Nintendo Switch: Reggie on Virtual Console, lack of bundled game, more

Following the Nintendo Switch Presentation, Reggie Fils-Aimé held several interview with various media outlets. In this one, we’re going to focus on two specially:

In the interview with The Verge, Reggie Fils-Aimé talks a bit about the Virtual Console. He explains that he’s aware of users who have spend hundreds of dollars/euros into retro games, and are a bit concerned about the lack of retro compatibility. Unfortunately, he didn’t reveal to alleviate their worries, though confirmed that details about the service would be revealed in the upcoming weeks.

My comment is: Stay tuned, we understand the concern, more information to come.

There’s 40-some odd days between now and launch. There are more details to come. And at that point we’ll be able to define all of those various details of that online experience.

About possible shortages, Reggie Fils-Aimé thinks fans shouldn’t have to worry (despite the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System debacle). Nintendo previously announced they would ship two million units for the whole month, and he thinks that’s a lot for that period of the year. Let’s just hope he’s right, and Nintendo doesn’t underestimate demand once again…

Our focus is making sure that the consumer who wants to buy a Nintendo Switch can buy a Nintendo Switch. That’s how we build our supply chain, that’s how we think through the amount of product that’s available.

He then reveals why Nintendo ended up underestimating demand for the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System. Basically, the company expected that the main audience for it would be people in their 30-40, who had already stopped playing games regularly. But in the end, a lot more people ended up interested, as they saw it as a cheap way to get 30 of the best NES games (and a cool-looking console and controller).

We thought honestly that the key consumer would be between 30 and 40 years old, with kids, who had stepped away from gaming for some period of time. And certainly we sold a lot of systems to that consumer. But what we also see here in the Americas is that we’ve sold a lot to [fans] who just saw a compact, all-in-one opportunity to get the 30 greatest games from the NES generation. I think that incremental demand is what surprised us. Because again, how many times have you purchased the original Super Mario Bros.? We thought that the consumer that already had a Wii or a Wii U and had purchased those games once or twice already, we didn’t think that they’d buy the NES Classic. And they did.

About the Nintendo 3DS, Reggie Fils-Aimé believes that it will co-exist with the Nintendo Switch. In fact, it will keep getting games this year, with titles such as the new Pikmin game or Ever Oasis. The price is also radically different, with the Nintendo 3DS being really affordable, and the Nintendo Switch being quite expensive.

What’s more, Nintendo considers the Nintendo Switch as a home console first and foremost, that you can take with you on the go. Does that mean a new handheld is in the works? Maybe yes, maybe no. One thing’s for sure: if there is one, it will not be revealed any time soon.

Next, let’s talk about the interview with GameStop, where Reggie Fils-Aimé explains why Nintendo chose not to include a game with the Nintendo Switch at launch. Basically, the company wants to “let the consumer decide what games they want to buy.”

It all began when they decided the price would be $299.99. They had to chose what would be included in the box, and naturally, there were elements like the Joy-Cons or the dock that they simply couldn’t not include.

The first decision that we make is, where do we want to be in terms of the hardware price point that’s going to be approachable and hit the marketplace we want? And from a US price point, we wanted to be at $299. Certainly, lower is always better, but at a $349 or $399 price point, we just didn’t feel that was the right place to be. So we start there. And then it’s all about, what’s going to be included? Obviously the inclusion of the two Joy-Con, critically important; all the right cables, the dock, critically important. We also have to do this from a financial perspective as well. Once we got to that bundle, it really needed to be at $299 without a piece of software.

As for whey Nintendo didn’t simply include 1-2-Switch with the console, like they did with Wii Sports on Wii (especially since it’s a game that perfectly illustrates how its main controller can be used), it’s because the game provides “many more experiences” that Wii Sports did. He believes that Wii Play, which used to be sold separately, is a more accurate comparison in that regard.

The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3rd worldwide.



Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat. Also known as Maintenance Guy by some. Twitter: @lite_agent

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