Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has high hopes for Nintendo's new hybrid console, which can transform from a home TV gaming station into a portable gaming device. In fact, he has specific reasons why he believes the Nintendo Switch will do better than the Wii U thanks to clear marketing and a steady stream of game releases.
In an interview with Gamespot, Reggie Fils-Aime explained clearly and thoroughly why he felt the Switch would encounter a different fate on the marketplace than the Wii U. He admits two major faults in the previous console and says the new one will not have these problems, saying...
Nintendo Switch is a home console you can play anywhere, with anyone. Clear. Compelling. We see the reaction by consumers whether it's measured in Twitter trending topics or views of videos on YouTube or just the frequency with which I get called by old high school buddies that I haven't heard from in 30 years who are asking me how to get their hands on Nintendo Switch. We have communicated the proposition clearly and it is compelling.
There's no doubt about it. Despite criticisms and some negative reactions (that Reggie conveniently avoided mentioning) there's literally no confusion about what the Nintendo Switch is. Half their marketing battle is done, something they did not successfully manage to convey with the Wii U. The latter device (even to this day) is still thought of by casuals as being an accessory for the Wii. It's not hard to find a casual consumer who will say "No, I'm not buying a Wii U, I already have a Wii".
Nintendo's lack of separation between the two units meant that they had already lost pretty much the entirety of the casual market. Heck, even during the first demonstration at E3 I thought that the Wii U was just an add-on for the Wii. The base console looked the same and it seemed like they were just adding a tablet accessory.
Nintendo quickly fixed that mistake with the Nintendo Switch by clearly and conspicuously running the first Nintendo Switch ad to show that it was a home gaming console you could take with you. They wisely showed multiple examples of the Nintendo Switch's portability. Even without saying a word, everyone understood what it was, even Jimmy Fallon!
However, there's a second issue... launch window content.
Even Reggie admits that the Wii U had fantastic content that wasn't quite released in a timely manner, saying...
Wii U will go down as having fantastic content--the issue was as you look at the reality of exactly when the games were launched, there were large gaps in between,
The launch window software for the Wii U was spaced out, delayed or just non-existent, especially after companies like Ubisoft later pulled their exclusive Wii U titles and turned them into multiplatform games.
For the Nintendo Switch the situation isn't too much better, but there's definitely smaller spacing between releases. They have only a few launch titles on hand, led by Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but they have a total of 80 games in development that are scheduled for release on the Switch. The launch window software for the system has just over 10 games, with heavy hitters like Splatoon 2 set to go live during the summer. By comparison, most previous consoles (including the Wii U) launched with just over 20 games, most of which were cross-gen.
The Switch's library could easily be extended if the Virtual Console backward compatibility carryover turns out to be functional at launch, and could easily help extend the playability of the system. However, while marketing seems to have been fixed for the Nintendo Switch, software line-up is still a big problem.