It has to feel pretty good to be a Nintendo executive right now. The Switch was one of the hottest devices of the year, and instant popularity among consumers has translated to sales that are outpacing the Wii, Nintendo’s best-selling home console of all time. Though the Switch exceeded Nintendo’s sales goals throughout the year, there’s still work to be done if the company is going to turn the console into one with staying power.
In an interview with Japanese paper Mainichi (as reported by Nintendo Everything), Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima discusses his company’s plan to turn the Switch into “a game console with a long lifespan.” Part of that plan includes something Nintendo has already been doing: Focusing on putting a good lineup of games on the console, which we saw throughout 2017 with titles like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Kimishima is also looking to expand the audience for the Switch by trying to pull in people who don’t normally play video games. Being able to appeal to the mainstream has helped Nintendo in the past, most notably with consoles like the Wii and NES. This, importantly, means that there will need to be a healthy mix of games available, not just the family-friendly games that we’re used to from Nintendo (though those will be a big part of attracting many mainstream players, to be sure).
In the end, Kimishima says that 2018 will be a “crucial” year for determining whether or not the Switch can survive in a competitive games market. Nintendo’s goal for the Switch’s second fiscal year is to sell 20 million consoles, and if it can do that, the Switch will be well on its way to being a big success. Nintendo will need to double down on the effort it made in 2017 to see that happen, and it appears that the people running the show understand that.
This has to be pretty encouraging for anyone who was disappointed in how Nintendo handled the Wii U. Judging by all of the content announced at last week’s Nintendo Direct Mini, the Switch should get the year off to a pretty good start. Stay tuned, because we should be in for a big year if Nintendo wants to ensure that the Switch becomes a success.