In less than a week, Nintendo will be blowing the lid off the Nintendo Switch secrecy container and giving us a complete look at their upcoming console. Nintendo fans are getting an early-E3 gift this year because Nintendo isn’t waiting until the industry’s standard slot for big reveals – they’re launching the console before the summer!
We’re going to see the Switch’s launch games, release date, pricing, and hidden features in just a matter of days.
Like any good Nintendo fan, I’m crossing my fingers for the Big N and hoping that they smash this Presentation out of the park. They’ll be taking the stage and streaming live from Japan (that’s why the broadcast is coming to us at such an odd, late time of night on a Thursday) – and they’re a bit out of practice on the live show front.
I’m relieved to hear that they’re stepping up to the plate and introducing some showmanship to their full Switch unveiling, but I’m equally nervous. Nintendo’s president, Kimishima, has had next to no contact with Nintendo fans since he stepped into the late Iwata’s office. Reggie and Aonuma have been appearing mostly in recorded formats, where multiple takes are allowed to get messaging across right… but not so on a live broadcast. On Reggie’s live appearance with Jimmy Fallon, you could feel a lot of that nervousness in his presentation and hear the stuttering that comes with a lack of practice.
I hope everyone is rehearsing right now – that should be priority #1.
Misgivings aside, what will be the most important part of the presentation is the information, and I’ve arranged a simple list of things Nintendo can do to knock this one out of the park. Their initial reveal trailer was well-crafted and received positively, so here’s what they can do to maintain that momentum and keep the positive buzz around their console-portable hybrid:
Virtual Console Done Right
The launch lineup needs to be strong in quality, but I’ve grown to expect only a handful of games. On a console which almost surely cannot be backwards-compatible via hardware, the VC service is going to need to step in and keep us busy on our shiny new Switches.
The Virtual Console should be the Netflix of gaming.
Something has to be done about the historically abysmal Virtual Console library. The slow drip-feed of mediocre games with email notifications sent weekly just isn’t doing it – and surely Nintendo’s digital sales figures reflect that.
Open this thing up, Nintendo! I would encourage the company to look at a subscription model as opposed to piecemeal sales. The VC should be the Netflix of gaming, where we’re sending them $10 a month to have access to a growing catalog. I guarantee their profits would increase.
If they make me repurchase my digital games one more time, I’ll… well, I won’t. I’ve already boycotted the SNES games on 3DS and I’m sending the message that I won’t double dip for them.
You must reward your loyal customers, not punish them for being early adopters.
The NES Classic Edition blows Wii U out of the water as far as emulation goes – the NERD team at Nintendo (Nintendo Europe Research & Development) nailed it, and I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to the dim and muddy appearance of Nintendo’s other methods. Let’s not go halfway with the Switch – go all out and make it a service worth paying for!
Do you forget sometimes, that Wii U was sold in Basic and Deluxe models at launch? This was a new move for Nintendo, but it certainly paid off. What may have seemed like a really high entry price at $350 instead seemed like a worthy upgrade over the Basic console. And what true Nintendo fan (who actually watches these presentations) wants to be “basic”? Sure, the white Wii U sold a handful of consoles but it was primarily there for positioning, and I can’t blame Nintendo for implementing that marketing tactic. In fact, I think it’s smart. It provides a logical choice for casual and hardcore fans alike – and consumers love having choices between product models.
I hope Nintendo continues this trend and offers Basic and Deluxe switch packages.
The basic one would have a console with less storage, Joy-Cons, and a tech-demo game (think Wii Sports/Nintendo Land) packed in, while the deluxe version would have larger storage, a Joy-Con grip, and Breath of the Wild packed in.
Zelda at Launch
Nothing has been more frustrating to me than the messaging around this game’s release. Nintendo announced this game in 2014 and has sent nothing but mixed signals since then, delaying the game, saying trust us this will be out in 2015 just after Star Fox (also delayed) and delaying it again. Fine – I actually believe that delays can actually benefit a game – but they STILL aren’t committing to March for us to see Zelda! Yet. It needs to be confirmed for Switch launch day and release on Wii U at the same time.
I don’t even need a whole lot of coverage on the game during this presentation – we’ve been seeing more and more of it for a few years now. It was the only thing at E3. We’re just ready for the game to be available to purchase! The ambiguous “2017” release date that they’ve been very careful to not expound on has got me worried. In order to nail this Switch Presentation, Nintendo needs to confirm that the development is not in fact as troubled as it seems. Imagine the negative buzz around yet another Breath of the Wild delay.
Leave Handholding to the Parents
Alright Nintendo – in the Switch reveal trailer you marketed this console to adults, so you won’t be restricting our online communication, RIGHT?
If they want this game to be popular with the crowd that it looks like they’re targeting, then let’s see it. Let’s see this console come unrestricted out of the box – voice chat, parties, etc. All the features that have been staples in competing products for the last decades.
If parents want to implement controls – great – let them. It is their job, not Nintendo’s.
Preorders The Day Following
Rather self-explanatory. No one is going to want to run out to their store at midnight on a Thursday evening with work the next day – but Friday, that’s a different story! We’re gonna be all hyped up on the Switch from the Presentation and Nintendo better be ready to receive our money! (Well, the retailers – but you know what I mean.)
This is absolutely critical. Most of Nintendo’s missteps in the last few years have been production related.
- Pokemon Go Plus
- NES Classic Edition
That bullet list right there represents literally millions of dollars left on the table (and/or scooped up by scalpers) due to under-production.
Nintendo’s been playing far too conservative with their production runs.
They have the capital, so they need to make more of these consoles. 2 million worldwide (the rumored figure) is not enough at launch – the Switch reveal trailer already has that many views! Sure, not everyone who watches the video will get one at launch but the same can be said in reverse for the people that will buy it who have not yet watched the trailer.
Up that number. Fill those shelves. Not being able to get a Switch on launch-day when you’re a die-hard Nintendo fan would be a huge red-flag, and that’s what has happened with the aforementioned hardware launches!
And those are my thoughts! I think my blog post came across in a negative tone, but I’m actually truly excited for this presentation. I think Nintendo will nail it, and I think they’ll surprise me to boot.
Of course, stay tuned at TBC for full coverage of the event. We’ll be making shows and live streaming this weekend!