GameStop says Nintendo Switch could be a 'game changer that will expand the audience for gaming'

During today's earnings briefing, GameStop CEO Paul Raines told investors that he thinks Nintendo could have a winner on its hands when the Switch releases next March (via GameSpot).

"The Nintendo Switch, which I played at Nintendo a few weeks ago—we believe could be another game-changer that will expand the audience for gaming," he said.

When asked, 27 percent of GameStop's PowerUp Rewards members who are aware of the console/handheld hybrid plan to buy it when it releases in March 2017. Raines said that metric is about equal to how its Rewards members felt about Xbox One prior to its launch.

Raines observed that that percentage could rise higher in in January, when Nintendo plans to reveal the Switch's launch price, talk specifically about its hardware, and offer a look at its launch line-up.

A leaked advertisement from the Canadian branch of Toys R Us indicated a price around $250 for the Switch. Sources close to Eurogamer have said the Switch tablet's screen measures 6.2 inches (the same dimensions as the Wii U GamePad's screen), uses a capacitive touchscreen, and will display graphics in 720p.

Other prolific members of the games industry have spoken highly of Nintendo Switch. "I love it," said Bethesda director and executive producer in an interview with Glixel. "I got to play it. I will tell you—well, maybe that's an N.D.A. thing. One of the best demos I've ever seen. Probably the best demo I've ever seen."

On October 20, the day Nintendo rolled out its announce trailer for Switch, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the console/handheld combo is poised shake up gaming. "With the Nintendo Switch's unique capacities and design, Nintendo could again redefine the way we play games," he said in a statement to GameSpot. "Ubisoft and Nintendo enjoy a long-standing partnership and we are currently developing a number of games for the platform, including Just Dance 2017. We look forward to sharing more at a later date."

Other executives seem more conservative. "We’re excited for Nintendo, it’s an interesting device," EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said last week, "but I can’t yet predict how broad it’s going to be, and [if people will] be interested in a portable device alongside their regular portable device that they have."

Ubisoft, Bethesda, and EA were on Nintendo's preliminary list of third-party partners revealed the same day as the Switch trailer.

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