Takahashi said that for Nintendo, "we feel like we're an entertainment company rather than necessarily a games or a graphics company", and described the Switch as "a system that really has the best balance of being able to create fun and new ways to play, but doing so with the graphic quality that's still good enough while also being one that's easy to develop for." Miyamoto said that some broad concepts of the Switch extend from the "lateral thinking with seasoned technology" design philosophy of Gunpei Yokoi that Nintendo has used over the last couple of decades.
In addition to the form-factor design, Nintendo needed to balance the power and speed of the console's central processing unit with battery life and the unit's size, coupled with limited development resources and deadlines set by Nintendo's management. One choice made by the development team was to use an existing system on a chip (SOC) rather than creating their own as they had done on previous consoles. Koizumi said that this break from tradition was done to gain more third-party support for the console by using an SOC that developers could easily port to. Nintendo was not focused on raw processing power, but were instead looking to balance the overall features of the system, including battery life and size, as well as keeping in mind their limited development resources and timeline. Koizumi said "The most difficult part was on how to take an overall balance while we were getting entangled with all of those in complexity." To achieve this balance, they did not opt to use the more powerful hardware they could have used, instead using a middle-ground approach to achieve their vision of the Switch.
Speaking to investors in January 2018, about ten months after the Switch's release, Shinya Takahashi said that the Switch could have a lifecycle longer than the typical five-to-six years that current home consoles have. Nintendo has brought a number of "junior" developers within the company to help brainstorm ideas that would "create interesting products" using the Switch hardware that could further reach a wider audience, thus aiding in extending its lifecycle.