Excitement is building about the Nintendo Switch console, and fans are hungry for more details.
It was widely assumed that we would have to wait until January 2017, when Nintendo will make an official announcement, to find out more about the Switch. However, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has spoken out on the price and the launch lineup during an earnings briefing.
President drops hints, doesn’t provide details
Kimishima said that the Switch would be priced as people had predicted a Nintendo console would be. However gauging what this means is difficult given that the Switch is a completely different idea of any previous Nintendo console.
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The Nintendo Switch is a console/mobile hybrid device, so comparing it to the Wii U or Gamecube isn’t easy. However, Kimishima did offer the following take on pricing.
“Regarding the price, as we have been saying, we are, in principle, not planning to sell it at a loss,” the company president said. “We would like a wide variety of consumers to enjoy Nintendo products, and we would also like to think regarding consumers’ expectations for our products.”
Developers to bring a wide range of games to platform
It will be crucial for the success of the Switch that it isn’t too pricey, and that it offers a wide variety of games from top developers. Securing support from important third-party developers will be key for Nintendo.
As things stand the company has confirmed that it will release The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Switch. It is the only in-house game that has been confirmed so far, although there were teasers for Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon shown in the announcement video for the upcoming console.
That video also showed a 3D Mario game, but no one knows whether that will become a reality or not. According to Nintendo, the trailer was designed to show “short glimpses of representative gameplay to demonstrate the liberating nature of the Nintendo Switch home gaming system.”
Third-party studios keen on Switch
Regarding third-party support, a few games were on show during the trailer. This includes Skyrim and NBA 2K, although neither game has been confirmed for the Switch.
Ubisoft has announced that it will make Just Dance 2017 for the console and has hinted that it will make more games for the new platform. CEO Yves Guillemot was effusive in his praise for the Switch even before the wider public knew what the console would be like, and spoke highly of Nintendo’s commitment to innovation.
Dozens of other third-party developers have also pledged their support for the Switch. Among them are Activision, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Square Enix, Konami, and Capcom.
According to Kimishima, the Switch has enjoyed strong support from developers because they “realize that Nintendo Switch offers a chance to create new and exciting surprises which are not possible with existing gaming devices.” Ubisoft CEO Guillemot has said in the past that the upcoming console could “redefine” gaming.
Console market hotting up
During the earnings call, the Nintendo president was asked if hardcore gamers would be the focus of the launch lineup. Although he managed to avoid giving a direct answer to the question, Kimishima did say that the Switch will be “embraced by a variety of different people across many different age demographics.”
Nintendo has already scheduled an online presentation for January 12 during which it will release further details about the price, technical specifications and launch lineup for the upcoming console. The company says that no major announcements will be made before that date, although there are likely to be some leaks and speculation in the run up to new year.
Nintendo claims that it will ship 2 million Switch consoles during March 2017, the launch month for the new device. The Switch will compete for market share with the Sony PS4 Pro and the Microsoft Xbox One S, although the Nintendo device appears to be marketed at a different sector of gamers.
While the Microsoft and Sony consoles battle it out to offer the best performance concerning raw power, Nintendo is focusing on offering unique gameplay experiences. With the hybrid console/mobile design, a whole new area of gaming could be about to open up.
It looks set to be a very interesting time for gaming, with the continued progression of augmented reality and virtual reality gaming. The huge success of Pokemon Go demonstrated that people would seize upon a game as a cultural phenomenon, and developers are fighting it out to see who will come up with the next big hit.
Watch this space for the latest news on the Nintendo Switch and other gaming developments.