These are snippets from a TIME interview with Reggie Fils-Aime, president and COO for Nintendo of America...
On who the Nintendo Switch is made for...
''Just like every system Nintendo creates, we believe in having a very wide footprint, and we are experienced enough in this industry to know that the footprint changes over time. We believe that by [next holiday season], with the launch of Super Mario Odyssey, that the footprint for Nintendo Switch will be very broad. Kids, young adults, parents, gamers will occupy that footprint.
But what’s going to happen is that, that space is going to be filled in at each point in time with the subsequent launches. So for example, if you look at the first 45 days, you’ve got Zelda, 1-2 Switch, Mario Kart 8. So the active gamer. And candidly, the more the active gamer sees, the more excited they’re going to be for that game.
I was a Zelda fan before I was a Nintendo employee, and I can tell you that as I’ve experienced that game, it just gets me more and more excited to play. 1-2 Switch is a party in a box. And so that is going to be an all family type of experience that will then broaden the footprint. And then Mario Kart 8 is going to expand it even further. And so that’s what I see happening. A game like Arms will have a diverse footprint. A game like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be much more narrow.
And so, I think it’s the best way I could describe how the consumer base for Switch is going to evolve over time. And certainly by the end of our first full year, it’ll be kids, young adults, parents and gamers occupying that footprint.''
On the matter if Wii U was a failure
''I don’t recall who said it but, one of our executives said something similar — I think it might have been Mr. Miyamoto, the last time he was here in New York, where he made the comment “I hope consumers look back at Wii U as a necessary step, in order to get to Nintendo Switch.” Which is another way of saying what you did.
And it’s interesting, you know, as consumers think back, the fondness and the memories shift. I joined the company as GameCube was ending its life. And as we look at the install base of the platform, certainly it’s not one of our higher install base platforms. And yet it seems the talk now is all about how consumers are hoping that there’s a GameCube virtual console, which I just find interesting.
But yes, you can look at Nintendo Switch and certainly see a lineage, not only to Wii U, but as our Switch presentation highlighted, really to so many of our historical platforms. And there is certainly no mistake in that.''
On the company's future online plans
''First, there is much more that we will be sharing about our subscription service—the mechanics, the types of content that you’ll get access to, free, on a monthly basis, the price point for the overall service. All of that information will come.
Second point, as you know, we are very aware of what the consumer has articulated to date as to what they want. We are very aware of what our competitors do. The way Nintendo thinks about it, is we want to make the consumer happy, and we want to give them some of the elements that they have been asking for. And we want to give them things that they haven’t even thought of to ask. But, we also believe in differentiated experiences. We believe in doing things differently.
And so our overall proposition will not look the same as our competitors. But what we will do, is we will recognize what consumers like about our competitors, we will look to do it in a way that has a Nintendo flair to it. And we will look to make sure that in the end, we’ve got this robust, online environment that not only works well for our games, like Splatoon and Mario Kart and Smash Bros., but that also works great for our third party developers.''