Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima defends the Nintendo Switch's launch line-up, pledging that the system won't experience the same software droughts that have plagued its predecessors.
When Nintendo unveiled the Switch earlier this month, many were convinced of the company's vision for a system that blurred the line between home console and portable device. However, the potential of the hardware itself was tempered by a launch line-up that doesn't give early adopters much to be excited about.
It's clear that Nintendo is banking on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to give fans a reason to buy the console on day one. The company's only other first-party release scheduled for launch day is 1-2-Switch, and the rest of its intial library is fleshed out by third-party titles like Super Bomberman R, Skylanders: Imaginators, and The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+.
As such, it's easy to see why Nintendo has received some criticism for an underwhelming array of games to convince gamers to get on board with the Switch as soon as possible. Now, the company's president Tatsumi Kimishima has spoken out against these comments.
"Some of those who have seen this line-up have expressed the opinion that the launch line-up is weak," said Kimishima during an earnings call earlier this week, according to a report from Gamespot. It seems that the company's strategy hinges around a steady stream of content coming after launch day.
"Our thinking in arranging the 2017 software lineup is that it is important to continue to provide new titles regularly without long gaps," he explained. "This encourages consumers to continue actively playing the system, maintains buzz, and spurs continued sales momentum for Nintendo Switch."
Software droughts have certainly been a problem for Nintendo in the past. Both the Wii U and the 3DS experienced stretches without compelling releases in their early years — although it's fair to say that the 3DS managed to overcome these hurdles much more convincingly than the Wii U did.
It's good to see Nintendo's management thinking about its long-term plans for the Switch, rather than focusing all their efforts on a successful launch. Hopefully this strategy comes to fruition, and we see high-profile titles like Super Mario Odyssey meet their expected release date and debut within the first year of the console's lifespan.
Nintendo is certainly doing a good job of promoting its new console, and the concept behind the Switch could help the hardware carve out its own niche. However, a strong software library is essential if the system is to avoid the pitfalls that sank the Wii U.
The Nintendo Switch is scheduled to launch on March 3, 2017.