Switch is intended for everyone, but Nintendo knows who its early adopters will be.
The Nintendo Switch reveal left us with a lot of questions, but here’s the answer to at least two of them: the preview video was intended to speak to core gamers, but the console itself is supposed to be for everyone.
That’s according to Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima, speaking to Bloomberg in an interview which focused on Nintendo’s general vision for Switch, since the platform holder won’t be giving up any more concrete information till the mid-January Switch reveal.
The interviewer mentioned that the Switch preview video felt less like a Nintendo ad than one you might see attached to an Apple or Sony product, and Kimishima responded by saying it isn’t specifically targeting the consumers these kinds of ads are usually aimed at.
“As the name implies, we’re switching a lot of things. But we have no interest in switching our customers,” he said.
“Depending on the kind of software that comes out, families and kids will be able to play too. The titles we did show, those are games that for people who understand they will grasp it right away, but for families and kids, we want them to understand by actually experiencing it.”
That makes it sound like the preview video was designed to speak to the core, but when asked if that’s who the Switch is intended for, Kimishima said no.
“Our core philosophy is that we want to increase the number of gamers at all ages, and there’s no change to that. So we have no intention to lean just towards core gamers,” he said.
“But to communicate our new idea, when you think about who will understand it first, naturally it will be people who really understand games. To communicate that as quickly as possible, we focused on those folks who really understand games.”
I’m slightly confused by Kimishima here; I think he’s saying that core gamers aren’t Nintendo’s primary audience, whereas kids and families are, but that Nintendo chose to communicate to core gamers first, and will target the mainstream further down the track.
Elsewhere in the interview Kimishima made a second references to growing and expanding the audience for video games – presumably beyond existing core gamers. He also acknowledged Nintendo’s ambition to return to a level of profit not seen since the Wii years, when Nintendo hardware went thoroughly mainstream, and that the first year is the most important fopr gaining traction.
A really cynical person might wonder how hardcore Nintendo fans who’ve grown up with brand will feel about being targeted in early marketing and then left behind, but the optimist in me hopes Nintendo will get it right this generation and provide a wide array of Switch experiences for all sorts of people.
Do hit the source link above for the full interview if you’re a Nintendo fan; there’s some tantalising vagueness on the possibilities of hardware add-ons or accessories, as well as Nintendo’s software line-up.