a must-have."
Zelnick's response was a curious one – my initial question had mentioned upcoming rumored console upgrades (specifically rumors of a PS5 Pro), but had honed in on asking about a Nintendo Switch successor specifically. So I followed up by asking him if he considered the Nintendo Switch to be "mid-cycle."
Zelnick replied: "Remains to be seen."
Now, an imminent successor to the Switch is still fully in the "rumor" phase, even if those rumors are steadily growing more credible, so it's understandable that Zelnick isn't interested in saying anything that might accidentally reveal specifics of a new console before Nintendo has something to say about it. But I did ask him if Take-Two would be an early supporter of a new Nintendo system as they were with the Nintendo Switch, to which he replied, "almost certainly."
If dev kits are indeed in the wild, Take-Two would likely be one of the first companies to have them in hand, meaning that whatever is going on with the Switch, Take-Two is likely poised to have games of some kind in the chamber for whatever Nintendo has cooking next. Backward compatibility or no. It's also worth noting that Take-Two and Rockstar were recently criticized by fans for the announcement of Red Dead Redemption on Switch and PS4 at a $50 price point. The game is already available on modern Xbox consoles via backward compatibility for just $30, and that version runs in 4K.
Take-Two's Q1 earnings revealed that Grand Theft Auto 5 has once again sold another five million copies, bringing it to a grand total of over 185 million lifetime unit sales. Red Dead Redemption 2 has achieved over 55 million units, and NBA2K23 has sold over 13 million, making it the second-highest selling NBA 2K game after NBA 2K20.
In total, the company posted net bookings for the quarter of $1.2 billion (up 20% year-over-year) and is preparing to release three "immersive core games" this year, including NBA 2K24, WWE 2K24, and one unnamed title coming late in the fiscal year. The publisher continues to hint at preparations for a massive following year in fiscal 2025, which we suspect might mean the release of the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto 6, among other games.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.