Although the Nintendo Wii is the best-selling gaming system of all time, its younger and more versatile sibling, the Nintendo Switch, has officially become the fastest selling gaming console of all time in the United States.
In the 10-month period since its launch, the Switch has sold through over 4.8 million units, beating the Wii’s comparable numbers by an impressive 800,000 units.
The Switch possibly owes its popularity to two factors: one, it’s hybrid format that allows it to be played as a handheld as well as a standard console; the second factor could be a combination of older fans reliving their Nintendo memories along with new generations experiencing the joy of Nintendo characters for the first time.
Says Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America: “Whether this is a dedicate gamer who doesn’t want to stop playing Mario or Zelda, or whether it’s a child experiencing these franchises for the very first time, we believe the value proposition as well as the compelling content is what’s fueling our momentum.”
And that momentum has been building up over the past 10 months. Despite worries about adequate supply numbers, Nintendo’s ramp-up plan for Nintendo Switch production seems to be keeping pace with the demand – or at least satisfying it to a great degree.
One of the most crucial secret ingredients to the Switch’s continued success is the cadence of big game title releases. This is a critical aspect that Nintendo hasn’t done very well with in the past, but Fils-Aime is confident that their development approach this time will address that issue:
“We’ve built a large research and development center near our main headquarters in Kyoto that literally houses thousands of developers with new recruits joining all the time. We also have a development center in Tokyo. We’ve got development teams in the U.S. So, for us, part of the answer in speeding up development is having more developers on our teams, learning the Nintendo way of creating great content. In addition, it’s also making sure the quality levels remain high – and that’s why you see long time developers … leading those teams and making sure the content continues to be to our standards.”
Hopefully, Nintendo will have enough of its own titles along with third-party blockbusters to release in a well-timed fashion so hardware sales aren’t affected by game availability.
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