The following comes from Eric Bright, senior director of merchandising at GameStop...
“We’ve seen tremendous demand for Switch and of the initial allocation of pre-orders we took, the majority of them were done by PowerUp Reward customers. They’re definitely looking for this device. We have a ways to go before we satisfy all the demand that’s out there The response has been amazing.
They’ve taken a lot of franchises like Zelda and Mario that were popular in the Wii days, gave them HD graphics, and created a system that can be played on your TV and is portable as well. Those are two big technology changes for games that didn’t exist before.
The Q1 launch is one of the smartest moves Nintendo could have done. Instead of pushing units out during the heaviest time of the year (in Q4), this allows them to build a base. So by holiday, we can focus on games. There will be millions of people who will be hungry for content, creating a richer development cycle for game publishers who will have an install base to support titles. This also will take some of the brunt off of Christmas and enable Switch to be better stocked at stores.
Nintendo has learned from the mistakes it made with Wii U because there’s a wide assortment of third-party games from developers like EA, Ubisoft, Bethesda and Take-Two, as well as first-party Nintendo titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2.
The variety of indie games for Switch is one of the brilliant things Nintendo was able to do,” Bright said. “Any new console launch is all about software and content and providing people a huge variety of games. Indie developers will only expand how many consumers adopt Switch and expand the age range. We see this appealing from the hardcore gamer down to the overall family gamer.
The biggest win for the customer is they can make their own choice with games. They can pick which of the games they want to pair with the hardware they’re buying—whether they’re Zelda fans or 1-2-Switch. From our sales perspective, we’re seeing incredible demand. We’re pleased with the Switch attach rate. People are not just buying one game. They’re buying multiple games.
We’re looking at which stores, but you can expect to see all sorts of events throughout the year as we educate the customer on this launch. We’ll also have incredible launch day activities on March 3. Customers are going to easily be thrilled with the fact that it’s something you can play with anyone in the house because it has that Wii playability.
We’re no longer purchasing Wii U units, although customers can come in and pick them up pre-owned. That’s mainly because it’s no longer being made available to mass retailers. Nintendo and ourselves are fully engaged in the new hardware line-up."
Bright also talked about the interest in the NES Classic Edition...
“We’re still seeing incredible demand for the unit. There’s no slowdown, and we don’t see that stopping. We see that continuing for some time.”