GameStop's quarterly financial conference call took place recently, and during the call the Nintendo Switch unsurprisingly came up as a topic of conversation.
GameStop's executives were very positive about the system and its potential impact on the games market, and revealed that it polled its Power-up Rewards members to get an idea of how much interest exists.
It was found that 27 percent of members asked were aware of the Nintendo Switch and also plan to purchase the system at launch. This lines up with the purchase intent for the Xbox One prior to its launch.
While this is obviously a long way from being a cast-iron guarantee that the console will sell in similar numbers to Microsoft's machine, GameStop feels that it bodes well:
I think it's fair to say that bodes well for the launch and the success of this product, keeping in mind that we don't even have specific details on price points on the market. I think we're gonna be doing the survey again in mid-January, after all the details are out, and I think we'll have a much better read on it at that time, but right now everything we're seeing is very, very encouraging.
GameStop identified the use of physical carts as a key reason to be positive about the Switch from a retail perspective:
The Switch users physical media, and Nintendo products have historically a low digital download rate. So we expect this to be a console that drives strong sales of physical products along with the console.
GameStop CEO Paul Raines spoke during the call, and stated that he recently got the chance to playtest the console himself:
The Switch is a very interesting device. […] Nintendo Switch has the potential to expand incrementally the audience. The reasons are: the IP is more compelling for family than the other types of IPs, so Mario and all those things, and movement-related games are more fun for kids, you know, taking those accessories off, what they call the wings and the master controller, you can really do a lot of interesting things with that in gameplay. And then the last thing I will say, they got a unique portability to it. […] I think it really got tremendous potential as a game changer. We'll have to wait and see like everything else in this industry, the consumers will vote with their dollars.
During the call the collapse of the "casual" sector of the market was touched upon. GameStop identified the Wii and Guitar Hero as two key entry points for a new group of players, and that the company had noted a "decline" in the market when these individuals stopped playing. The retailer feels that Switch could be a way of bringing these people back.
Thanks to SLIGEACH_EIRE for the tip.