Less Time to Workout Kinks
The Nintendo Switch launched this past Friday, March 3rd, and it has sold better than any other Nintendo console in North America. This is an impressive feat considering sales have been accumulated without the Holiday push and on the back of a small launch lineup, but one that includes the greatest launch title in over 15 years.
Switch has received a lot of positive press and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild currently sits as the 4th highest rated videogame in history based on Metacritic data, but we are starting to hear more and more about technical problems and glitches. The issues started with news sites complaining about their Joy-Con disconnecting from their system, an issue that happened more often with their left Joy-Con.
Now, the list has grown to mentions of the system overheating, static lines on the screen, dead pixels, and many others.
Which is why we take a look back at the previous Nintendo home console launches:
Looking back at the history of Nintendo made home consoles and their releases, it was customary that they would release first in Japan and then to the rest of the world. This is understandable since Nintendo is a Japanese company and wanted to appease their local fanbase, from which they also enjoyed the biggest support.
Throughout the years, the videogame market has been shifting westward, and Japan is no longer as big of a market as it once was, at least when it comes to home consoles. The portable market is still huge there, and Switch is currently toying with both crowds.
Traditionally, for people not living in Japan, having to wait for the console to make it to their country used to be viewed as a negative. How could part of the world get to enjoy something early while we were forced to wait? But there were some perks to that.
Would Switch have benefited better from a regional launch? Should Nintendo have released it first in Japan, to a smaller audience than in North America, allowing them the time to identify issues and correct them before releasing it to the rest of the world?
Nintendo releasing their systems in Japan first would allow them to have a bigger pool of people to get feedback from and apply that feedback before opening the floodgates to the rest of the world. If the Switch had enjoyed a head start of a couple of months in Japan, this would have allowed Nintendo to figure things out like the left Joy-Con disconnect issue, and changed their design to feature an antenna, for example, before mass producing the units that would be shipped stateside.
Hopefully, Nintendo will be able to find fixes for these issues that won’t require the console to be replaced, but as soon as they announced the Nintendo Switch to be a worldwide launch, I rapidly thought of issues that sometimes plague early adopters. Nintendo is not the only company to go through this. Microsoft received their share of criticism and backlash with how widespread their RROD issue was, as well as Sony and their Blue Light of Death issue on their PS3.
Just bear with Nintendo while they work through the issues and remember this is normal with every kind of new tech.