Nintendo is going to make a big announcement later today. Just a few days ago, the company held a surprise Direct Mini presentation, where it announced a bunch of new games for the Nintendo Switch including the Dark Souls: Remastered, Mario Tennis Aces, Donkey Kong Country, Kirby Star Allies, and The World Ends With You. Now the company has teased a new Nintendo Switch interactive experience, which has got Nintendo fans excited.
An interactive experience crafted for kids
Nintendo UK said on its website that the company would be revealing a “new interactive experience for Nintendo Switch that’s specially crafted for kids and those who are kids at heart.” Nintendo Japan has also posted a tweet that points to a webpage with the date and time of the announcement. The Nintendo Switch interactive experience will be revealed on Wednesday, January 17 at 10 PM UK Time.
明日18日（木）の朝7時より、Nintendo Switchを活用した「新しいあそび」を、こちらのページで紹介いたします。 https://t.co/RmTNznX0mj
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— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) January 17, 2018
If you live in the US, the event will start at 2 PM Pacific Time or 5 PM Eastern Time. That’s 9 AM AEST on Thursday, January 18 for people who live in Australia. The teaser doesn’t reveal much. The Japanese company says “tune in” at the scheduled time, which means it will be a live stream announcement.
Since the Nintendo Switch interactive experience will target kids or people who are kids at heart, some in the industry have started speculating what it could be. Some believe it would be a new family-centric title while others speculate that it could be a new Switch accessory. Nintendo Switch has been around for almost a year, and the company knows that the second year would be crucial for the console’s long-term success. So, it would offer something that would entice more people to buy the console, says Eurogamer.
Recently, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said in an interview with the newspaper Mainichi that the second year was crucial to make the Nintendo Switch “playable in the long term.” Kimishima added, “Our task is to add more users, including people who barely touch game consoles.” People who purchased the console during the first year of launch were already Nintendo fans. The Nintendo Switch interactive experience could help the company expand its user base.
Is the Nintendo Switch interactive experience about motion controls?
Rolling Stone points out that the “interactive experience” Nintendo is teasing could be a new form of motion tracking. The Japanese company was granted multiple patents related to motion tracking in 2015 and 2016. According to the patent documents, the Switch’s IR cameras can be used to detect hand gestures and motion. Currently, the IR cameras are used in conjunction with the Joy-Con controllers.
The patents also describe some use cases such as moving a snake across the screen with hand gestures, steering a car, throwing and catching a baseball, and playing Rock, Paper, Scissors using hand gestures. Just having patents is no guarantee that the company would bring the feature to the Switch, but such a move could certainly help expand Nintendo’s user base.
Nintendo Switch is riding high
Nintendo Switch sales surpassed the 10 million units milestone in just nine months. It means the console is selling as fast as Sony’s PS4 sold in the first nine months of its launch. That’s quite surprising because the Switch was launched in March, which is considered a dull time for console sales. The Switch demand was so strong that the console would go out of stock frequently in many parts of the world months after its launch.
The Switch sales could have been even higher had Nintendo anticipated the strong demand and produced the console in enough numbers. It is on track to beat the lifetime sales of Wii U in the very first year of launch. The Wii U had sold 13.6 million units in its lifetime. The Switch has sold nearly 5 million units in the US alone in the last ten months.
One of the reasons Nintendo Switch became such a grand success is its hybrid design, which gives gamers the freedom to play on the go or connect it to a TV for the living room gaming experience. Another reason is an impressive lineup of the first-time games such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The Switch also boasts about 300 third-party games.
Nintendo had ramped up the Switch production last year to meet the holiday demand. According to supply chain reports, the company is currently producing two million Switch units per month. If Nintendo Switch maintains its momentum, it might be able to beat the lifetime sales of the Wii, which sold more than 100 million units in its lifetime.