Pokemon CEO Thought the Nintendo Switch Would Flop!
Mike Sanders / 9 months ago
Well… At least he didn’t mention that on launch day!
6 months after its initial launch, the Nintendo Switch has exceeded all expectations. Now the console, of course, did have its cynics who, after the moderate flop of the Wii-U didn’t think Nintendo would be capable of getting back on top again. Surprisingly, however, one of those cynics just happened to be the chairman of the Pokemon company, awkward…
Speaking to Bloomberg, Pokemon CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara said: “I told Nintendo that Switch wouldn’t be a success before it went on sale because I thought that, in the age of the smartphone, no one would carry around a game console. It’s obvious I was wrong. I came to realize the key to a successful game is quite simple: software with absolute quality leads sales of hardware. Playing style can be flexible if the software is attractive enough.”
Given that Nintendo owns a third of the Pokemon company, it is, at the very least, prudent that Ishihara did not express these views before the Switch went on sale.
Did the Pokemon CEO have a point though?
Yes, I think he did. If you had told some one a year ago that Nintendo would be outselling Microsoft or Sony, they’d think you were nuts. That is, however, exactly what Nintendo is currently doing.
The Nintendo Switch, however, has a lot of advantages. Firstly, it doesn’t suffer from the shocking awful marketing and identity crisis the Wii-U did.
Secondly, the Switch has released at a perfect void period in the market. It’s only current brand new competitors are the PS4 Pro and the upcoming Xbox One X. Both of which are over double the price of the Switch.
Thirdly, the Switch is a great console at a highly accessible price.
Now, the Pokemon chairman has added a moderate caveat to his admission. While he agrees that he significantly underestimated the success of the Switch, he does still believe that the console has limits that Nintendo needs to be careful not to attempt to exceed.
One would presume, however, that this does not include an upcoming Pokemon RPG set to release on the Switch. Hopefully, he isn’t as cynical about his own upcoming product as he was the Nintendo Switch.