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

A high percentage of the company's rewards-card members are aware of the console and plan to buy one.

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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.

Long Reads Editor

From The Chatty

    • reply
      November 22, 2016 4:22 PM

      Pretty sure GameStop will say anything to postpone their inevitable bankruptcy.

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      November 22, 2016 4:26 PM

      In the future, cities will be designed around this device.

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      November 22, 2016 4:27 PM

      Of course they will say that. No one goes to Gamestop anymore.

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        November 22, 2016 8:29 PM

        The GameStop in town is one of the only places that does midnight launches. Our internet sucks so badly that many people still buy physical copies of games.

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          November 22, 2016 8:42 PM

          Midnight launches? I haven't done one of those since GTA4

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            November 22, 2016 8:43 PM

            I know. It is like I moved back in time to the mid 2000s...

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            November 22, 2016 8:54 PM

            I went to the Pokemon one despite not playing Pokemon since the original. I think it's good business for them as they only need to pay for two employees staffing the store, and they potentially get buyers for some games that would get it via Amazon or Best Buy. As most things are digital now it's going to be a relic soon, then again they are a relic and still in business.

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      November 22, 2016 4:31 PM

      Good thing to say when hardware sales are down.

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      November 22, 2016 8:30 PM

      Wii hugely expanded the audience for gaming, and then shrunk it just as quickly when they realized Nintendo has no fucking idea how to support their console.

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      November 22, 2016 8:50 PM

      Gonna be huge. Yuge

    • reply
      November 22, 2016 9:28 PM

      Bold claim. "could".

    • reply
      November 23, 2016 12:23 AM

      HUGH MUNGUS

    • reply
      November 23, 2016 12:24 AM

      Of megaton propertions?

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      November 23, 2016 5:33 AM

      Translation: its a tablet we can sell used games for.

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        November 23, 2016 7:26 AM

        I can't believe they would want to promote a product they could use to make profits off of. It's like they are trying to run a business over there or something. They have some nerve!

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          November 23, 2016 7:29 AM

          The plot thickens as it appears that Nintendo is making a system the retailers want to sell.

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      November 23, 2016 6:50 AM

      Nintendo always banks on gimmicks.

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        November 23, 2016 7:34 AM

        They banked on one. They Chapter 11'd on a few more.

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          November 23, 2016 7:39 AM

          BURN!

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          November 23, 2016 7:45 AM

          I wasn't really following the internet analysts at the time, but I'm guessing the DS was viewed as a gimmick. I know the 3DS was, and while you can argue it had nothing to do with the success of the system, it did well. I guess not as well as the DS, but I believe it made them plenty of money, when a lot of people around here declared it dead.

          So as a tally I'd say 3 of their "gimmicks" have succeeded, and two have failed, if you want to count the virtual boy.

          And I'm not a wall street guy or anything, but I'm thinking "Chapter 11" is not exactly the correct term for a product not making money.

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          November 23, 2016 9:18 AM

          This isn't a burn and doesn't even make sense. They've had billions in the bank through years, even during storms they've weathered.

          One failure could sink Sony. It'll take a lot more to sink Nintendo.

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            November 23, 2016 9:48 AM

            They're the only major game company that's consistently made money selling hardware. One misstep that broke even and its the end of the world. Meanwhile Xbox being in the red after 15 years isn't worth bringing up, nor is the wildly see-sawing profit of Playstation.

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            November 23, 2016 10:11 AM

            Doesn't Nintendo have some insane amount of liquid capital on hand?

            I coulda swore I remember reading that they basically kept all the insane-o profits, didn't pay stock dividends (or didn't do it often or not until recently or something) and held on to all the bucks yen almost like a rainy day thing.

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            November 23, 2016 10:16 AM

            Nintendo has billions in IP that they could license out or sell if they needed money. Mario, Pokemon, Kirby, Metroid, Animal Crossing, Punch Out, Donkey Kong, etc

    • Ziz
      reply
      November 23, 2016 7:49 AM

      Game changer? It'll CHANGE THE WORLD! !

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      November 23, 2016 9:50 AM

      I feel like I'm one of only a few actually excited about the Switch. I love the Wii U and 3ds and I will always have at least a PC if not another console as well so I don't need Nintendo to be my sole gaming solution.

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        November 23, 2016 10:05 AM

        I'm excited at the prospect of a unified console/handheld platform. I rarely have need for a true handheld system so I don't have any since the NDS, but there are a lot of games on those platforms that I wish would make it to the home console world. I don't care about graphical prowess; everything since the PS2 days has been adequate for me and I have other systems I if I really cared.

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        November 23, 2016 10:15 AM

        I am really excited having all of Nintendo behind a single platform instead of 2 will mean more games. Nintendo still is the only one of the 3 console makers that actually puts out a decent amount of games. Sony and Microsoft put out 1 or 2 big games each year and a couple smaller ones.

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        November 23, 2016 10:18 AM

        I'm excited about it and I haven't owned anything Nintendo since the N64.

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        November 23, 2016 9:25 PM

        I was on board with the idea of a tablet that doubled as a console if needed. its the sole reason I bought an Nvidia Shield K1. the switch has a tegra in it also (hoping an X1).