Nintendo Pres responds to criticism of “weak” Switch launch line-up
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Switch, the new gaming console from Nintendo has everyone quite excited, but a weak line-up of games has brought a slight disappointment. Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima did not fail to notice the criticism and as a surprise, he has addressed it directly. Moreover, he provided an explanation for the policy, giving us an insight into the launch strategy being followed.
A steady pace for content launch
Mr. Kimishima took an opportunity at the financial reports presentation to express his justification for Nintendo’s strategy.
Speaking for the company, he says,
“Our thinking in arranging the 2017 software lineup is that it is important to continue to provide new titles regularly without long gaps”.
He further continues,
“This encourages consumers to continue actively playing the system, maintains buzz, and spurs continued sales momentum for Nintendo Switch”.
As it goes with just about any product launch, there is a sudden surge in sales which eventually dies down. After that, the consumers lose interest as the time between product launches remains relatively dull. Microsoft and Sony picked up on this, gamers are always eager to buy the latest console. Therefore, their decision was to launch incrementally updated consoles; this keeps the money flowing in, even when there is nothing significant to launch.
Nintendo plans to do this with their games. Instead of launching all of the juicy content at the launch, they have decided to drop in a couple of titles every month or two. That way, they hope to keep the hype alive. The Nintendo Switch launch line-up goes as follows:
Legend of Zelda: Breadth of the Wild
1, 2, Switch
Super Bomberman R
World of Goo
I am Setsuna
Human Resource Machine
Just Dance 2017
Out of the list, the Legend of Zelda: Breadth of the Wild and 1-2-Switch are the only two first party titles coming out at the launch. More of the first party titles are scheduled in release pipeline. Based on Nintendo’s strategy, we will be seeing them come out at a steady pace throughout the year.
Correspondingly, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and ARMS are two interesting games coming out in the first half of 2017. As exciting as it gets, we will also be seeing Xenoblade 2 this year given that everything is going as per schedule. We all hope that the frequency of content launch keeps steady into the year of 2018.
Lessons learned from 2012 Wii U launch
Nintendo isn’t using the strategy of launching games periodically for the first time. They had realised the problem in 2012 at the launch of Wii U when the president at that time said,
“Nintendo tends to release too many titles at the launch of a hardware system and as a result suffers a drop in new games for quite some time after launch, and for the Wii U launch, we are being very careful not to let it happen”.
In spite of their efforts to prevent such a thing from happening, Wii U production ended globally after weak numbers.
On a different note, Nintendo is seeing very good numbers on their NES Classic Console. It has seen 1.5 million units sold since the release in November last year. Apparently, this number could have been much higher if there had been no shortages in the production.