Traditionally, one Nintendo console per household was enough. Granted, if you were a lucky kid you might have had your own personal SNES, GameCube or Wii in your bedroom all those years ago, but many homes buy a single machine which takes pride of place under the living room TV for the entire family to enjoy.
With Switch, Nintendo wants to buck that trend and encourage consumers to adopt a buying pattern which is perhaps more suited to the handheld market. According to Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki, Tatsumi Kimishima has recently told investors that the company wants Switch to be positioned as a system that all family members own, rather than just having one per household:
Big deal, you may assume. Of course Nintendo wants everyone in the house to have a Switch - it sells more consoles that way. However, this stance shows Nintendo's current thinking behind its promotion of the console; it wants to bring people together for local multiplayer rather than focusing on online play.
Have a think about the promotional videos and images Nintendo has released so far for Switch - most involve each participant having their own console, sitting within punching distance of their opponents. The message is clear: if you want to enjoy this system to its maximum potential, you need your own personal Switch.
Given the high cost of Switch, we're not sure the machine is quite at this point yet, but as the years roll by and production becomes cheaper, we'll almost certainly see a price reduction which makes the console more viable as a "one per person" proposition.