Developers were recently sent a survey about their development habits for today's gaming market. The survey included a variety of questions about platforms, games, and the Nintendo Switch. Well, the developers expressed what they actually think about Nintendo's new console.
The UBM Tech survey asks a number of questions about how developers feel about developing on the Nintendo Switch. The first major question was whether or not developers felt the Nintendo Switch would outsell the Nintendo Wii U's install base, and 50% said yes. Only 14% said that it wouldn't and 37% were unsure.
That percentage of uncertainty also carried over into how they felt about whether or not the hybrid mobile and home console model would fare on the market and resonate with the public, with 23% being unsure whether or not the console would be a hit on the consumer market.
11% of the developers felt as if it wouldn't be a hit at all, but, surprisingly, 48% of developers thought that the Nintendo Switch would do well on the market but it wouldn't be "world-changing."
According to the survey, there are only 3% of developers currently working on games for the Nintendo Switch who participated in the UBM Tech GDC 2017 survey. This is quite telling given that the same survey shows that 27% of those developers are working on PS4 and PS4 Pro games and 22% of those same developers are working on Xbox One and Xbox Scorpio games.
The two largest platforms that have attracted developers is smartphones and tablets at 38%, and PC and Mac at 53%.
This skewed figure is due to the fact that majority of the developers who participated in the survey are from North America and Europe... 67% hail from North America, 22% from Europe and only 8% from Asia. This would explain the exceptionally low numbers for Nintendo Switch development, where a large contingent of publishers working on games for the system are from Asia.
So technically, we're getting a Westernized view of how developers see the Nintendo Switch and development for the console. The reservations are likely based on the fact that few Western developers really took to the Wii U last gen, and they might be leery about stepping back into the fold this upcoming gen due to the Wii U's poor sales.
Also keep in mind that a lot of people were also leery about the original Wii, which launched back in 2006 following a lot of scrutiny and criticism, but it went on to win seventh gen gaming, shipping more than 100 million units. That's not to say that Nintendo may capture lightning in a bottle again with the Nintendo Switch, but it does point to the fact that the unorthodox approach to new products from Nintendo can sometimes have massive effects on the market (especially given that following the Wii's success, Microsoft and Sony jumped on board with Kinect and the PlayStation Move).
We'll get to see what the launch line-up for the Nintendo Switch looks like tonight, and we'll see what the actual sales for the system look like when it launches this spring, in March.