It has cemented its place in history as Nintendo’s worst-selling home console, but, in a candid discussion at GeekWire Summit 2018, Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime has spoken about how Nintendo Switch would not exist without Wii U.
When he was asked to reflect on the console, which, thanks to the Wii U GamePad, had explored asynchronous multiplayer among other experiences, he replied:
“Without our experiences on the Wii U, we would not have the Nintendo Switch in terms of what we learned and importantly what we heard from our consumers. They were telling us, ‘I want to play with this tablet, this GamePad for the Wii U, but as soon as I get more than 30 feet away it disconnects.’ So the core concept, something that you could take with you anywhere anytime, was really compelling.”
Fil-Aime also talked about his first experience with Nintendo Switch when it was in development, which, he admits, was a basic plastic shell that was meant “to simulate how it felt in my hand, the core concept. Our engineers had to execute it. Our developers needed to create compelling content to bring it to life. We’re fortunate we did that.”
It was enough to leave him with excited about the portable home console’s potential for success, adding: “It was a moment where the hair on the back of my neck raised. The same way I felt when I first held the Wii Remote, the same way I felt when I saw the inner-workings of a Nintendo DS. With that moment, we knew we had a compelling proposition.”
19.67 million Nintendo Switch consoles have been sold up until 30th June 2018, already eclipsing the 13.56 million ill-fated Wii U consoles that were sold in its lifetime after just 15 months.
Nintendo will look to maintain the momentum behind the console in the run-up to Christmas with Super Mario Party, Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu!, Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee! and mascot brawler Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.