From Switch to Swiitch?
Nintendo has opened up about the transition between hardware, and how it can be a bit difficult to get right. Nintendo nailed it with the GBA to DS, but failed with the Wii to Wii U. Now that Nintendo has another hit on their hands with the Switch, how do they parlay that success to the Switch’s successor? Reggie Fils-Aimé has some ideas.
Games Industry spoke to Reggie Fils-Aimé about Nintendo’s eventual shift from Switch to successor, and he opened up on his thoughts as to how the Big N can ensure a smooth transition.
“So let’s just acknowledge that moving from one successful platform to the next is incredibly difficult and challenging to do. Specific to Nintendo and Switch, the company has also said that in their view the Switch is still halfway through its lifecycle. If that’s true, the company needs to be thinking about what it’s going to do over the next four or five years to continue the core business momentum for the Switch. Then it’s about following the heels of that and what the future holds. It’s quite a heavy lift to be done.
I believe that, first and foremost, you need to be thinking about the content pipeline and what’s going to keep players engaged. I do think you have to look at history and what have been some of the historical tactics that have worked to maintain a lifecycle of a particular generation – and that includes everything from mid-cycle upgrades to thinking about pricing and value. There’s a number of different tactics you can play, but fundamentally the content pipeline needs to be there.
I continue to be very active in this industry, I’m active as an investor and advisor, and I think that being aware of demographic changes and geographic opportunities, about how technology is continuing to evolve, these are all things a company like Nintendo needs to be thinking about in order to launch the system after Switch.”
Eh, I disagree. Due to all the production issues from COVID, most people are still running Gen8 systems or equivalently-powered PCs, which Switch can still compete comfortably with power-wise, even if it can't hold a candle to its Gen9 contemporaries or truly cutting-edge desktops. Your average user still doesn't have an RTX or RDNA2 card and X|S/PS5 ownership is just as scarce. While on paper, technology has advanced a great deal past the Switch, in practice Switch is still in the race due to those logistical issues.
Plus, it's always going to have a bit of a pass in power because of portability. Even Sony's portable systems - which tried to be more of a "portable console" than Nintendo's own portable line and therefore constantly put themselves in a position to be compared against home systems - weren't considered too underpowered. Vita's power was actually impressive enough to get a home-only version despite being even weaker than the PS3 from a generation prior.