Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Nindies: “If It’s On Steam There’s No Reason Why It Shouldn’t Be On Nintendo Switch”

Damon Baker, head of publisher & developer relations, recently sat down with Games Industry to talk about independent developers on the Nintendo Switch. Baker says that while Nintendo hasn’t opened the floodgates just yet, if the game is on Steam then there’s no reason for it not to be on the Nintendo Switch.

“We have been working with indie developers and publishers for a really long time, back to the Wii days… I think with every console generation we’re always looking for new ways of showcasing the fun of that system and what’s awesome about the indie developers is that they’re willing to take risks. They create edgy content, they [offer] a really cool, unique perspective on how they utilize the technology of the system as well,” he said.

“What we’ve got here is we’ve identified a bunch of those developers that we think taps into what resonates really well with the Nintendo audience in particular and showcasing why that content fits so well on Nintendo Switch specifically.”

“The way we’re looking at Switch is this is a complementary platform. If it’s on Steam, then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be on Nintendo Switch as well,” he remarked. “If you want to take that experience on the go, if you want to have a baked in multiplayer experience, this is the system to do it. It’s got those points of differentiation, but we’re not trying to go head-to-head against any of the other platforms. We just think that if the content makes sense to be over on our platform then it should be on our platform.

“We haven’t opened the floodgates yet,” Baker said. “We are just really taking an approach with the launch window to make sure the content really resonates with fans. We’re not saying no to content that only uses the touchscreen or doesn’t use the Joy-Con in a unique way, but at the same time we’re trying to encourage those developers and have a conversation with them and say, ‘Look, fans are probably expecting these types of fun features and functionality in the game’ so maybe they should consider them and take a look at what it would take to implement that technology into the game if it makes sense for that type of experience.”



  1. The second to last paragraph highlights a big problem with the thinking at Nintendo. Yes, Nintendo tried going head-to-head in power with the N64 and Gamecube and it didn’t work. So they tried a different strategy with the Wii, and as that system proved, it’s possible to be far less powerful than the competition and still be successful. That doesn’t mean they’re not competing with the other consoles though.

    Nintendo’s strategy is not bad (i.e. sacrificing power for other features). It shows that the competition doesn’t have everything there is to offer; but Nintendo needs to stop this way of looking at things as “We aren’t matching the competition’s strengths. We can be a secondary console.” You can’t think like this, especially when your console is $300. That’s not the price of a complementary console. That’s the cost of a premium device.

    They may not be playing on the same pitch as the competition, but they’re playing the same game; just with a different strategy. They need to stand up and say “We may not be offering what the competition is offering, but this is what we do have.” Like it or not, there are people who will be choosing between a Switch or another console. Nintendo needs to show that there is a reason to prefer the Switch over other consoles.

    1. And the reason is that it is portable and you get the Nintendo exclusives.

      $300 simply is not that much especially for a handheld console (only $50 more than the 3DS launch price and still only 100 more than the new 3ds is usually sold for at retail. The price argument is not a great one and I think they are very much saying just what you think they should be.

      It is a premium device and I don’t think at any point is Nintendo saying “we are a secondary console”

      1. In the article Damon said “The way we’re looking at Switch is this is a complementary platform.” and “It’s got those points of differentiation, but we’re not trying to go head-to-head against any of the other platforms.”

        I think it’s clear from this that he’s not thinking of the Switch as the primary gaming console people will have. What else could he mean by “complimentary platform”?

        I never said the Switch was too expensive. I just said that if they’re trying to sell this as a complimentary console, as Damon seems to suggest, then $300 is too expensive, especially considering that competing consoles are the same price.

        Now if Nintendo is looking at this thing as a handheld that can connect to a tv (rather than a home console you can take anywhere) than the wording and pricing can make sense. $300 is a good price for a premium handheld; and handhelds always have been kind of complimentary to home consoles. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Nintendo’s wording in the past suggested that the Switch is to be looked at as Nintendo’s next home console, and it can be brought anywhere.

        1. He is saying it is complementary in terms of how it is viewed for indie developers, because those developers produce games for multiple platforms, he is not talking about the point of view of consumers.

          Further, it does not matter how you word it, or whether you think it is a handheld or console first, the latter being stated because the wii U is being taken away and the success of the Switch will determine if the much more successful 3DS will be given the same fate.

          It is worth $300 at launch. It is not a console to complement others (Xbox or PS4) it is a stand alone console hybrid that is both handheld and for the home. No amount of semantics is going to change the price point, nor should it.

          1. “…complementary in terms of how it is viewed for indie developers…”

            That doesn’t make any sense. He calls it a complementary system. If it is a complementary system, then by definition it must be complementing something larger than itself. Think of a complementary wine. The purpose of a complementary wine is to enhance whatever meal you’re earing. It’s not something that stands alone. The system gives indie devs more options for development, but in no way can a console be described as complementary for a developer.

            1. read it in context, if you don’t understand it, I can’t help you. It is complementary to the available consoles or outlets a develop can produce a game for. What it is complementing, is the larger, or the whole that is the group of systems or devices that a developer, let’s say 2D Boy, can make their game for.

              It is an addition, it complements their install base. Of course, he might also not be using the English language as well as he should, but nonetheless, that is the point of view and context to which he is stating this.
              If you can find another statement where someone from Nintendo says that the Switch is there to complement the XB1 and PS4, please post it. But since, as I suspect, you can’t and won’t then this argument is non-existent. Not to mention that it makes no logical sense from a business statement to make such a claim, even though, Nintendo would of course like people who bought other consoles to buy their’s, but that is a given.

              1. I did read it in context, but the language he used simply didn’t convey the thought you suggested. What you suggest may very well be what he was trying to say, but if it is, the wording he used was simply wrong.

                From a pure language standpoint, the fact that he says “The way we’re looking at Switch is this is a complementary platform.” and “It’s got those points of differentiation, but we’re not trying to go head-to-head against any of the other platforms.” to open and close his paragraph respectively could easily suggest that he views the Switch as a complementary console to other consoles.

                1. Head-to-head in terms of garnering indie interest.

                  From the source: ‘That being said, Baker stressed that he’s not competing with other platforms for indies’ attention.’

                    1. It was wrong usage. It is an additional platform, it adds, it does not complement.

                      I will say though, that if the Switch is successful and it’s portability enables Nintendo to end development of the 3DS, then it will be a great complement to a more competitive home console in terms of power against the other two major companies. :)

      1. Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. Nintendo tried the power approach with those two systems, but they still sold worse than the competition. So they tried a new approach with the Wii.

  2. Oh, Geese. The PC guy is going to have a field day. This is just a general comment thrown out to say “Anything Steam can do, we can do better.” and I agree. He means that with Nintendo’s new tools and compatibility with middleware, any dev can extremely easily port their game to the Switch. But certain games just aren’t a good fit for the Switch. Civilization comes to mind. And also, Steam is chock full of shovelware and useless crap jockeying for attention. We don’t need that. The Commander only wants the best for The Order.

  3. What he means to say (Nintendo hates saying anything technical) is that, if it runs on steam, then it can be ported to run on switch very easy.

  4. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

    I hope he’s speaking in a general sense as in if it can work on Steam, it can work on Switch. Not that they WILL allow every game on Steam onto the Switch. That would be bad, honestly, since I’m sure Steam has more shovelware than actual great games. Just like mobile games with great ones few & very far between.

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