Analysts comment on Switch features, market, audience, pricing expectations & more

Coming from a GamesIndustry interview with multiple analysts...

"Nintendo's Switch reveal trailer unveiled a product positioning which aims to defend against the increasingly robust encroachment of the smartphone and tablet gaming opportunity yet still appeal to traditional console gamers that are looking for a big-screen gaming solution in the home. It has designed the Switch to deliver a flexible solution to cover multiple types of usage, but must avoid delivering a substandard experience by trying to be all things to all users.

Interestingly, the Switch reveal trailer was squarely targeted at young adults, which suggests that Nintendo is refocusing its early marketing on more traditional console gamers and those that also increasingly like gaming on the move. To build success with these buyers the offering must include third-party titles that are supported on other platforms. Nintendo looks to have killed off its motion controllers with the Switch and opted for a more traditional form of gaming experience. This suggests the company is serious about getting third-party publishers to support the platform with multi-platform titles. Potentially, this will help Nintendo's ambition to target young adult gamers.

Nintendo's ability to market a clear use case message to the audience [will be key]. Nintendo failed to do this with the Wii U and paid the price The reveal suggests it is competing more significantly with traditional home consoles, but with the edge of mobility. Pricing will need to be competitive in this context and anything over $300 may not be a convincing proposition.

The new console shares a number of design, positioning and component similarities with Nvidia's Shield tablet. As such it is likely that Switch will be capable of displaying 4K video content and judging by the pricing of the original Shield tablet is likely to sit in the $250-$300 range." - Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at IHS (forecasting 2.85 million units sold in March)

"They need a proper message. Right now I am concerned they are pitching it as just another tablet with controllers." - DFC Intelligence's David Cole

"I have my reservations with regards to the breadth of the audience it targets. The Switch will likely be most popular among a younger audience: its functionality is uniquely geared toward pre-teens and teenagers. While the device seems much less like a toy than we're used to from Nintendo, its features like backseat multi-player and the ability to have several people play using a single piece of the controller target Nintendo's traditional audience. The reveal video makes a lot more sense to me if you swap out all the adults in it with kids.

"I'm hoping they'll keep it under $300, ideally bundled with a Zelda or Mario Kart. Anything over that will severely limit its market potential." - SuperData's Joost van Dreunen

"Sorry, but is a portable/home console approach really that innovative in 2016? I am most concerned about the target group of the device: who else but die-hard Nintendo fans will buy the Switch? The Switch lacks a killer feature, and I think it will be very difficult for Nintendo to win back the casual gamers that are mostly on mobile now. In Japan, for example, the mobile gaming sector is already 2-3 times bigger than consoles. Even the PS4 struggles over here. It's going to be a huge challenge to try to reverse that trend.

I find it very difficult to picture a scenario where a critical number of mobile, free-to-play users converts to console and buy hard- and software for several hundred dollars upfront. Different markets, very difficult to bridge.

They must find a way to release the Switch at US$299 to stand a chance, that's the threshold. It's not impossible by offering the device in multiple versions, i.e. without the home dock. 'Hardcore' video game fans can, at US$299, already get fantastic devices from Sony and Microsoft. The portable gaming use case, at scale, has been taken over by smart devices." - Dr. Serkan Toto

Switch to support Unreal Engine 4

Well that's certainly nice to hear. We just don't know if it's the full-out Unreal Engine 4 or some modified version. Perhaps we'll find out at a later date. Thans to operationgamer17 for the heads up!

Amazon opens Switch preorder notifications

Introducing Nintendo Switch! In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles.

Click here to sign up for notifications on when the Switch can be preordered

Fan gets Pokemon Sun/Moon demo running in 1080p with additional visual enhancements

That's some pretty fancy visuals. That's also a quick bit of work! As you can see, the Pokemon Sun/Moon demo has already been given a visual tweaking by a modder. They also upped the resolution via an emulator. I'm sure Nintendo isn't happy to see this, but it's still nice to look at!

Entertainment Hero coming to Switch

In terms of gameplay, Mega Man is the largest inspiration here, that much is obvious. It's the series I know the best, and there's a nice harmony to the idea that the first game that I make resembles the first game that I played. It's a simple style as well which makes it a great first game to design.

The game will have ten stages to complete, in any order, before it's over. It won't be the longest or greatest game in the world and I'm aware of that, so expect a price point of under five dollars when the game launches. Another element driving the price point is competition. Entertainment Hero, even if it turns out exactly as I want it, will pale in comparison to Freedom Planet, Shovel Knight, Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, 20XX, and plenty of other games out there that went after the same basic idea that I'm going after.

Full details here

GAME boss sees Switch launch as a major event

Coming from GAME boss Martyn Gibbs...

In terms of looking forward, we are positive because we have new consoles coming to market. We have PS4 Pro in November and Project Scorpio for peak next year. And then we have the new Nintendo NX console, which on the back of seeing the appetite around Pokémonafter the success of Pokémon Go, we see that as being a major event.

We don't have any numbers around NX in our budgets yet, because we don't know enough about the product. But when Super Mario Run comes to mobile... if that does for Mario what Pokémon Go did for the Pokémon franchise, then there will be numerous things that we can capitalise on in the market.

Hearthstone Twitter account tweets out Switch mention

I don't even know what to make of this one. Was this just a nice tweet towards Nintendo or is something hinted at here? Let the speculation begin!

Bethesda says they'll confirm their specific Switch titles at a later date

Coming from a Bethesda rep...

"We're happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Nintendo on the video. While we are not confirming any specific titles at this time, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Nintendo and support of the Switch. We look forward to revealing specific games and details in the future."

That's a bit odd, seeing as how we saw Skyrim running in the trailer. Such a puzzling statement, but at least we know something is coming. Thanks to GTT for the heads up!

Family Computer Magazine getting first new issue in 222 months for the Famicom Classic Edition

- magazine hasn't had a new issue in 222 months
- will include regular features from the original magazines, including the comics
- 1000 page appendix (as pdf), featuring the 30 games from the Nintendo Classics Mini: Family Computer and more
- 1980 Yen
- 80 pages
- will be released on November 14th in Japan
- December issue of Nintendo Dream will come with a Famimaga Mini supplement
- 100 page long
- features the Nintendo Classics Mini: Family Computer and its game
- costs 980 Yen