Nintendo's president discusses Switch's "crucial" second year, objectives that need to be hit for momentum to continue

Nintendo has a bonafide hit on their hands with the Switch. The first fiscal year has some time left in it, but by and large, it's been a resounding success. How will Nintendo continue this and create a victory lap in the second year? Nintendo's Tatsumi Kimishima shared some thoughts in a recent interview.

- “In order to be playable in the long term, the second year is crucial."
- "Our task is to add more users, including people who barely touch game consoles.”
- Nintendo has to expand the game library, take in new players, and raise the Switch as “a game console with long lifespan”
- Kimishima believes overall worldwide momentum for Switch is rivaling the Wii era
- Nintendo has reached most early adopters because they really like Nintendo’s games
- Nintendo’s games are focused on the family demographic
- in the Switch's future, different sorts of genres will be covered by third-parties, which will help expand the system’s user base
- if Nintendo doesn’t think of new ways to play, Switch momentum could stop due to competition from other hardware creators
- there is a possibility in the future that the method to deliver surprises to customers may change
- to equalize earnings, it is important to always maintain unique ideas

Tags: eshop, switch


Top Rated Comment

Some miserable people on this post. The past year must have been tough on them with all the universal acclaim the Switch was getting

Get Pokrmon out this year and you won 2018 in the sales department. Easy.

But I wonder what "new ways to play" means. I would love to see more games utilize HD rumble better, but just to make games more immersive. And I still haven't tested out the IR camera. Actually Inkinda forget it's even there.

I bet we'll see a very experimental WarioWare sometime soonish, just imagine how many weird MiniGames they can do with the JoyCons. Shake the JoyCon when you feel Wario's gas filling up the controller. Imagine that HD Rumble Fart Gas. It is perfect.

And of course, I am sure we'll see a new interesting IP that will heavily use at least one of the JoyCon's special features. I am quite curious what the'll do. They mastered Gyro with Splatoon and the boxing in ARMS works perfectly with the JoyCons (and 1-2-Switch uses HD Rumble very well). Need more cool things with the IR camera now.

Sun Jan 14 18 04:22am
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

including people who barely touch game consoles.

I wouldn’t worry about these people too much and I hope Nintendo doesn’t either.

Continue focusing on gamers. People want to play games on Switch, even third party.

If a game comes to both Switch and any other platform that I own - I will 100% get it on Switch even if my PC can play it at 4K.

Civ VI just came to iPad - give it me on Switch please!

But that's exactly the main reason why the Wii sold well in the first place. It was aimed to those who have never played games before.

But really, all Nintendo has to do is buy Capcom and that will make every gamer's day.

Yeah but whilst the Wii sold well, it also suffered game droughts and shovel-ware.

There were tons of Wii’s sold that never moved software (not counting the bundled Wii Sports).

The “casual” audience that the Wii sold to is gone (to smart phones and tablets) and is never coming back. Nintendo would be wise to not bank on re-capturing their attention because they won’t succeed.

Trying to repeat how the Wii sold is an exercise in failure. They can sell as many Switches as Wii sure, but how they get there needs to be different.

Sun Jan 14 18 06:23am
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

Eventhough that "5.0" leak was dumb.

Alot of those features need to be added into the base switch.
ontop of this, I'd like to see them make an extended dock

Like, More than a TV passthrough, I'd like to see hardware acceleration, like an external GPU of sorts.
I'd be 100% fine with a thicker, more powerful dock if it helps the Switch out.

just.. make it affordable and optional. Such as, if you have it for example, a game can get a boost to 1080p 60fps. Or god forbid, 4K 30FPS (Not gonna ask for the moon)
This Dock, by the by, could also house storage features, like an SSD.
(hey its not a crazy idea, external GPUs are a thing for PCs. Especially given Switch has USB Type-C, if it's thunderbolt rated (on the system itself) it can wholly work)

The biggest problem with that more powerful dock idea is that it’s unlikely you can just undock the Switch without shutting down whatever game you’re playing. Undocking the Switch without shutting down the game will just make the game crash if it’s using the external GPU. Same if the game is using an external storage device. (Sleep mode wouldn’t be enough)

Razer laptops have the ability to connect to their External GPU but you have to shutdown any games or applications that are using the external GPU before undocking the laptop and also vice versa when connecting it.

Sure it could be done but you’d have the above caveats. I don’t ever see it happening though to be honest. There’s a better chance we get a powerful Switch itself in a few years.

