The president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, explains in an interview why the Switch will outperform the Wii U.

As many Nintendo fans are well aware, Wii U sales struggled to meet the huge figures posted up by its predecessor in the Wii, as the former console only sold 13 million units, while the latter moved upwards of 100 million pieces of hardware. Despite the significant slump in Nintendo’s Wii U sales, the company is quite confident in the abilities of its forthcoming console known as the Nintendo Switch, which is set to launch in March, and the president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime believes it will outperform the Wii U in a big way.

While speaking in an interview with GameSpot, Fils-Aime opened up about Nintendo having “thought deeply” in regards to why the Wii U didn’t meet expectations. As it happens, the Big N’s head of its American branch concluded that the company realized that there were two main reasons for Wii U’s lackluster sales, and the firm intends on applying these lessons learned while moving forward with the launch of Nintendo Switch.

Firstly, Nintendo acknowledges that it did not efficiently communicate the novelty of the Wii U to the public, as it didn’t clearly communicate the myriad uses of the tablet-like controller to bring about different gameplay experiences for fans. As Fils-Aime put it, the “clarity of the consumer proposition” was not strong enough to drive sales, and many Nintendo fans skipped out on picking up the Wii U when it launched and thereafter.


The second, and potentially more important reason for the Wii U’s failure according to Fils-Aime, is that the system did not receive a steady supply of solid games. While some would argue that the console had a decent amount of titles to keep the system afloat and its fans entertained, at the very least, there definitely weren’t enough releases to sustain sales in a positive manner overall.

“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.

“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.”

As far as the Switch is concerned, Fils-Aime believes that it will outperform the Wii U simply due to Nintendo having learned these lessons the hard way, as he has said that the company has done a far better job communicating exactly what the Switch is and what its capabilities are. Not to mention, he also firmly believes that the forthcoming system will not want for strong games at all, as it is a “critical” element to selling consoles and to keeping existing fans engaged with the Switch’s “steady cadence of content.”

Although it’s obvious that Fils-Aime is passionate about the Switch’s potential to pull Nintendo out of the decline of the Wii U years, it’s important to note that while the Nintendo of America COO is touting a “steady cadence of content” for the system, it will be starting a little slow out of the gate with a launch lineup of only 5 games. At the outset of the Switch’s availability, fans will have a choice between the titles, 1 2 Switch, Just Dance 2017, Skylanders Imaginators, Super Bomberman R, and the highly anticipated, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, so it will be interesting to see how well the console sells on day one, and which of these titles were bought the most alongside the Switch. Hopefully, for the sake of Nintendo and its fans, the eventual release of future games like Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey will give the Switch the longevity it needs.

The Nintendo Switch is set to launch on March 3, 2017.