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Reggie - Switch is for every type of gamer, robust lineup of first party content coming, online info coming

Coming from a TIME interview with Reggie Fils-Aime...

T: The games we played at the press event feel very core gamer focused.

R: Yeah, and I read some of the same feedback from the video we launched in October. And it’s absolutely true, the actors we had were all young adults. And people suddenly read into it that Nintendo is abandoning the family market with Nintendo Switch.

Furthest from the truth, so again, we believe that our systems need to be mass market systems, from 5 to 95. A broad footprint. But each game is going to appeal to a certain part of that demographic. And it’ll fill out the base. That strategy continues. This is a system for everybody. This is a system that will appeal to a wide group. It’s going to get filled in over time as the different games come in.

T: Nintendo has pointed to 80 third party Switch games in development. Given similar messaging around the Wii U, how do you reassure a nervous public that you’re covered this time?

R: I think in all candor, as executives, we can only say so much, and then the consumer believes or doesn’t believe. However, if the question is Nintendo first party development, I can say that our pipeline is quite robust, in what we are working on and that we will deliver next year and early into the year after that. We have that visibility in our pipeline.

From a third party perspective, I don’t want to oversimplify things, but third party developers look for a handful of things. First, they look for a straightforward development environment in order to create their games. And that was one of the challenges with Wii U. Now with Nintendo Switch, we have Unity as a platform. We’ve got the Unreal Engine as a platform. These are known development environments for content creators to build content.

The second thing they look for is a consumer demographic that’s going to meet their needs for the content they’re creating. And so again, you’ve got Zelda for the core. You’ve got 1-2 Switch for the family audience. You’ve got Arms. You’ve got Splatoon. You’ve got Mario Kart 8. You’ve got Super Mario Odyssey. That looks like a pretty wide and diverse audience to build content for.

And third, they look for a large install base. That’s what we’re trying to create.

And then lastly, they look for a full range of ways to monetize their investment. And that’s where having a robust online environment comes in. And again we are pushing the envelope, we’re doing things differently, and we’re working hard to make sure that environment exists. So as an executive for the company, I believe we’re doing everything we need to, to create that environment for third parties. So far they’re reacting extremely positively. Bethesda hasn’t been on a Nintendo platform. A fully featured FIFA, that has not been on a Nintendo console in some time.

T: Thinking about online gamer profiles and achievements and legacy content purchased online, will Switch include a meta layer that follows players around and lets them keep those purchases?

R: First, there is much more that we will be sharing about our subscription service—the mechanics, the types of content that you’ll get access to, free, on a monthly basis, the price point for the overall service. All of that information will come.

Second point, as you know, we are very aware of what the consumer has articulated to date as to what they want. We are very aware of what our competitors do. The way Nintendo thinks about it, is we want to make the consumer happy, and we want to give them some of the elements that they have been asking for. And we want to give them things that they haven’t even thought of to ask. But, we also believe in differentiated experiences. We believe in doing things differently.

And so our overall proposition will not look the same as our competitors. But what we will do, is we will recognize what consumers like about our competitors, we will look to do it in a way that has a Nintendo flair to it. And we will look to make sure that in the end, we’ve got this robust, online environment that not only works well for our games, like Splatoon and Mario Kart and Smash Bros., but that also works great for our third party developers.

Nintendo spent 3 years making Switch, struggled to come up with the core concept

Coming from a WSJ interview with Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi...

“We have walked many roads and really struggled before coming up with the concept."

Takahashi stated that development of the Switch had taken 3 years of work.

Coming from producer Yoshiaki Koizumi...

“We looked back at what Nintendo has done, and when you think about it, it’s really been an amusement provider. When the concept was set, most of the Switch’s basics came together quickly. Things like, you have to be able to take the controller outside, and you’ll need two of them.”

Nintendo Switch - Reggie on Switch's public, Wii U's failures, online plans and more

These are snippets from a TIME interview with Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO for Nintendo of America...

On who the Nintendo Switch is made for...
''Just like every system Nintendo creates, we believe in having a very wide footprint, and we are experienced enough in this industry to know that the footprint changes over time. We believe that by [next holiday season], with the launch of Super Mario Odyssey, that the footprint for Nintendo Switch will be very broad. Kids, young adults, parents, gamers will occupy that footprint.

But what’s going to happen is that, that space is going to be filled in at each point in time with the subsequent launches. So for example, if you look at the first 45 days, you’ve got Zelda, 1-2 Switch, Mario Kart 8. So the active gamer. And candidly, the more the active gamer sees, the more excited they’re going to be for that game.

I was a Zelda fan before I was a Nintendo employee, and I can tell you that as I’ve experienced that game, it just gets me more and more excited to play. 1-2 Switch is a party in a box. And so that is going to be an all family type of experience that will then broaden the footprint. And then Mario Kart 8 is going to expand it even further. And so that’s what I see happening. A game like Arms will have a diverse footprint. A game like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be much more narrow.

And so, I think it’s the best way I could describe how the consumer base for Switch is going to evolve over time. And certainly by the end of our first full year, it’ll be kids, young adults, parents and gamers occupying that footprint.''


On the matter if Wii U was a failure
''I don’t recall who said it but, one of our executives said something similar — I think it might have been Mr. Miyamoto, the last time he was here in New York, where he made the comment “I hope consumers look back at Wii U as a necessary step, in order to get to Nintendo Switch.” Which is another way of saying what you did.

