(Bloomberg) -- Nintendo Co. shares tumbled by as much as 8.8% after game-makers were told the company was pushing back the launch of its Switch successor to the beginning of next year.

The Kyoto-based company informed its game publishing partners that the release of the next-generation video game console will be delayed to the early months of 2025 from the last quarter of this year, Bloomberg News reported. Some of Nintendo’s partners were advised not to expect the still-unannounced console until March 2025 at the earliest.

Nintendo’s shares clocked their biggest intraday decline since October 2021 before paring losses to a 5.8% drop.

Read more: Nintendo Is Telling Game Publishers Switch 2 Will Be Delayed

Investors may further unload Nintendo shares after having pushed the stock to an an all-time high last week on expectations that the company will replace the seven-year-old Switch with a new machine in 2024.

“There seem to be a lot of new buyers of Nintendo who may be less familiar with the name and more impatient for the company to put up visible numbers,” said Mio Kato of LightStream Research. “Nintendo’s numbers for the March 2025 fiscal year could start to look rather ugly if key software is delayed at the same time that the current hardware has aged so much.”

Nintendo is seen holding back its future slate of blockbuster games for the next-generation hardware, which adds to the downside of any delay. Software is the most lucrative part of the company’s business, but it’s unlikely to release new entries in its biggest franchises like Legend of Zelda, Mario and Splatoon before the upgrade, according to Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based consultant to video game developers.

President Shuntaro Furukawa deflected questions about new hardware this month after Nintendo reported earnings, saying the company will disclose its plans for the next fiscal year after it concludes the current one. He added that selling more of the existing console will be challenging, with 139 million units sold already. Without a Switch 2 for the holiday season, Nintendo will battle much newer and more capable consoles from Sony Group Corp. and Microsoft Corp.

Still, some investors may see further declines in Nintendo’s share price as an opportunity to buy on a dip, according to Bernstein analyst Robin Zhu. He expects an announcement for the new hardware to come within the next six months.

News of the Switch 2’s delay was reported earlier by the Video Games Chronicle.

--With assistance from Winnie Hsu.

(Updates with share moves)

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