In an interview with [a]list, Eric Bright (Senior Director of Merchandising at GameStop) shared some comments about the Nintendo Switch. He reiterated than interest for it is higher than for the Wii U. In fact, the company has seen “tremendous demand” for the console, even from PowerUp Reward customers:
“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.”
He believes that Nintendo launching the Nintendo Switch in Q1 is actually a pretty clever move: it allows them to build a sizeable userbase, ahead of the holiday period in November/December. That way, they can focus exclusively on games for that important period, and developers/publishers will have an actual install base to support their titles.
It should also help with Hardware shortages during the holiday period, since production is usually pretty limited when a console launches, so avoiding such a busy period for launch is definitely a good move. Launching in March should definitely help with shortages in November/December… as long as Nintendo doesn’t underestimate demand like they did with the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainement System!
Quite surprisingly, Eric Bright is quite enthusiastic about Nintendo’s effort to court indies:
The variety of indie games for Switch is one of the brilliant things Nintendo was able to do. 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.
And speaking of games, he seems quite pleased that players are able to chose the game they want. According to him, GameStop is seeing strong demand for them, with players buying multiple games, not just one. And despite the console not including a game like the Wii U did, the Nintendo Switch is apparently enjoying a higher attach rate than its predecessor.
In order to promote the Nintendo Switch, GameStop will hold all sorts of events throughout the year, including on March 3rd (launch day).
Eric Bright also confirmed that GameStop is no longer selling new Wii U consoles, only pre-owned units. As for the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System, GameStop is seemingly getting a steady flow of units, which is pretty good news as the company is still seeing “incredible demand” for it… and they don’t think it will change any time soon:
There’s no slowdown, and we don’t see that stopping. We see that continuing for some time.
The Nintendo Switch will be released on March 3rd, worldwide.