The Switch is a success- for now. But the onus is on Nintendo this E3 to ensure things stay that way.
E3 is almost here- and for Nintendo, this E3 is going to be important. After four dismal years of a failing Wii U, the Switch is out, and it is a huge success. Right now, it is selling on the basis of its intrinsic appeal, and some very good games put out by Nintendo. But with the device singularly lacking third party support, all the onus to support it falls squarely on Nintendo- which means, this E3, Nintendo needs to justify the Switch, so that it can maintain its sales momentum. It needs to do everything right, and cannot afford to trip up whatsoever. Here are five mistakes Nintendo can’t afford to make at E3 this year.
NOT ANNOUNCING ENOUGH NEW GAMES
Right now, Nintendo has announced ARMS, Splatoon 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Xenoblade 2, Pokken Tournament DX, Super Mario Odyssey, and Fire Emblem Switch as upcoming games for the system. That sounds like a good lineup- but it’s only covering Nintendo through to the end of 2017. We have no idea what games the Switch will be getting into 2018. Nintendo, then, needs to announce new games, games coming beyond the ones we know of. It needs to instil confidence in buyers and customers that the Switch will be a well supported device.
"Nintendo needs to announce new games, games coming beyond the ones we know of. It needs to instil confidence in buyers and customers that the Switch will be a well supported device."
FOCUSING ON THE WRONG GAMES
On that note, it is very important for Nintendo to not focus on the wrong games. By this I mean, sure, show off the games coming this year- but don’t linger on them. You need to spread your focus properly. If Nintendo spends 10 minutes each on ARMS and Splatoon 2, then that’s 20 minutes wasted on games that will be out within the next 30 days, and games that we already know a lot about because of constant Nintendo Directs about them. Nintendo needs to budget its time smartly.
Which brings us to the next thing- don’t spend time on the 3DS. Look, I love my 3DS, and Nintendo is hell bent on not letting it die, which is great- but the 3DS is an established platform selling at a mass market price, with a huge game library. It sells itself. And with a new Pokemon game coming to it later this year, its got all the help it needs selling. Choosing to dedicate any more time to it during their E3 Showcase would be an exercise in futility, as Nintendo will effectively be trying to sell something which would have sold anyway.
"The 3DS is an established platform selling at a mass market price, with a huge game library. It sells itself. Choosing to dedicate any more time to it during their E3 Showcase would be an exercise in futility."
NOT HAVING A STRONG LINEUP FOR THIS YEAR
This, then, is important- right now, the Switch has enough games through to the end of this year, but it has just enough. If even a single one is delayed, then a gaping, month long hole opens up in the Switch’s lineup. It is contingent on Nintendo to not have any major games delayed into 2018- and if there is any that is (presumably Xenoblade), then Nintendo needs to have a replacement game ready to go and fill the void. Because, again, remember, in the end, the Switch is selling on the back of Nintendo games, and literally nothing else. Nintendo needs to be there, because when they are not, nothing will be there.
SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON ANY ONE THING
Nintendo, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to make their E3 showcase just 30 minutes long- that’s not long enough! Now, Nintendo has made it a habit of late to have rapid fire announcements, and not focus or linger too much on any one thing- it’s why they were able to make so many new announcements during the January Switch showcase, or the April Nintendo Direct. But they need to continue with that at E3, too- above all, they need to do this. If they fail to do this, then the other four mistakes highlighted above automatically follow as a result. And Nintendo cannot afford those mistakes, not this year.