Pokémon CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara has been part of The Pokémon Company since 1998 and has supported many of Nintendo’s handhelds throughout the years, but the Nintendo Switch is one of the systems that he believed would fail to garner support amongst consumers.
“I told Nintendo that Switch wouldn’t be a success before it went on sale, because I thought that in the age of the smartphone, no one would carry out a game console.”
With the runaway success the Nintendo Switch has enjoyed, it’s become obvious to Ishihara that he must have underestimated the system and the reception from the public.
“It’s obvious I was wrong. I came to realize the key to a successful game is quite simple: software with absolute quality leads sales of hardware. Playing style can be flexible if the software is attractive enough.”
He then continued to talk about what he believes needs to happen in order for Switch to enjoy continued success long after its launch.
“Currently, it’s popular among the early adopters, but there needs to be one more step to attract a wider audience. I see more potential in Switch, but one shouldn’t overestimate its potential.”
Taking Ishihara’s confession on his initial view on the system, it sheds light on why games like Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon are coming to the Nintendo 3DS instead of the Nintendo Switch, mainly because there is already a big audience on the 3DS and they were very skeptical on how people would react to Nintendo’s hybrid system.
As for the portion in which he stated that “there needs to be one more step to attract a wider audience”, he could be referencing the eventual release of a mainline Pokémon game on Switch, which would surely not only sell well on the system, but also push the hardware sales to another level.