The former Head of Nintendo America also said the success made it easy for him to step away.
There’s not much that can be said about the Switch’s success that hasn’t already been talked about. After the failure of the Wii U and the overall downward trend of the 3DS compared to the DS, the hybrid system has helped supercharge Nintendo’s standing in the gaming world once again. The level of its success has been a surprise to some, but for one man who was there, it wasn’t.
Former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime gave an interview with Gamertag Radio. There he spoke about the Switch’s runaway success. In a previous interview, he mentioned that the Switch was a “make or break” for the company due to the performance mentioned of the Wii U. But he said once he held the prototype of the Switch and spoke about the concept with the late Mr. Iwata, he wasn’t surprised at all when the system took off like it did.
“No, it was not a surprise to me. And I say this because the first time I saw the Nintendo DS, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. The team was demoing an early, early prototype of what would become Nintendogs. Immediately I saw the potential. The first time I picked up a Wii Remote and played, again, a rudimentary experience that would become Wii Sports, I knew it was gonna be magical. The day that I sat with Mr. Iwata and held a prototype Switch and we talked about the concept, I knew it was going to be magical.
“And I say this because the system was solving for a key player complaint, and that complaint is, I’m having fun, I’m playing my game, and now I need to stop because I got to go to work, or I got to go to school, and I can’t take my game with me. I can’t continue playing that game. So Switch, with the opportunity to play on that big screen TV, then take it out of the dock and go play in handheld mode, it met a fundamental consumer desire. That was the triggering moment. There were so many other smart things the company did – the support for Unity and Unreal, which allowed all of the great independent content to come. A number of other key decisions.”
The Switch is currently available on the market in both the original release that is docked and handheld as well as the handheld-only Switch Lite. An enhanced version of the system, often dubbed ‘Switch Pro,’ is rumored to be coming soon, though as of now no official announcement has been made.