|Console Type||Hybrid video game console|
|WW: November 1, 2023|
|Units sold||WW: 121.3 million (As of January 1, 2027)|
|Best selling game||Super Mario Venture (103.54 units sold as of January 1, 2027)|
|Media||Neo cartridge, digital download|
|Backward Compatibility||Switch, Wii U, Wii|
The Neo introduced the Neo controller, a touch-screen controller that has buttons and the ability to detect movement. There were also other controllers produced for the system, such as the Neo remote, the Neo gamepad, and the Neo Classic Controller. The Nintendo Switch console and Joy-Cons can be used as controllers for some games, and the console has the ability to connect to a Switch console to transfer data between the two consoles. The Neo has backwards compatibility with the Switch, Wii U, and Wii consoles, and a game-download service called "Virtual Console" allows players to purchase and play games from any previous Nintendo console.
On December 15, 2021, Nintendo announced that there was work being done on a new console, referred to by its codename "Project Innovation" in the statement released by the company. On September 30, 2022, the Neo was officially announced, and a trailer was released showing some of the new console's capabilities. The console was showcased more at E3 2023, and playable units were present on the show floor. On November 1, 2023, the Neo was launched worldwide, along with the console's many launch titles.
The Neo was conceived in 2018, when Nintendo realized that many of their hopes for the Nintendo Switch had never come to be, and the large focus on games made by third-party and indie developers had not gone quite as well as the company had hoped. According to Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the concept of the Neo focused on providing the player with the best gaming experience possible. In an interview with Eurogamer during June 2020, he said "We're really proud of the Nintendo Switch, and we're glad that a lot of people enjoy it, but we realized that many of our visions for the Switch never came true. In the future, we want to make a console that appeals to the widest audience as possible, and that kids and adults alike will enjoy."
There was much debate within Nintendo about what the next console would be like, with many conflicting ideas and a very large amounts of various concepts proposed. The project started over and was drastically overhauled many times. In 2019, Nintendo assembled a board of various game engineers and designers, as they had done during the development of the Wii, in order to further develop the project and determine what was and what was not feasible. The main concept for the console had been developed by late 2021, but there were still many loose ends, and Nintendo chose to not showcase the console at E3 2022 and instead focus on games for the Nintendo Switch during the event. During the event's press conference, however, Nintendo did briefly mention some concepts of the new console.
On September 30, 2022, the Nintendo Neo was officially announced during a Nintendo Direct presentation, and a trailer was released showing off some of the console's features and brief gameplay of some of the launch titles. The console recieved good reception after the announcement, and was critically acclaimed. In a statement released the same day, Nintendo said that the console would be the main focus of E3 2023, where playable units would be present. Several launch titles were playable at the event, including Super Mario Venture, The Legend of Zelda: The Hero's Tale, and Splatoon Universe as well as over 100 titles created by third-party and indie studios. All four Neo controllers were also present, and could be used to play each game.
The Neo was released worldwide on November 1, 2023. The launch price was $259.99 in the United States, $269.99 in Australia, £254.99 in the United Kingdom, and ¥26,100 in Japan. The console was packaged with the Neo controller, an HDMI cable, a charging cord, a cradle to hold the controller, a stand for the console, and a sensor bar. Many nations experienced widespread shortages of Neo consoles, and they became widely unavailable for people who had not pre-ordered the console beforehand. Nintendo constantly produced and shipped the console throughout the months of November, December, January, and February, but the console remained sparse in many locations, with store shipments often running out the same day that they had arrived.