Following their stylish trailer full of oh-so many beautiful faces (seriously, Nintendo? Let’s cater a little less to that omnipresent gamer-model demographic next time!) Nintendo has stated that there will be no news regarding the Switch until January, just a couple months shy of the console’s March launch.
Well, mostly nothing.
In a semi-annual financial briefing featuring a Q&A with Nintendo’s President, Tatsumi Kimishima, some clues were dropped regarding the price of the console, and sure enough there followed a few other comments that painted a bigger, if no less clearer, picture of things to come.
The main piece of information here being Kimishima’s reoccurring sentiment that Nintendo is “not planning on selling it at a loss.” The Switch unarguably offers a new take on classic Nintendo models, but under a surface-level scrutiny, particularly in comparison to the Wii U, there are more similarities than differences. With Wii making its debut at $250 and the Wii U at $300, we can reasonably estimate the console shipping at launch for around $300-$350. Not too shabby, should our estimation be accurate.
Kimishima’s answers in the financial meeting were mostly dodgy. With Nintendo’s aim to keep further details in the dark until January, all of the responses seem calculated and clear of any implications. But when asked about the console’s starting line-up, potential third-party support, and how they intend to change things from the Wii-U generation, Kimishima’s response showed a clear message of intent:
Since we cannot discuss the details (of Nintendo Switch) such as its specs, we cannot elaborate on how different it is from Wii U. On the other hand, as its name indicates, Nintendo Switch is aiming to change peopleʼs play experience itself, and we would like to provide different entertainment experiences from Wii U.
As for third-party support, we believe that third-party publishers have been able to realize that Nintendo Switch offers a chance to create new and exciting surprises which are not possible with existing gaming devices. Therefore, many third-party publishers, some of whom we have introduced in the presentation today, have shown their willingness to actively support this system.
And by “clear,” we mean “completely vague.”
Regardless, there’s information to be gleaned there. We already know that Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be coming to the new console, and based on glimpses in the trailer, it feels safe to assume that the Switch will feature versions of Mario Kart and Splatoon. With Skyrim and NBA 2K making their own brief trailer cameos and Kimishima’s claims of third-party support like never before, it seems we have only seen the beginning of the new world of third-party development on a Nintendo platform.
When, Kimishima was asked if the console was geared towards more “hardcore gamers,” his response boiled down to this: “[A] distinctive appeal [will be] embraced by a variety of different people across different ages and demographics.”
A good headspace for Nintendo to keep, given the moderate lack of success for the Wii U.
More information on the fascinating console that (probably be) the Switch will likely drop well before January.