This is very true. Plus I'd rather have a more powerful portable Switch, than a docked Switch that's more powerful via some external GPU dock. If I could play Switch games on-the-go at 1080p 60fps I'd be extremely happy, but that would require the Switch itself to be more powerful, which I feel will inevitably happen in the next 3 or so years when a Tegra x2 or hopefully x3 chip is implemented.

Wed Jan 17 18 12:53am
(Updated 1 time)

I'd be fine with the system warning me, or the Manuel saying "HEY DONT DO X' or by the warning, it could be when you first plug in the system it goes through "Welcome to the Super Dock! Heres how to use me:" I mean I'm someone who can read, and understand what not to do with expensive tech.

I understand it being a problem sure, but I'd like to see it anyway. OR Nintendo could figure a way to stop the games extra power use. I mean if the system can unlock more of its cores to run smoother already, I'm sure something external could be disabled to not break the game as you pull it out. Its just a matter of there engineers figuring it out

It would be an easy way for BASE switch users to upgrade, without buying an whole new switch itself with the hardware enhancements.

I know it's a bit much to ask for, but It would be quite impressive to see, and would give nintendo an interesting edge compared to PS4 Pro and Xbone X

Upgrade aspects of the machine you want.

evan stoopeeder
Sun Jan 14 18 07:11am
(Updated 2 times)

I think for a console ecosystem to feel "healthy", you need at least one big release to look forward to at any given time. Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kart, Smash, Paper, something that size.

Not sure why they did't tease ONE major game in the Direct. As of now there's nothing on the horizon for those of us who played the ports already. Sure, there will be something in fall/winter, but it's January.

Sun Jan 14 18 08:00am
Rating: 1

Switch had an outstanding first year but that was largely due to Nintendo killing Wii U development and putting out next to nothing for its last two years. With support for 3DS declining it's possible they can continue to focus completely on Switch and keep that momentum going but now is not the time for them to rest on their laurels. The third party situation has been a happy bonus but they can't just count on third parties to fill the genre gaps. They need to actively secure exclusive titles - ports of old games will only get them so far. Games like Wolfenstein are a great step but a few key exclusives could keep Switch from being known as that system that gets inferior third party ports that happen to be portable. The portable factor is a big deal to some people but there are people like me who hold little value in it. I'm going to go for the superior PS4 versions of the games every time. There should be more games like Octopath Traveler and Bayonetta 3 in different genres.

My concern is that Nintendo will waste too much time and resources on "new ways to play" experiences like 1 2 Switch. They might have an occasional big hit like Wii Sports but for the most part that stuff has been garbage. Innovation is important but I believe an over-reliance on those games and that fickle audience are what put Nintendo into such a deep hole for a few years there.

Nobody bought a Switch so they could get 1-2 Switch (I'm sure some sick people out there did but by and large not the case). Zelda and Mario sold it and if indie comments are anything to go by Switch fans just want quality, (sigh) "hardcore" games by and large. I hope Nintendo continue to play to what gamers want because it's worked out great for them so far.

I just really don't want them to go Wii 3.0 with this and aggressively try to capture the audience that left years ago. It'll do nothing but muddle the message that the Switch is a device catering to gamers. Wii U catered to the exact crowd the Switch is going for but it would have never seemed like it to an onlooker when they saw just as much advertising for things like Sing Party as they did for ZombiU.

Not to say more "casual" experiences don't have a place on Switch but they should not become a focus like they have been in the past. They're already putting stuff out that appeals to everyone like Mario Kart and Snipper Clips- if they carry on in that direction, cool. If they start putting attention on shallow things like 1-2 Switch that truly focus on gimmicks, that's an issue.

I think they can cater to the “casual” within their existing franchises and games. Like adding Funky to DCKR TP.

Nintendo have been fairly good at release a game with an optional “easy mode” so the game can be played and enjoyed by people of all skill sets.

Please Kimishima we don't need any more casual games like 1-2 Shit. Hell 1-2 Shit didn't even feel like a game. It felt like a powerpoint presentation that you shake controllers too. I bet that 'game" was made for like $10,000 and so from a business standpoint that's genius to keep making "games" like 1-2 shit but creatively no. But then again Kimishima is a businessman through and through unlike Iwata (may he R.I.P)

I am flabbergasted how much vitriol only one game has. Like, oh no another market can be targeted with only a handful of games and somehow poisons the well entirely.

