A portion of a Telegraph interview with Nintendo's Shinya Takahashi and Yoshiaki Koizumi....
T: You touched on the idea briefly during the Tokyo presentation in January, but it feels like a combination of past Nintendo consoles. Was that always the plan?
Takahashi: I wouldn’t say it was an initial objective of ours to include elements of all our past hardware with Switch. Instead we started with that initial goal that I’ve talked about, wanting to have any many people as possible ready to play regardless of their situation. As we started to think about what types of gaming environments people play in and what type of input and functionality the system need in order to be able to allow them to play in those situations. The natural result was pulling in a lot of element of past Nintendo hardware and putting them together in one system.
T: On that lineup, Zelda looks terrific, but there isn’t many games for day one. Does that not concern you?
Takahashi: Certainly we look at it not just from the perspective of what are the games available on launch day but what we have from a lineup perspective not just from this year but into next year aswell. And speaking just about this year we have our launch games, Zelda and 1-2-Switch, and we’ve lined up so we’ve got great games launching in each season of this year. We’ll have Mario Kart shortly after launch, Arms in the Spring, the lineup continues after the holiday. This time we feel we’ve launched a system that has great games at launch in Zelda and 1-2-Switch but also a very strong lineup through the end of the year aswell.
Koizumi: As you know we’ve been focussed on development on first party games, but with Nintendo Switch we’ve also put a lot of energy into making third-party cooperation possible, and that includes a lot of attention paid to the development environment that we are provided to these partners as well as the middleware we create for them. Soon you will a lot more announcements from third-party partners.
T: You’ve mentioned the 3DS there. Will you continue to support the dedicated handheld given Switch could potentially replace it?
Takahashi: Certainly I think 3DS from a price perspective is quite a bit lower, and it’s a system we’ve released a very large library for. So I think from that perspective it’s a very good system for kids to have as their first system. We still see a lot of potential for 3DS in that area. And with that in mind we’re thinking of games to release for 3DS not just in 2017, but in 2018 as well. And the hope there also is that kids playing on 3DS will also shift over to Switch at some point in the future.
T: Something else you are introducing for the Switch is a new paid online service, but we haven’t heard much about that yet. What are your plans for this?
Koizumi: So the online service is very important to Nintendo’s strategy, the most important thing for us is making the experience that much more fun for players. And so that’s what really drives us to drive us into what kind of features to include. With that in mind we have several services planned that I’m sorry I can’t talk about right now, but one thing I am able to mention to you is you will be able to use your smart device to chat with people you are playing with online.
And because this is a device almost everyone has we think that there is a very broad reach for this service, I think it’s a unique approach that people haven’t quite seen out in the world just yet. But because it is unique it is a bit difficult to explain all at once out of the gate, so we wanted to take a little bit of time and wait until we roll out some of the other information surrounding it.
T: Will the smartphone to be integral to the service beyond the voice chat?
Koizumi: Yes, we like to think as Switch as working very well together with smartphones so we’re basing quite a few plans surrounding that.