Nintendo was riding high with when the Wii was on the market, but as the Wii U showed, all that momentum can be quickly lost if it’s not handled properly. Though the Switch has been making great strides towards restoring faith in the company’s image, it’s still important that Nintendo stays mindful of what sunk the Wii U, to avoid the same mistakes being repeated.
Bill Trinen and the all too perfectly named Doug Bowser recently spoke with Business Insider about the sizable difference in success that the two consoles have seen, expanding a bit on the things that Nintendo worked to change or improve with the Switch. The first thing was OS speed. The Wii U was notorious for being quite sluggish, and given that the Switch is half handheld, Nintendo really wanted to make sure they got that aspect right this time around. Here’s what Trinen had to say:
With Switch being something that you can take with you, it made it really important that you could play it instantly. That to me is an example of a direct lesson from the Wii U era, where Nintendo said, 'That's something we're gonna zero in on and make a dramatic improvement on.'
The other key point the company improved on was the distribution of software. The Wii U certainly had no shortage of great games to play, but the gaps in between those games releasing was often several very dry months long. With the Switch, Nintendo aimed to release roughly one major game per month to keep interest high. Here’s what Bowser had to say:
We had a glut [of game releases] up front, and then kind of went dry for quite some time. From a first-party perspective at least, we were very intentional and deliberate about Switch. We launched with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which obviously was incredibly successful, drove hardware, and brought a bunch of new people into the franchise. And then followed that with Mario Kart, straight through the series of games we've released since then.
Given how the Switch only seems to continue hitting ever higher demand, it looks like Nintendo definitely did something right this time around. Here’s to hoping the momentum is held strong.
What do you think? Has Nintendo learned from its mistakes? How else could it improve on the Switch? Share your thoughts in the comments below.