I mean, it's not hard to top their goals more easily with the casual market eating an additional 1 million or 2. And all they'd do is release a Wii Sports.

The Wii was in a different environment all together, everyone was targeting them cause they were the only ones buying the games. This first year proved that Switch users have a stronger purchasing power and wants to buy traditional games.

I always wonder about people who don't call things by their names and instead have to call it by some derogatory name like "1-2 Shit". That's such a primary-school mentality, it baffles me to see it with people who I presume to be beyond that

Ugh, back to appealing the casuals?

So, how about you add some of the missing basic features to the Switch (cloud saves, a "real" user account system, themes, streaming services) first before diving into "new ways to play"?

Why are people shocked about these statements when they've been repeated even before the console got its official name?
It is entirely possible to attract new players without going back to the Wii, and I'm sure Nintendo knows this because trying and failing to replicate the Wii's success ended up in disaster for the Wii U.

I've seen the system and its games interest casuals without having to rely on "Switch Fit" or other sorts of waggle fests.
I'm confident they know what they're doing.

fred duck
Sun Jan 14 18 11:54am
(Updated 1 time)

some guy said:
"Our task is to add more users, including people who barely touch game consoles.”

Hence the reason 85% of switch titles are old ports?

some guy said:
Nintendo has to expand the game library, take in new players, and raise the Switch as “a game console with long lifespan”

Long as in ps2-long or just longer than Wii U-long?

Expand the game library by digging for games even older than ps3-era and Neo-Geo? Here come the Famicom HD remakes?

some guy said:
Nintendo has reached most early adopters because they really like Nintendo’s games

From what I've seen, the majority of people who bought switch (50%+) did so in order to play that overhyped Zelda game, whatever it was called. They'd heard it was really okay and their choices were to pick up the unliked Wii U or the new Nintendo toy, so that was a pretty obvious choice. Many of these people did not have Wii Us. For those people who "really like Nintendo's games," a bunch of them already played most of the available switch games on other systems.

This may be different in Japan.

some guy said:
Nintendo’s games are focused on the family demographic

This is true. After all, Bayonetta is a strong female role model and Smash Bros helps demonstrate that everything can be resolved through incredible violence.

some guy said:
in the Switch's future, different sorts of genres will be covered by third-parties, which will help expand the system’s user base

You mean like the third-parties totally are doing right now. Well, maybe he's using a crystal ball.

some guy said:
if Nintendo doesn’t think of new ways to play, Switch momentum could stop due to competition from other hardware creators

New ways to play? What, like some kind of motion sensor or immersive 3D visuals that require a special peripheral?

Relying on "new ways" means that they're planning to focus on gimmicks.

You know what worked well? The old ways.

SNES came out and Nintendo said, "Here are a bunch of new games and some sequels. Enjoy."

Wii came out and "Here are a bunch of new games and some sequels. Enjoy."

For switch, it was, "Here's a slate of HD remakes and we dumbed down that Wii U exclusive Zelda game we promised you just so we could launch with something...oh god, please don't run away. I know we don't have any games ready. Also, we promise we'll finish programming the OS and building the online infrastructure sometime really soon. Maybe 2019? OMG, please please please!!"

some guy said:
there is a possibility in the future that the method to deliver surprises to customers may change

Does that mean jump scares or are they going for neural implants again?

Sun Jan 14 18 03:40pm
Rating: 3

This post is a literary disaster. It hurt my head trying to read it. I think you’re upset by what Kimishima said.

Not particularly. :}

I'm more irritated by the fact that switch is cannibalizing the Wii U library.

Also, do you remember when companies used to try to make it look like they were giving you some value for their quick-and-dirty HD remakes? They'd have 3-4 games in a bundle with a slightly lower price tag? Now Nintendo's all like, "One game. Full price. Bend over."

There's nothing wrong with a little stream of consciousness every now and them. Read Ulysses?

Mon Jan 15 18 08:26pm
Rating: 1

Actually I appreciate this about Nintendo’s “remaster” approach. My biggest concern about the DLC wave was that games inevitably received a GOTY edition a year later with all DLC included, and with a big discounted price. This is a major disincentive for cost conscious consumers like me to buy games day one.

Nintendo seems to feel that their re-releases are worth nearly full price. They value their product much more highly than EA and Acivision. Thus, I can buy on day one with confidence that I’m not going to feel like a dope for being an eager early adopter.

