‘Adoption is going to be far better than it was for the Wii U.’
The Nintendo Switch is off to a roaring success, possibly defying expectations held by just about every industry watcher and actor as a result. Its success comes down to clearer and better marketing on Nintendo’s end, as well as its innovative and appealing form factor, that inherently sells itself based on promise. Add to that a killer app in the form of Breath of the Wild, and you can see why the system is breaking records worldwide.
And it looks like third parties are enthusiastic about it, too. Take Sixfoot, who will be publishing Rime on the system later this year. Christian Svensson, Chief Operating Officer, discussed the Switch with Polygon, enthusing about the new system.
“The Wii U audience never hit the broad market that, for example, the Wii did. And I think that the Switch has the ability to recapture some of the Wii magic in a couple of different ways. But a lot of it has to do with the fact that it’s a 2-in-1 system. The fact that it is trying to be a portable and a home console all in one package — first of all, it’s an easy sell from a value for money family purchase standpoint. You know, I just think that if you looked at it only as a portable system, it’s probably the best portable that has ever been. And if you look at it as a home system, it’s capable, is probably the best way I’d put it. In that regard, I think the adoption is going to be broader than the Wii U was.”
He discusses why third parties are far more enthusiastic about the Switch compared to the Wii U, too- simply put, it comes down to Nintendo making the system a lot easier to work with for third parties than the Wii U ever was.
“Our reasons for [porting Rime] were we wanted to reach a broad audience, and it’s the type of game that feels like it belongs on a Nintendo platform. I don’t know that you could say that for every game out there. Everyone’s gotta have their own reasons for porting. From a technical perspective, the amount of work is not trivial. There are definitely easier platforms to get to. Without getting into details, a lot of it has to do with RAM limitations relative to the PS4 and Xbox One, as an example. So it’s a trickier — even notwithstanding processing differentials between those platforms. As far as why more people are doing it, here’s an obvious one: better support for certain engines. Obviously Unreal never existed on Wii U or 3DS, and it exists — or will more properly exist eventually — on Switch. … That’s a huge thing. I think there are certain tools that exist on Switch, for performance and optimization, that never existed on Nintendo platforms before. It’s a huge step forward on those fronts. So maybe that’s what’s giving developers a little more confidence to say, “You know what? We can figure this out. We’re not sort of feeling our way through the dark.””
It sounds like Nintendo’s gambit – a universal development environment, backed by Nvidia’s industry standard hardware and software – may have worked. As long as the Switch continues to sell, there is no reason for it to not continue getting support from third parties.