At first glance, the Switch seems like Nintendo‘s attempt to get a share of the mobile market. The Wii U has sold a measly 13.02 million units since it’s arrival on November 2012, and Nintendo is desperate to turn their fortunes around. It is even more desperate seeing how Nintendo consoles have declined on sales (with Wii being the exception) over the past 30 years.
The creators of Mario and Zelda want to tap into the user base which currently comprise their handheld market. With sales of the 3DS about to reach 60 million units but short of the 154 million mark of the DS, Nintendo is coming out with a “hybrid” device to get their entire consumer base under one umbrella.
Although Nintendo refers to the Switch as a console first and foremost, it does have the capabilities of taking your games on the go. The difference is that, for the first time, this console enables you to play your home console games anywhere. With DeNA featured on the list of Switch partners released by Nintendo, it seems that their mobile offers will also be available on the Switch.
Niantic was not featured on that same list, but it is a foregone conclusion that it will inhabit the Switch in some shape or form. Based on the reaction from people when Pokémon GO released and its ‘out of this world’ performance, there is a massive population that has been introduced to both Pokémon and Nintendo. If only a fraction of those choose to jump on the Switch, it will be a success for Nintendo.
Nintendo Handheld’s days are numbered
Nintendo has mentioned that the Switch is not meant to replace the 3DS, and that a successor for Nintendo‘s handheld will eventually come out. This is similar to when the DS was announced and Nintendo said that it was not meant to replace the Gameboy, but instead be the “third pillar” alongside the home console and handheld.
Eventually, DS sales far exceeded Nintendo‘s expectations and the Gameboy line has been dormant ever since. It is possible that the days of the 3DS line are counted, and depending on the performance of the Switch, Nintendo might decide to stick with only one console/handheld going forward.
Nintendo has strong third party support…on the 3DS
This really makes sense from a software standpoint. Third party support was lacking on the Wii U where it is a strength on the 3DS. Not only that, but most of those third party games available on the 3DS are console exclusives, which would give Nintendo a significant advantage over both Sony and Microsoft. This is especially true, when some of those exclusive games are of the Monster Hunter and Yo-Kai Watch variety, the former being a certified console mover.
There will be no more Switch announcements until 2017, but Nintendo is holding their Investor Relations meeting on October 26th. Perhaps on that date some additional details will trickle down. Either way, the numbers they provide could give us a glimpse of how Nintendo plans to go forward, and a healthy revenue on Pokemon GO would once again make the investors push Nintendo towards a more mobile-friendly platform.
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