You're conflating two different things. A remake/remaster/rehash/re-easy cash grab is when companies re-release a game on a different platform but with maybe one new thing to entice people to pony up for the whole thing again. A GOTYE is on the same platform as the original.

If you're really cost-conscious, you never buy things day one, anyway. Only certain companies intentionally under-produce physical products to push people to digital rentals.

You're talking about the misguided "evergreen Nintendo product" idea that Nintendo titles are always ultra-popular and therefore never have to go down in price unless re-labeled as a Greatest Hits kind of thing. That's bollocks, especially nowadays where Nintendo releases its fair share of duds on a regular basis. (Hello, Animal Crossing Garbage Spinoffs.)

It's not that Nintendo values its products higher. It's that it knows its fans will look the other way or actively defend their lousy practices. For example, Mario Kart games all have about the same number of tracks. In every other game series ever, later titles tend to have more stuff...tracks, characters, levels, etc. Nintendo trained its fans to expect a similar-sized game every time...which is absolutely bizarre.

If I'd bought MK8 back when they pretended it was a full, complete game (remember, there was zero mention of the D word for months! WHY?), I'd've felt like a dope, indeed. Now that you mention it, since Nintendo is re-releasing every feasible Wii U title as a switch title, I do feel like a dope for being an eager early adopter.

Some miserable people on this post. The past year must have been tough on them with all the universal acclaim the Switch was getting

Loads of people everywhere seems unable to accept that Nintendo can do well, for some reason. Many people, here and on most forums I have seen, seem to have some sort of hate towards Nintendo and literally everything they do. Nintendo could probably cure cancer and they would get hell for it in some twisted way.
People are just so obsessed with negativity, and if things goes well for Nintendo then I guess they feel they need to help create some negativity themselves. Same against most companies, of course, but Nintendo seems to be the most sensitive subject for some reason.

I am no longer surprised that people like that exists, tho, withwhat how the world is going. But I am just glad Nintendo is doing very well again, without going through the lows that many other companies are doing (Lootboxes for example).

Switch is going well and that is awesome, so many great games already, two of the highest rated games ever, the most powerful portable console and it seems they are listning to fans more than ever. Hell, they are even making a Metroid Prime 4 and (probably) a Pikmin 4, what more can one want?!

I can only speak for myself but clearly, Nintendo was caught with its trousers down. They were completely blind-sided by how popular the system became, and with good reason: there are only about three games that aren't old ports.

The problem is that instead of deciding to get serious and work their butts off to get things lined up and/or ready ASAP, Nintendo looks like it's just celebrating having somehow managed to hit a home run.

They really need to pull up their trousers.

If this is what it looks like when one gets caught with their trousers down, I hope I’m caught with mine down all day, everyday.

Er, the two events were simultaneous but not in a causal relationship.

Sun Jan 14 18 01:24pm
Rating: 2 (Updated 1 time)

I think it's the "They need to appeal to ME specifically" mentality.
In the end it's pretty ironic how the "Nintendo is DOOMED" chants are now coming from fanboys rather than analysts.

What gets me is all it will take is make 1 or 2 games for the casual market. Use the new hires on the project and go from there. Wii Sports single handedly kept the first Wii year pumping for the casual market. Certainly doing the same with a few more (Wii Sports and Fit come to mind) should garner the remains of the ocean market that is willing to upgrade.

You can just feel the utter contempt in their words. I love it.

Makes you wonder how messed up you have to be to spend all your time focusing on a company just to constantly disparage every single thing they do.

While I miss and adore Satoru Iwata, I must admit that I'm really pleased with how Kimishima is performing as Nintendo's president so far. Looking forward to year 2 of the Switch and am confident we'll see some excellent stuff.

Thu Jan 18 18 03:40am
(Updated 1 time)

Here's Something Kimishima should know, I won't be getting a witch myself until the next Official Mario Kart game with 16 NEW Nitro and Retro Tracks for it is announced, something we've been gladly of seeing on each and every Nintendo System.

Beyond his grave I don't think Iwata would be pleased with the Switch ditching what changed our gaming lives with the Wii U, that allowed us to meet gamers from around the world and share our Gameplay Experiences with Miiverse. He'd also be displeased with Kimishima with what he's been doing as President such as with not appearing in these Directs and Other Such Presentations, as well as doing something to be known for, of which is part of the job of being Nintendo President.

Kinda interesting coming back to this article after Labo has been revealed. Seems to give a glimpse into what sort of things Kimishima meant when he talked about adding more users to the Switch.


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