In a world where companies like Sony and Microsoft are upgrading their consoles by making them more compact, more powerful and more elegant-looking, Nintendo took things to a whole new level. It didn’t just make a better Wii: Nintendo Switch was an entirely new console with a transformable form factor that allows users to play at home and on the go, or share a game with a friend by splitting into two separate, self-sufficient controllers.

The news about this product went far beyond the gaming community. People who never owned a console or a gaming PC were anticipating this product; mainly due to its features, and partly to a design that brings back memories from childhood playtime. The Nintendo Switch looks like a device that brings a ton of fun, instead of looking like a decorative piece for your living room (e.g. PS4 Pro and Xbox One S.)

But there’s one more crucial ingredient in a recipe for a successful product: its name. So how did the guys from Nintendo come up with “Switch”?

In a recent interview with Nintendo Everything, Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi and Yoshiaki Koizumi talked a lot about the console, its development, and future.

The topic of naming also came up.

So, the primary task was to create something entirely new to shift away from predecessors. Names connected to Wii and DS were not an option. They enlisted everyone they could into the creative process. They described to people what the new hardware would be like and received thousands of name candidates. The name had to symbolize change, the replacement for something new. It had to fit well and be easily understandable by everyone no matter what part of the world users come from.

When they finally chose “Switch”, the reaction of the staff was very different from what they expected. People were surprised that it took so much time to come up with such a simple name. But after the explanation of its meaning, everybody seemed to like “Switch”.

Basically, this name means that everything about the console is new and different from previous products. Also, “Switch” implies that you can effortlessly switch between modes (console, hand-held, two-player) and locations with no need to stop playing, thanks to its ingenious design.

And that’s how Nintendo Switch was born. Today, not even six weeks after its launch, it is one of the fastest selling gaming systems of all time, and an undeniable milestone in gaming devices.

About the Author

Alex: The Wannabe Gamer

Convinced that video games are one of the most powerful tools to impact and change person’s mind and beliefs. Enjoys CS:GO and Overwatch but also has a soft spot for indie releases. Thinks that games are the future of art and education. Owner and blogger at
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