Nintendo Prepared for “Possible Increase in Demand” for Switch; Talks Target and Third Party Support
During the latest Semi-Annual Financial Results Briefing, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima answered a few questions from investors and analysts about the newly revealed Switch.
First of all, he commented on the target for the console, mentioning that there has been no significant change on the kind of the consumers the company is aiming at, and children are still included:
“Nintendo’s basic policy is to expand the gaming population, and there have not been any significant changes (about the consumers who, we want, will purchase Nintendo Switch). We would like to continue to release products which appeal to a wide variety of different consumers, including children. We hope you will watch the Nintendo Switch Presentation that we will hold in January 2017 and take the chance to play the system yourself at the Nintendo Switch hands-on opportunity.”
“In this video, we mainly introduced one of Nintendo Switchʼs most unique features: that you can play it “anytime, anywhere and with anyone.” About the software, on the other hand, we merely included some hints of what is to come. As a result, we have yet to reveal the entire picture for Nintendo Switch. In January next year, when you will see the software lineup and have a chance to experience it hands-on for yourselves, you will be able to understand for the first time how Nintendo Switch, with the combination of its hardware and software, will be able to provide you with new experiences. I believe you will then be able to feel that Nintendo Switch has a distinctive appeal that will be embraced by a variety of different people across many different age demographics.”
While Kimishima-san declined to respond on how different the new machine will be from the Wii U, he clarified that it won’t be sold at a loss.
“Since we cannot discuss the details (of Nintendo Switch) such as its specs, we cannot elaborate on how different it is from Wii U. On the other hand, as its name indicates, Nintendo Switch is aiming to change peopleʼs play experience itself, and we would like to provide different entertainment experiences from Wii U. Regarding the price, as we have been saying, we are, in principle, not planning to sell it at a loss. We would like a wide variety of consumers to enjoy Nintendo products, and we would also like to think in terms of consumersʼ expectations for our products.”
We also hear that Nintendo believes that third-party publishers have noticed the Switch’s potential, and more are becoming interested after seeing the unveiling video.
“As for third-party support, we believe that third-party publishers have been able to realize that Nintendo Switch offers a chance to create new and exciting surprises which are not possible with existing gaming devices. Therefore, many third-party publishers, some of whom we have introduced in the presentation today, have shown their willingness to actively support this system. It is also very encouraging for us that more third-party publishers are now interested in developing software for Nintendo Switch after watching the introductory video.”
Kimishima-san also explained that while it’s very challenging to design a system that would please people from his generation, he’s still looking forward to the console’s launch.
“Although you are asking what exactly is new about Nintendo Switch, we cannot share any details today other than what we have already shown in the introductory video. On the other hand, although I understand that I am fairly old compared to the main gaming demographic and that it is supposed to be very challenging to develop a gaming system which will be able to persuade my generation of people to play, knowing about the variety of plans that we have not announced via the introductory video, including the software lineup, I would like you to know that I myself am very much looking forward to the launch of Nintendo Switch. I also hope that all of you can experience the system for yourselves in January.”
Last, but not least he explained the reason why the company expects to sell two million units of the Nintendo Switch, but clarified that they’re preparing for a possible increase in demand a result of the upcoming unveiling in January.
“The 2 million hardware unit shipment forecast that we have just announced for Nintendo Switch was the same number we originally planned on (internally at the company) when we publicly announced the annual financial forecast earlier this year. In the case of Wii U, we launched it in November, and we shipped slightly less than 3.5 million hardware units by the end of the same fiscal year. In the case of Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, as we had already announced when we made the original annual financial forecast, we will launch it in March, the final month of the fiscal year. The fact that we can only ship for one month during this fiscal year was part of the background for determining the annual shipment number. Please also be advised that we have been preparing for a possible increase in demand as a result of the presentation and the hands-on experiences next January.”