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Nintendo – third-party Switch announcements coming, price and power, online service, 3DS games in 2018, more

Posted on February 12, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, News, Switch

The Telegraph has put up a pretty lengthy interview with Nintendo’s Yoshiaki Koizumi and Shinya Takahashi all about Switch. Topics include third-parties, talk of the system’s price and power, paid online service, and more. Additionally, we hear some comments that Nintendo is planning 3DS games for 2018.

Notable excerpts from the interview can be found below. For the full interview, head on over to The Telegraph.

On how there seems to be more initial buzz for Switch than Wii U…

Takahashi: Certainly we are seeing a lot more excitement. We held these hands-on events around the globe in January. Not only is there a lot of excitement for the system. But the excitement in different countries is growing around the same areas of the hardware. So what I’m sensing is the elements we’ve been aiming for are the ones the users have really latched onto. So that’s been very reassuring and I’m very excited to see we’ve captured a lot more buzz with the system than we have recently.

Takahashi: I think two areas, one is with 1-2-Switch and the different types of games in there. Particularly the ones using HD rumble we’ve seen some very positive reactions to that. And then even something as simple as Mario Kart and being able to hand a controller to somebody and instantly start playing is something that has really resonated with people.

The other thing I’m really looking forward to is the launch of the system because the hands-on events we’ve been having so far have all been indoors so I’m really looking forward to people taking the system away from home and seeing how they interact with it and with other people.

On improving the messaging compared to Wii U…

Koizumi So the concept we’re trying to convey is something we can get across very easily, if you look at the TV it is something that up until now has been people’s experience with consoles. But what we want to show you is that you can simply pull a Switch out and set it down on the table, hand someone a controller and instantly start playing. I think as a concept that is something very easy to get across.

Takahashi: Certainly in the Wii days, Nintendo had a broader audience that responded to the uniqueness of the system. When we started thinking about how to communicate the benefits of Nintendo Switch and improve the experience of what Wii U offered, I think we really zeroed in on this notion of the freedom to play anywhere with anyone at any time and that became a very simple and concise message. Of course with the Wii U, you couldn’t leave the living room and play, and now you have the freedom to do that.

Koizumi: For example we could have had this interview over the road at Starbucks if we wanted to! It just creates more opportunities by lowering that barrier for people to experience gaming in a lot of different scenarios. We like to think how to broaden those points of entry.

On those who say the price is too high…

Takahashi: I think different people have a different sense of the value of the system. And while we’ve heard some folks respond that way, there are certainly people that look at Switch and the versatility of the playstyle and the different types of play that it offers and they feel it is a suitable pricepoint. It comes down a little bit to personal opinion, we think there is quite a bit of value in the system.

On the Joy-Con and how it related to the conversation of the Switch power / price talk…

Koizumi: When we talk about the Joy-Con, it’s important to convey that in this very small size and low weight piece of hardware there are a lot of different components, and many were very important to allow people to experience the different play-styles we’re going for in order to further the concept of how to reach more people with these different types of games. I think that after people experience they will understand the value of all that’s packed in there.

So for those who are making these types of judgments right now, I ‘d really like them to have the opportunity to experience the console and to start thinking about the value of these experiences rather than some of the other factors like power.

Takahashi: And of course we’ll continue to release games that will make people understand why we’ve created the Joy-Con in the way that we have as we release more and more games that take advantage of the functionality and understand that value.

On the launch lineup…

Takahashi: Certainly we look at it not just from the perspective of what are the games available on launch day but what we have from a lineup perspective not just from this year but into next year aswell. And speaking just about this year we have our launch games, Zelda and 1-2-Switch, and we’ve lined up so we’ve got great games launching in each season of this year. We’ll have Mario Kart shortly after launch, Arms in the Spring, the lineup continues after the holiday. This time we feel we’ve launched a system that has great games at launch in Zelda and 1-2-Switch but also a very strong lineup through the end of the year aswell.

Koizumi: As you know we’ve been focussed on development on first party games, but with Nintendo Switch we’ve also put a lot of energy into making third-party cooperation possible, and that includes a lot of attention paid to the development environment that we are provided to these partners as well as the middleware we create for them. Soon you will a lot more announcements from third-party partners.

On 3DS…

Certainly I think 3DS from a price perspective is quite a bit lower, and it’s a system we’ve released a very large library for. So I think from that perspective it’s a very good system for kids to have as their first system. We still see a lot of potential for 3DS in that area. And with that in mind we’re thinking of games to release for 3DS not just in 2017, but in 2018 as well. And the hope there also is that kids playing on 3DS will also shift over to Switch at some point in the future.

On the paid online service…

Koizumi: So the online service is very important to Nintendo’s strategy, the most important thing for us is making the experience that much more fun for players. And so that’s what really drives us to drive us into what kind of features to include. With that in mind we have several services planned that I’m sorry I can’t talk about right now, but one thing I am able to mention to you is you will be able to use your smart device to chat with people you are playing with online.

And because this is a device almost everyone has we think that there is a very broad reach for this service, I think it’s a unique approach that people haven’t quite seen out in the world just yet. But because it is unique it is a bit difficult to explain all at once out of the gate, so we wanted to take a little bit of time and wait until we roll out some of the other information surrounding it.

On using the app beyond voice chat…

Koizumi: Yes, we like to think as Switch as working very well together with smartphones so we’re basing quite a few plans surrounding that.

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