Bait and “Switch”? Nintendo may shift focus to non-traditional customers
In recent Q&A session with investors, outgoing Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima indicated that their core fan base alone will not be sufficient to hit Nintendo’s sales goals of 20 million Switch consoles this fiscal year, and that widening the Switch’s appeal to non-traditional consumers is the best way to achieve this.
“For the launch of Nintendo Switch, we conducted a variety of activities aimed at Nintendo fans and avid game players who we thought could be interested in Nintendo Switch, and I would say yielded good results. In this second year, the initiatives we are planning come from our recognition that we also have to challenge ourselves to delivering Nintendo Switch into the hands of consumers who have never played a Nintendo platform before, and to those have played before, but not recently”
It appears that Nintendo intends to adopt a “blue ocean” strategy over the next year, similar to marketing strategy of the Nintendo Wii. Sure, this strategy brought us Wii Sports, but it also produced embarrassments such as Wii Music. Kimishima-San even went on to acknowledge the original Wii as a point of comparison for Nintendo’s expectations for the Switch sales to be, stating:
“…the benchmark is not whether Nintendo Switch sales can surpass total Wii sales, but rather how we adapt and respond to changes in the market and strive to continue selling Nintendo Switch as long as possible.”
How much should the hardcore Nintendo fan worry about this change in focus? It’s hard to say, but there’s no reason to hit the panic button yet. Nintendo still has Smash Bros. and Metroid Prime 4 in the works for the Nintendo faithful, and we also know that hardcore gaming favorite Bayonetta 3 is coming to Switch at some point. Kimishima-San didn’t go into detail as to what Nintendo’s plans are to attract a more casual gaming audience, but we could see more “skippable stages” like those in Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze and less 1, 2, Switch. Let’s all hope it’s much, much less 1, 2, Switch.
There were several other issues addressed in the Q&A including mobile shit. You can read the full Q&A session (yes, in English) here.