Nintendo has a lot riding on the launch of its upcoming console-handheld hybrid Nintendo Switch this week. Despite all the hype, and a few lessons from the NES Classic availability issues last year, the company is confident demand will be met - at least in the long run..
"The market will decide that answer in the short term," Nintendo of America President and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime told [a]listdaily when asked if potential customers could find a Switch at retail this year. "We hope it’s very popular. But the fact that Nintendo Switch arrives in March . . . rather than a typical Thanksgiving launch window ... means that many of the first-year purchases will occur over the course of many months, rather than just several weeks. So we’re optimistic we’ll meet demand."
The company has learned a lot from the launches of previous consoles, especially the issues the Wii U had with acceptance among gamers and developers. "Our goal with any console launch is to deliver an entirely new game experience for players," Fils-Aime said. "With a platform like Wii, the appeal was obvious. You move the controller like you would a tennis racquet, or a sword, and the payoff is instant. With Wii U, the value of a second screen in gameplay was not instantly recognized, and often problematic for developers to fully take advantage of in terms of what the system could do. However, with Nintendo Switch, the unique appeal of our ‘anywhere, anytime, anyway’ approach is readily apparent. So we think consumers will get the appeal right away, and developers will embrace how it can bring their ideas to life. The concept of ‘constant engagement’ was also built into our Nintendo Switch planning."
The portability of the console is also a factor that could make Switch even more popular than the Wii. At launch, Wii Sports was one of the games that you could invite people over to try, but you were restricted to your home. "With Nintendo Switch, you can take that multiplayer fun to them, wherever they are, due to the portability of the system," he said. "So the opportunities to experience a new kind of gaming fun are dramatically increased." He said 1-2 Switch should have almost the same appeal that Wii Sports had at the time.
The Switch launch is coming on Friday, and the Shack team has been hard at work on a Nintendo Switch review and other content. Be sure tio check it all out when the console comes out on March 3.