Nintendo President, Tatsumi Kimishima, dropped some major hints on what is to come for the Nintendo Switch at the recent earnings briefing. There was no price indicated but he did say “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 consumers’ expectations for our products.” That means it may be pricier than people expect as the Wii U was sold at a loss, like most consoles at initial release, to push people to purchase the games where the profit margin is higher. This is also done to push adaptation of the system so more people buy it. The WiiU, however, was a step away from the norm as the Wii and previous consoles also sold for profit.
It does seem that Nintendo is trying to expand their market as well. Nintendo is typically targeted towards kids with a simpler game play but in a Q&A session Kimishima said “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.”
One of the big sellers of any console is third-party developers and, well, the list so far is huge. Activision, Bethesda, SEGA, EA, Codemasters, 505 Games, havok, CriWare, Unity, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and WB are just SOME of the big names already lined up to bring games to the switch. Though the specs aren’t released yet one game that was exciting to see being played in the promotional video released recently, was Skyrim Remastered. This takes a pretty powerful system to run and that means that the Switch can, at the very least, run that. Other games shown to be on the system from 3rd parties are Just Dance 2017 (Ubisoft) and NBA2k (SEGA Sports/2K Studios). Full details on what actual titles from that mega list is uncertain right now. More details are going to be coming out in January 2017 but it will include the staples such as Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, and probably Metroid. These are released with every console and I’m guessing we’re going to see a lot more 3rd party software titles in the January announcement. Kimishima has been tight lipped about most details so far but one thing that struck me as, let’s just say extremely optimistic, is that he expects them to ship 2 million consoles this upcoming fiscal year. Keep in mind that the fiscal year will start in January and the console won’t hit the market until March, according to rumors. This will be a hard target to reach but could work if the 3rd party developers are putting out some quality games. The expensive PS3 sold just 5.5 million units by the 10 month marker, compared to the PS4′s 5.3 million after only 3 months.
My predictions are that the Nintendo Switch is going to be a make or break situation for Nintendo. The Wii was widely popular and though sold at a profit, is no longer popular. The WiiU was sold at a loss, not nearly as popular as the XBox One or the PS4, and to top it off, the WiiU sales numbers have crashed tremendously. The only reason their stock has stopped going down recently is because of Pokemon GO which is rumored that Nintendo saw very little profit from it and only from the things like Cards and other cartridge based Pokemon games. The stock was priced at 19,415 yen (per stock) on November 2nd, 2015 and steadily declined to just 14,380 yen on July 6th, 2016: The day Pokemon Go was released. 13 days later, the stock had spiked to 31,770 yen per stock. That is a 121% increase in stock price in just under 2 weeks and 152% price increase from this time 5 years 5 years ago. Most of that coming from the large spike of Pokemon GO. January 12th Nintendo is holding a press conference where more information will be made available like pricing, games to be released, as well as a more solid date of release than “March 2017” so stay tuned here for all your Nintendo news!