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Ubisoft Explains Their Own Vision Of The Nintendo Switch

The team over at Games Industry have managed to scoop an interview with Xavier Poix, the man in charge of Ubisoft’s French studios, to examine the company’s vision regarding the Nintendo Switch. Poix claims that even though the console pricing has been contentious it will still appeal to kids, teens and the wider market. It’s interesting how much faith they’re putting in Steep which didn’t exactly review particularly well. What were your thoughts after the reveal of the Switch?

It will be interesting to see how the gamers, and not only the Nintendo fans but the whole market, will respond to it. Nintendo has proved it can surprise everybody. Even though we knew some aspects of the console, we were surprised by the high quality games coming. Plus, there are some very interesting features for it.

What I was very happy to hear about was the fact that Nintendo has followed its strategy of enlarging the gaming audience, with a console that could be appealing to a very broad audience of gamers. Yes, Nintendo fans first, but also in the longer term a more casual audience. The portfolio of games they showed reflected that. The hardware and software seemed expensive. Do you still see the target market as kids and families?

Xavier Poix: It will still be for kids. The console itself is very modern and it can really answer the need of wanting some high quality gaming experience on your couch at home, with long-sessions, as well as being able to take it with you into another room, or on the bus. This should definitely appeal to a younger audience. I think there will be room for everyone.

On why the haven’t announced new titles yet: Although you’ve announced three Switch games, with Wii and Wii U you developed completely original properties especially for those machines. Why not this time?

Xavier Poix: First of all, I think these are games that are a good fit the platform, even though we haven’t made an announcement of a brand new title. When you think about Just Dance for instance, that game was brought to the Wii first and uses the whole motion gaming aspect. But Just Dance is about playing with anyone and anytime, it is about accessibility, and what is interesting is that Switch brings that anywhere aspect to the table. So the ability that the gamse had on Wii and Wii U in terms of bringing people together into a room, well now that room can be anywhere. The room you want to play Just Dance in can be a kitchen or a garden, it can be anywhere.

The Switch has been made for Just Dance. Just Dance has sold more than 65m units, it has had more than 100m players that have used it. In the Switch box today, you have two Joy-Con controllers, so right from the first day you can play two player Just Dance – with each person holding a Joy-Con. Of course you can play in front of the TV, and also play on the smaller screen, which means you can now have a Just Dance party almost anywhere. It’s the perfect match for that game.

So we are bringing titles that we think fit with what Switch is all about. Of course, in the future we have other things that we will be very happy to share with you at a later date.

On why they didn’t choose Watch Dogs 2 or The Division: In terms of your open world titles, you’re developing Steep for Switch. Why choose that over Watch Dogs 2 or The Division? Is it because of the violent nature of those other games?

Xavier Poix: Sorry to come back to the same point, but Steep has the same philosophy of Switch already in its DNA. Steep is about the freedom of discovering the alps, it is about doing multi-sport, it is about both long gameplay sessions and short sessions, and it is about sharing the experience with friends via sending them challenges or images – which the Steep does with its share feature.

Switch also brings the mobility aspect, and Steep is missing that. Imagine that you can keep having the Steep experience when you go to another room? For me, Steep was a no-brainer for Switch. In terms of audience, Steep is a good example of attracting a large audience, including older gamers who perhaps used to play SSX or other games like that, and you’re right, it should attract a new, younger audience.

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37 thoughts on “Ubisoft Explains Their Own Vision Of The Nintendo Switch”

    1. Regardless of other concerns (power), I don’t think Watch Dogs is a good fit for the Switch. It’s precisely the kind of game that’s only bought by the type of gamer who wouldn’t buy a Nintendo product on principle. This has been basically true going all the way back to the original Mortal Kombat selling better on Genesis than SNES (in spite of SNES having the larger market share at the time if memory serves).

      1. Thats something Nintendo has to adres though right? If I buy a console I want the full package only excluding other consoles first party. I had the snes and genesis , but my family and friends only had the snes and we all played mortal kombat. Back in the days we rented those games though at the video, cd store. For me its something I grew up with though just like street fighter.

        1. i have said this since the Wii U…
          Nintendo should create alternatives to the major 3rd party games that skip their console.
          we can deceive ourselves all we want… fact is those TYPE of games matter! If the 3rd parties refuse to bring them, nintendo should make theirs.

          We need a Nintendo FPS/3rd PS… splatoon works for the arena shooter genre but it’s no cod/gears
          We need a Nintendo Racer… a nintendo GT/Forza basically… and no Mario Kart is not a racing game… it’s simply in a genre/class of it’s own.

          games like tomb raider.. ie 3rd person action adventure can be created by nintendo. New franchises to add to the already existing ones creating a huge library games.

          leave sports to ea and gta to rockstar… lol

          Fact is Nintendo fans will buy these type of games if the are made by Nintendo. Nintendo makes quality games.. everyone knows this.

            1. yeah… making games cost money…. nintendo has money!!
              they sat on their asses when the wii was printing money and forgot they needed to learn HD game development. They couldn’t deliver games in time for the Wii U cos of this.

              Create new studios… in the US and Europe… these guys already have the skills to make quality stuff. EAD can’t make everything!! the type of games i mentioned are western games mostly.. they should be left to western devs with core nintendo oversight.

              it’ll cost money but they will get the money back when gamers buy their games and in turn by the switch.

  1. Did they actually answer either of the software questions? All I saw were adverts for Just Dance and Steep. Would have been nice to hear about that Rabbids game.

    1. Ubisoft is only going to provide answers to games that are announced. That is “running a company 101.” The Rabbids game has yet to be revealed. I figure we will have to wait until E3, unless Nintendo has a Nintendo Direct sometime right before Switch launches (which I hope they do, because they need more excitement to build up their console’s launch).

    2. Ubisoft is only going to respond to the games that have actually been announced (Just Dance and Steep). Companies don’t just start blabbering about future revelations they may or may not have. That is ‘running a company 101.’

      Unless Nintendo does a Nintendo Direct in the near future before Switch launches, we probably will ot hear about the Rabbids games until E3. I am hoping there is another Direct that focuses on games coming to the Switch that have yet to be announced (disregarding the Fire Emblem Direct). Nintendo needs more games to get people excited to buy their console. As of right now, there is too much negativity and the console will probably be lackluster.

    1. But that is only their perspective. Maybe it doesn’t speak for all 3rd parties. And it really comes down to install base and that lovely catch 22 – Consoles need an install base to attract devs, but need games to attract customers.

      This is where it is/was Nintendo’s job to partner with 3rd party at all cost. At launch. After Launch, they have some pull and influence.

  2. Im gonna have to try STEEP out. Besides I won’t be WATCHING YOUTUBE, NETFLIX OR HULU ON MY TABLET ANYTIME SOON….so hopefully this snowboarding experience is a good one.

    Fucking Nintendo!!!

  3. Freedom and Mobility my ass. Just say the Switch is strong enough for Watch Dogs 2/The Division or it doesn’t justify it because you don’t want to support a potentially dead in the water system again.

  4. If that isnt a glimpse of things to come I don’t know what else is. They are saying exactly what they said about WiiU. basically, The Switch is for kids and casuals and not gamers.

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