GameStop is pleased with the “tremendous demand” that they have seen with Nintendo Switch, adding that interest as the console’s launch approaches has outpaced Wii U.
Such comments were made by the specialist retailer’s senior director of merchandising Eric Bright, where, as part of a wider interview, he praised Nintendo’s decision to launch the console in spring, how Nintendo has worked hard to attract third-party publishers, and that independent developers will help to increase the breadth of genres that are available on the console.
“We’ve seen tremendous demand for Switch,” GameStop senior director of merchandising Eric Bright shared with [a]listdaily. “And of the initial allocation of pre-orders we took, the majority of them were done by PowerUp Reward customers. They’re definitely looking for this device. We have a ways to go before we satisfy all the demand that’s out there.”
GameStop provided a link on their website where customers could request to receive more news about Nintendo Switch, to which Bright shared that “the response has been amazing.” He then went on to share his enthusiasm for the first-party games that have been revealed.
“They’ve taken a lot of franchises like Zelda and Mario that were popular in the Wii days, gave them HD graphics, and created a system that can be played on your TV and is portable as well,” Bright continued. “Those are two big technology changes for games that didn’t exist before.”
He also believes that the decision to launch Nintendo Switch in spring will help the console to build momentum as the year progresses.
“The Q1 launch is one of the smartest moves Nintendo could have done,” he added. “Instead of pushing units out during the heaviest time of the year (in Q4), this allows them to build a base. So by holiday, we can focus on games. There will be millions of people who will be hungry for content, creating a richer development cycle for game publishers who will have an install base to support titles. This also will take some of the brunt off of Christmas and enable Switch to be better stocked at stores.”
With more than 60 developers now exploring the console’s possibilities and with over 100 games in development, Bright believes Nintendo Switch will avoid shortcomings that Wii U had faced, sharing: “Nintendo has learned from the mistakes it made with Wii U because there’s a wide assortment of third-party games from developers like EA, Ubisoft, Bethesda and Take-Two, as well as first-party Nintendo titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2.”
That also includes the company’s effort to court independent developers, to which Bright sees as a benefit to broadening out the content that consumers will be able to choose from.
“The variety of indie games for Switch is one of the brilliant things Nintendo was able to do,” Bright said. “Any new console launch is all about software and content and providing people a huge variety of games. Indie developers will only expand how many consumers adopt Switch and expand the age range. We see this appealing from the hardcore gamer down to the overall family gamer.”
He recognised concern that there wasn’t a pack-in game with Nintendo Switch, but saw that as being more beneficial to customers who can choose what they would prefer to spend their money on.
“The biggest win for the customer is they can make their own choice with games,” Bright reasoned. “They can pick which of the games they want to pair with the hardware they’re buying—whether they’re Zelda fans or 1-2-Switch. From our sales perspective, we’re seeing incredible demand. We’re pleased with the Switch attach rate. People are not just buying one game. They’re buying multiple games.”
He added that GameStop is seeing a higher attach rate than with Wii U, that hands-on opportunities will become available in-store, and that they are preparing to hold “incredible launch day activities.”
Nintendo Switch will launch worldwide on Friday 3rd March, priced at £279.99 ($299.99).