During GameStop’s quarterly financial conference call, the retailer’s executives talked at length about the Nintendo Switch, mentioning how the company polled its Power-up Rewards members to gauge purchase interest.
“We’re also seeing strong consumer interest for the upcoming launch of Switch from Nintendo. The Switch users physical media, and Nintendo products have historically a low digital download rate. So we expect this to be a console that drives strong sales of physical products along with the console. “
According to the survey, 27% of the Power-up Rewards members who are aware of the Nintendo Switch also plan to purchase the console. This is in line with the purchase intent for the Xbox One at the same point in time.
It was clarified later in the call that clearly not everyone that expressed purchase intent is going to actually buy the console, but it’s still a good benchmark because it can be compared cycle-over-cycle.
“I think it’s fair to say that bodes well for the launch and the success of this product, keeping in mind that we don’t even have specific details on price points on the market. I think we’re gonna be doing the survey again in mid-January, after all the details are out, and I think we’ll have a much better read on it at that time, but right now everything we’re seeing is very, very encouraging.”
Later in the call, we also got more impressions on the switch, that GameStop CEO Paul Raines had a chance to test himself iduring a recent trip to Nintendo.
“The Switch is a very interesting device. […] Nintendo Switch has the potential to expand incrementally the audience. The reasons are: the IP is more compelling for family than the other types of IPs, so Mario and all those things, and movement-related games are more fun for kids, you know, taking those accessories off, what they call the wings and the master controller, you can really do a lot of interesting things with that in gameplay. And then the last thing I will say, they got a unique portability to it. […] I think it really got tremendous potential as a game changer. We’ll have to wait and see like everything else in this industry, the consumers will vote with their dollars.”
Last, but not least, it was mentioned that one of the biggest declines seen in the console audience has been among those who came in because of offerings like the Nintendo Wii and Guitar Hero, and there is an opportunity for them to come back with the Switch.
GameStop’s research can distinguish between hardcore gamers and people who are “sort of broad-market family gamers,” and there is a strong interest between the broad group of consumers, so the retailer’s executives are “very optimistic about the possibilities.”