And it’s interesting, you know, as consumers think back, the fondness and the memories shift. I joined the company as GameCube was ending its life. And as we look at the install base of the platform, certainly it’s not one of our higher install base platforms. And yet it seems the talk now is all about how consumers are hoping that there’s a GameCube virtual console, which I just find interesting.

But yes, you can look at Nintendo Switch and certainly see a lineage, not only to Wii U, but as our Switch presentation highlighted, really to so many of our historical platforms. And there is certainly no mistake in that.''

On the company's future online plans
''First, there is much more that we will be sharing about our subscription service—the mechanics, the types of content that you’ll get access to, free, on a monthly basis, the price point for the overall service. All of that information will come.

Second point, as you know, we are very aware of what the consumer has articulated to date as to what they want. We are very aware of what our competitors do. The way Nintendo thinks about it, is we want to make the consumer happy, and we want to give them some of the elements that they have been asking for. And we want to give them things that they haven’t even thought of to ask. But, we also believe in differentiated experiences. We believe in doing things differently.

And so our overall proposition will not look the same as our competitors. But what we will do, is we will recognize what consumers like about our competitors, we will look to do it in a way that has a Nintendo flair to it. And we will look to make sure that in the end, we’ve got this robust, online environment that not only works well for our games, like Splatoon and Mario Kart and Smash Bros., but that also works great for our third party developers.''

Reggie on Switch's launch lineup, having a steady flow of support, new approach to online, no friend codes

Coming from a CNET interview with Reggie Fils-Aime...

On launch day software and having a constant stream of support

"Launch day is not the be-all and the end-all. It really is the steady pacing of content that continually reinforces for the people who bought into the platform why they made a smart choice, as well as what compels people who might be sitting on the sidelines to jump in. We feel we have this great ongoing march of content to motivate you to jump into the platform."

On Nintendo's previous handling of online and their new approach with Switch

"People have taken shots at us for that (Nintendo's online efforts in the past). The reality is, the way that online experiences have progressed, it's an expensive proposition. The amount of servers we need to support Smash Brothers or Mario Kart -- these big multiplayer games -- is not a small investment. There are no friend codes within what we're doing."

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Framerate the same on Wii U/Switch

UPDATE - Jose Otero over at IGN says he made a mistake and Breath of the Wild was not confirmed to be 1080p.

Coming from an IGN interview with Eiji Aonuma...

“I think I mentioned this during E3, but the gameplay is completely the same experience on Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. The game controls for the two are pretty much identical. However, when you play in TV mode, the resolution of the screen and the sound quality go up. When I said earlier that the gameplay and game experience is the same, I meant the framerate is the same as well. The world in Breath of the Wild is all seamless. There’s a lot of processing when [the game] needs to recreate the landscape, so that’s a little bit of challenge. But while you’re playing it there’s no difference whatsoever between the two.”

Aonuma also pointed out that Breath of the Wild will have faster loading times on Switch due to cartridge read speed over disc

Square-Enix dev says Nintendo told Squaresoft to 'never come back' when Final Fantasy VII jumped from N64 to PS1

Coming from a Polygon interview with multiple Square-Enix/Squaresoft devs...

Hiroshi Kawai, Character programmer, Square Japan - I’ll say this. I’m impressed with what Nintendo [was] able to do with the 64 hardware. Mario, Zelda — their devs must be top notch to be able to do that. But that’s essentially the extent of what you can do with the hardware. And you would get nowhere near anything like a Final Fantasy running on it.

Hironobu Sakaguchi - When we made our decision, the president of Square [Masafumi Miyamoto], our lead programmer [Ken Narita] and I went to a meeting with Yamauchi-san. There is an old cultural tradition where, in Kyoto, someone will welcome you with tea, but you’re not supposed to really drink that tea. It’s just polite to have it there. And Yamauchi-san welcomed us with a very expensive bento meal and beer, and gave us a very nice welcome and basically patted us on the back to say, “I wish you the best.” No bitter feelings or anything.

Hiroshi Kawai, Character programmer, Square Japan - I think [Sakaguchi] is just trying to be politically correct with that one.

Yoshihiro Maruyama, Executive vice president, Square U.S. - I don’t think [anyone from Nintendo gave us a hard time]. They said, “Oh, we don’t need that.” That’s what they said. [Laughs] Their philosophy has always been that Nintendo hardware is for their games, and if a publisher wants to publish, “OK you can do it.” But if you don’t like it, “We don’t want you.”

Hiroshi Kawai, Character programmer, Square Japan - What I heard was Nintendo said, “If you’re leaving us, never come back.”

Well that's quite a different answer from what we've heard all these years. I'm also sad to say, the line above seems more like something Nintendo would say back in the day.

Square-Enix reconfirms Dragon Quest X for Switch

The following comes from Square Enix’s Yosuke Saito...

“My delusion is that I hope we can release NieR:Automata -> Dragon Quest XI -> PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch versions of Dragon Quest X in order."

Great news to hear, but we're still missing one key bit of info. Are you ever going to localize the game, Square-Enix!?

Suda51 wants a Switch, interested in making a game for it

Coming from Suda51...

“I want one (a Switch). Nintendo always makes really cool, interesting hardware that gives us new things to do. On the Wii, not to brag, but I feel that I made a game that used that Wii technology in one of the best ways. I want to find a cool new way to play using what Switch offers.”

Oh man, DON'T get me excited like this, Suda! I so want a game from you on the Switch. Let's hope he's already cooking up an idea!