We've said in multiple editorials that the Nintendo Switch is more than the sum of its parts, but sometimes people need to use one to 'get it'. The core ingredients of a tablet with detachable controllers, that can be docked for a TV output, sounds neat but isn't necessarily considered game changing in isolation. What helps the system stand out - and seemingly generate significant demand in the marketplace - is how the hybrid functionality combines with Nintendo hardware design and gaming. Some would say it 'just works'.
Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios executive vice president Patrick Söderlund was among those that didn't initially 'get' the Switch. He admits as much in a recent interview with EDGE magazine, before explaining how his young son - and how he used the system - made him realise the console's strengths.
It’s doing really well, which I love. But I’ll be honest, when they first showed it to me years ago, I didn’t get the concept, I was puzzled by it. But then I was like, it’s Nintendo. They probably understand something that I don’t [laughs]. They usually do.
I have a four-year old son and it’s like it’s connected to him. He will use it as a portable machine, he will plug it into the TV, but more importantly, he uses it like, ‘Do you want to play with me?’ Then he takes off the Joy-Con and we play Mario Kart together. He’s using it as intended, which just tells me that it’s working right.
I think it’s a pretty special machine because it’s not just more of the same. I looked at it and thought, why would you play on that instead of this? But now it’s crystal clear to me why. That’s the Switch.
The system is certainly having a positive impact on a number of consumers since its launch. Demand has remained high in multiple territories, with retailers in some countries still struggling to keep up. Nintendo will no doubt hope to continue that momentum through 2017 to lead into a strong second year.
As for EA, it'll be interesting to see whether it achieves success with FIFA 18 on the system, and whether it steps up with any other projects.
With thanks to SLIGEACH_EIRE for the heads up.