While speaking to investors about its quarterly financials, GameStop CEO Paul Raines accidentally outs the existence of motion controllers for the Nintendo Switch.
Since the incredible sales success of the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo has focused heavily on motion controllers, but it's been unclear if the Nintendo Switch would carry on the motion control legacy. Well, if recent comments by GameStop CEO Paul Raines are any indication, it appears as though the Nintendo Switch will in fact support motion controls in some capacity.
While speaking to investors about the Nintendo Switch and its potential to appeal to the casual crowd that was attracted to the Wii, Raines hinted that the console's Joy-Con controllers can function as motion controllers. Raines said that a "movement-related game is more fun for kids," and that motion controls will allow developers do "a lot of interesting things" with gameplay. While it's hard to say either way at this point, it sounds like the Joy-Con controllers will work similarly to Wii remotes, which some have already speculated.
However, until the Big N itself confirms the Switch's motion controllers, fans should take Raines' comments with a grain of salt. Even though it seems logical that the Switch will have motion controls based on the design of the Joy-Cons, it's possible that Nintendo will nix motion controls to focus on more traditional input methods.
Of course, one can see how including motion controls could prove advantageous for Nintendo, especially if the company is planning to bring Wii U ports to the system. There are a number of Wii U games rumored for the Nintendo Switch that utilize motion controls in some capacity, like Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, for example. It seems like it would be easier for Nintendo to bring experiences like that to the Switch if it allows for motion controls, and it would also open the door for Nintendo to make Wii games available for download as well.
By featuring motion controls, it's possible Nintendo will allow players to transfer their digital library to the new console. We know that Switch won't be backward compatible with Wii or Wii U discs because it uses cartridges, but digital backward compatibility is a possibility, and could be a major selling point for the new system.
Fans will likely have to wait until the Nintendo Switch event on January 12th to learn for sure if the new console will support motion controls or not. However, considering the fact that all major Nintendo hardware since the Wii has supported motion controls in some capacity, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Switch continue that tradition.
Nintendo Switch will be available in March of 2017.