With the Nintendo Switch launch line-up attracting criticism, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has moved to alleviate concern that early adopters will be left without many options to play – promising that Nintendo has a “robust” first-party development pipeline in place.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2-Switch, Just Dance 2017, Skylanders Imaginators and Super Bomberman R are the five games locked in for launch, but many are worried about the wait for other games to occupy their time such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey.
“I think in all candour, as executives, we can only say so much, and then the consumer believes or doesn’t believe,” Fils-Aimé admitted to TIME. “However, if the question is Nintendo first-party development, I can say that our pipeline is quite robust, in what we are working on and that we will deliver next year and early into the year after that. We have that visibility in our pipeline.”
It is understandable that Nintendo will want to hold back announcements for E3 2017, but many are concerned that Nintendo Switch will suffer the same software droughts that Wii U had suffered.
Rallying third-party publishers to support the console will help, but Fils-Aimé adds that Nintendo has a role to play to make sure that they can attract them.
He continued: “From a third-party perspective, I don’t want to oversimplify things, but third party developers look for a handful of things.
“First, they look for a straightforward development environment in order to create their games. And that was one of the challenges with Wii U. Now with Nintendo Switch, we have Unity as a platform. We’ve got the Unreal Engine as a platform. These are known development environments for content creators to build content.
“The second thing they look for is a consumer demographic that’s going to meet their needs for the content they’re creating. And so again, you’ve got Zelda for the core. You’ve got 1-2 Switch for the family audience. You’ve got Arms. You’ve got Splatoon. You’ve got Mario Kart 8. You’ve got Super Mario Odyssey. That looks like a pretty wide and diverse audience to build content for.
“And third, they look for a large install base. That’s what we’re trying to create.
“And then lastly, they look for a full range of ways to monetize their investment. And that’s where having a robust online environment comes in. And again we are pushing the envelope, we’re doing things differently, and we’re working hard to make sure that environment exists.
“So as an executive for the company, I believe we’re doing everything we need to, to create that environment for third parties. So far they’re reacting extremely positively. Bethesda hasn’t been on a Nintendo platform. A fully featured FIFA, that has not been on a Nintendo console in some time.”
Nintendo Switch will launch worldwide on Friday 3rd March, priced at £279.99 ($299.99).