With the recent announcement of the Nintendo’s newest home console, I mean handheld console, wait a minute; Nintendo’s newest home/handheld hybrid console, a lot of people are wondering if it will put Nintendo back to where they were when the Wii was selling like hot cakes. I think some hot cake makers started saying their pastries were selling like Wii’s.
Nintendo needs to make a big splash with their newest release, which was called by its code name, NX, for a long time until released a little over 3 minute ‘teaser’ trailer for the machine, which officially announced the title, The Nintendo Switch.
While this is not a dire need for Nintendo, following up the abysmal failure that was the Wii U, The Nintendo Switch has its work cut out when it comes to regaining consumer confidence. While the Wii U was a failure when it comes to sales, Nintendo did its best to support the console single-handed, and released some very high quality titles that are must have for ANY gamer.
I have compiled five key points that I feel, in my opinion, that Nintendo must hit if it expects to regain that very important consumer confidence, and exceed the lifetime sales of the Wii U. While some of these points may feel like they are overlapping one another, and you may disagree with some that I have left out, I feel these five will be instrumental in the Switch’s success. With no further ado, here they are in no real order.
Key Point #1: Battery Life
Nintendo has decided this route, this Nintendo Generation to release what everyone is calling a Home Console crossed with a Handheld, which is a very interesting idea that has been partially attempted in the past by other console makers. The biggest decider in the success of this idea, without any doubt, is the battery life of the console while it is in handheld mode, away from its cradle and power supply.
If Nintendo only hits the horrific 3-4 hours that the Wii U’s gamepad had for battery life, the Switch will be dead on arrival, sadly. With advancements in hard power, the power requirements that chips have when under intense use has grown a lot in recent years, however so has battery technology.
The Switch is a small device when it is not docked on its cradle, so it will not have a lot of room for all the goodies inside it you get with ‘other’ consoles. Partnering up with Nvidia with a custom Tegra processor, should give the Switch very good performance with quality battery life. We hope.
Key Point #2: A steady flow of Quality First Party Titles.
This is a double-edged sword for Nintendo. If Nintendo floods the market with high quality, first party titles it can assure that the Switch will have plenty of quality titles. However, third parties could see this and expect history to repeat itself with third-party titles not selling as well as first party.
Nintendo will need to balance their releases well, and ensure that they don’t overload the market with too many titles in a short time., while not letting consumers go too long without a quality Nintendo title.
Another aspect to this point, is what a lot of Nintendo fans have been clamoring for, ever since life has existed on the planet. A proper Pokemon game on the big screen, and small screen. Pokemon fans have dreamt of the day they would get a proper Pokemon RPG game for a home console, with some success with previous console Pokemon games on the GameCube.
A quality stream of Mario, Metroid, Zelda, Pokemon, Splatoon, and Smash Brothers would be welcomed. We can be sure the Switch will see a new 3D Mario platformer, Mario Kart, Zelda, and a Smash Brothers; along with expected sequels to Splatoon, and Xenoblade Chronicles.
Key Point #3: Quality Third Party Support with a Steady flow of games
The other part of the double-edged sword that Nintendo must be careful with is third-party support. Nintendo will need to be hands on with third parties to keep their interest in the system, and keep their thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and opinions in mind when making updates to the console.
Nintendo has already announced a large list of third-party publishers and developers that have pledged support for the Switch, including Epic Games with Unreal Engine 4. Among publishers that have come out in support of the Switch include Activision, Atlus, Bandi Namco, Capcom, EA, Konami, Sega, Square Enix, and Ubisoft.
These publishers could mean nothing big as far as titles for the console, or it could mean big titles like Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield, Call of Duty and Resident Evil, along with yearly titles like Madden, Fifa, NBA live, NHL, and UFC titles.
Out of all the points in this list, the whole thing is pointless without Nintendo nailing this one. Nintendo cannot afford to lose third-party support with the Switch, even if it has a big jump out of the gate. Third Party Support should be on a billboard at Nintendo headquarters in BOLD, Circled, and underlined.
Key Point #4: Marketing
When the Wii U launched, Nintendo screwed the pooch when it came to communicating with consumers. Most Wii owners did not move over to the Wii U, even with the backwards compatibility with the Wii, simply due to the fact they did not know it was a new console.
Nintendo failed to adequately communicate to the non-gaming community that the Wii U was more than just an add-on to the Wii. This was completely due to a lack of proper marketing, from the moment it unveiled the system, to the launch, to post launch, till today. Nintendo cannot allow themselves to do this again.
Nintendo needs to peek at their past marketing campaigns and see where they have gone wrong, and right. The Nintendo 3DS started off terribly slow, and only turned around after an aggressive marketing campaign, along with a price drop; and that brings us into the next key point.
Key Point #5: Price
This one will not be a very long point, as it doesn’t have to be. Nintendo cannot afford to price themselves out of sales, and out of the market. Nintendo states they are not competing with Microsoft and Sony, but no matter how much they say that; They are.
Nintendo needs to price the Switch at a price point where they do not lose a lot of money on each console sold, yet they also need to not price it above the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. One of the worst issues the Nintendo 3DS had when it launched was its price. Its fortunes turned around after a price drop.
The Wii U also suffered from being overly priced in relation to its competition. The Wii U saw no 3DS like revival thanks to no real price drops throughout its lifetime. As of this article, the Wii U is still sitting at $299.99, which is could explain why it’s lucky to be over 10 million lifetime sales.
The Nintendo Switch needs to be prices at or below the competition to sell well. The top price range, in my opinion, shouldn’t exceed $249.99 if Nintendo wants to be successful; With $299.99 being a stretch point, bundled with a game.
Key Point #Nit Pick: Game Loading times
This isn’t a huge point, more of just nit-picking but I do believe that Nintendo can nail this one, and drive this home to gamers by having very low if any load times in games. Most gamers are over load times, but with the Switch using ‘cartridges’, I don’t see this being out of the realm of possibility.
Like I said in the intro, these points may not be everything people are going to focus on, I know I skipped hardware power, but this are the key points I think Nintendo must nail if they want to repeat the success of the Wii. Let us know in the comments section below what you think, and what your thoughts are on the unveiling of the Switch.