Phil Harrison, formerly the President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios and then Microsoft corporate vice president thereafter, had some kind words to say about the current position of Nintendo in a recent interview. Talking to GamesBeat, he comments on how Nintendo has surprised him with the Nintendo Switch and even points out that the Switch is popular in his own household. Harrison also airs his thoughts on why the Wii U wasn’t a big hit with gamers.
GamesBeat: From the sidelines, where do you see the big three here and how well they’re doing?
Harrison: Nintendo has surprised me in a good way. They’ve put some excitement back in, or at least added a dynamic to the console equation that wasn’t there previously. From my focus group of a household with younger children, Switch is definitely the console that gets used. Mainly because of the content types. Surprisingly, the TV-to-mobile use case works way more effectively than I expected. I really enjoy that.
GamesBeat: That seems to be what they tried to do with the Wii U, but it didn’t take. It may have been too early. The tethered tablet may have been a real problem.
Harrison: The tablet mode on Wii U just wasn’t powerful enough. It was rendered as a single frame from the console sent wirelessly from the console to the device. The Switch combined both modes into one and just switched the power state. When you’re tethered you get access to more wattage on the CPU and GPU. Maybe that technology didn’t exist when they were developing the Wii U. I suspect not. A great idea is about timing as much as it is about technology.