Going from their worst selling system to their fastest.
Nintendo has had a hell of a turnaround this year- they’ve gone from the Wii U, which is probably the most high profile flop by a mainstream console maker ever, to the Nintendo Switch, which is currently selling faster than any console they have ever released before, and rallying the support of gamers and developers alike worldwide.
A lot of that has to do with Nintendo having looked at where they went wrong with the Wii U, and applying those lessons to the Switch. One of those lessons, in their own words, was how they spaced out their first party lineup. Speaking to Business Insider, Nintendo’s VP of marketing Doug Bowser noted that by having a steady stream of great first party content, rather than frontloading it all at launch, Nintendo was able to ensure that it could sustain momentum for the system.
“[With the Wii U], we had a glut [of game releases] up front, and then kind of went dry for quite some time. From a first-party perspective at least, we were very intentional and deliberate about Switch. We launched with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which obviously was incredibly successful, drove hardware, and brought a bunch of new people into the franchise. And then followed that with Mario Kart, straight through the series of games we’ve released since then,” he said.
Indeed, Nintendo has definitely had a cadence of games since launch, with the Switch getting at least one major exclusive per month since its launch. That’s what has caused it to maintain momentum and player interest, in turn leading to its pace hitting critical mass, to the point that third party developers and people burned by the Wii and Wii U are also now jumping on board.
It’s good to see Nintendo come back from the Wii U- and it is good to see that they learned from where they went wrong, too. The company is famously, staunchly stubborn, and conservative. But this is proof that it can learn, adapt, and find success, even in a changing market.