Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Talked About The Lessons They Learned From The Wii U Era

Prior to the start of the Nintendo World Championships, Business Insider was able to get a moment to talk with Nintendo of America senior product marketing manager Bill Trinen and Nintendo of America senior VP of sales and marketing Doug Bowser about the Nintendo Switch. The topic of discussion was how the company learned from the mistakes of the Wii U to make the Switch a success. Here’s what Bill Trinen had to say:

“When you’re coming off the launch of the Wii U system, and then your next hardware system is Switch, it’s a challenge to know how many we should be ordering. What is the demand gonna be?

If you look at the Wii U hardware system, just the system menu itself — the time that it took to boot that system up, to get into gameplay — was something that was a frustration for a lot of players early on, and actually became a hindrance. 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.'”

Doug Bowser had things to say, too:

“We had a glut [of game releases] up front (on Wii U), 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.

Our goal is to delight our players. We want people to have access to our hardware, to our content, and have great experiences. So we actively read the market and try to understand what those trends are, and make sure we’re adjusting accordingly. We are responding. We’re listening.”



  1. We need to make them Listen about STORAGE and how 32GB is Not Enough, not even 128 is enough these days, we should at least get a 256GB Switch Edition soon!

    1. It’s something WE are going to pay for.. sure they can produce a 256GB switch now but how much would it cost?

      if/when storage becomes cheaper, we will get new models with bigger storage.

    2. Sure, if you are willing to pay 500 bucks for a Switch. Right now most 256 GBs microSD cards are retailing for $165.

      1. I wouldn’t look at micro SD card prices as being indicative of the eMMC memory used for internal storage in the Switch. When dealing with embedded storage where size is a little less of an issue, the option opens up to wire multiple smaller chips in parallel ie. 2 x 32GB chips instead of 1 x 64 GB chip. That’s one of the reasons why you can buy 250 GB SSD for $100 or 500GB for $170. Or course, it will still be more expensive than mechanical HDDs

    3. Unless you’re going all digital or are planning to buy NBA2K18 (don’t, it’s riddled with micro transactions on top of the ludicrous storage requirements) this isn’t a big problem, yet anyway.

    1. I hear you on that one. I still have yet to beat horizon which is honestly a really good game but i don’t have that much time to sit at home playing games. Meanwhile, I’ve finished at least 10 games on the switch because I can take it with me everywhere.

  2. The 3DS really stole the Wii U’s thunder, a constant wait for stuff on Wii U’s entire life cycle while the 3DS got a decent amount of games, the few decent titles it got getting ported not too long after felt like a kick in the teeth for those who got the system. Meanwhile the Switch’s library is already looking much better with its announced games and it’s only the first year.

    1. “Switch’s library is already looking much better”. Are you serious? WHAT library lol. WiiU ports. And just remember all the 3rd party that WiiU got on launch, it got everything, Batman, Fifa, Nba, Need for Speed, AC, really all the big boys. What did Switch have on launch? What does Switch have post-launch? Exactly.

      Switch’s library can be solely thankful to the WiiU’s library.

      1. Breath of the Wild
        Splatoon 2
        Xenoblade 2
        Super Mario Odyssey
        Sonic Forces
        Fire Emblem Warriors

        All the announced games off the top of my head. Yep, a whole lot of nothing.

        1. King Kalas X3 {I only buy exclusives that interest me on Switch. For everything else that interests me, there is PS4.} says:

          Now, now. Let’s not give Switch unfair credit by stacking the deck with some of those games. Breath of the Wild is a Wii U port no matter how much anyone tries to spin it as it uses NOTHING of the Switch to set it apart from the Wii U version, Xenoblade 2 still won’t be out til December, & Pokemon & Metroid are no where NEAR ready to be released as Pokemon only got a “it’s coming” line from some dev & Metroid only got a very short teaser which means these games only just started getting developed or else they would have shown something more than just a teaser. Or should I remind some of you of the last time we got a short little teaser for a game that was coming but didn’t come til 2 years later (and sadly ended up being mostly a huge letdown…)? *cough*ShinMegamiTenseiXFireEmblem*cough*

          1. I said announced games, not games that are already out yet. In my mind, BoTW is both a Wii U and Switch game since it had a simultaneous release regardless of what was originally planned. In the Wii U’s first year, we only had Nintendo Land and a 2D Mario to play from what I remember, so I’m not even sure why the other guy finds my comment about the Switch looking a lot better as ludicrous.

        2. BotW is a port. Splatoon 2 is a port. Xenoblade 2 art style looks disappointing and meh in comparison to Wii one. I don’t care about Sonic nor Pokemon, these are all handheld games to me. FE Warriors – meh another Warriors game more suitable for 3DS (WiiU had plenty of those). The only highlight in your list is Metroid 4, since Odyssey is a given 3D Mario game that lands on every Nintendo console.

          Remember, we are talking about comparing WiiU’s launch/post-launch library to the Switch’s.

          1. You know, I don’t really know why you basically turned parts of my list because they were ports, only to turn around and give ports as a reason why the Wii U was doing better. Most of this seems to be about our own personal preference in games, so I guess we have to agree to disagree here.

      2. Announced or not anounced it does not change the fact that WiiU’s library was waaaay more impressive at launch. You say only NintendoLand (which is to me a system seller by itself, NintendoLand is really a magnificent experience and piece of software) and 2D Mario. But what about ZombiU, Black Ops II, Skylanders, Transformers Prime, Epic Mickey 2, FIFA 13, Tekken, Ninja Gaiden, Darksiders, Batman, just to name a FEW lol. Switch doesn’t compare the slightest. Plus all the social apps and integration in the WiiU menu. Switch users are really coping at this point.

      3. @shinygold2 There’s a huge diffrenece between ‘ports’ and ‘multiplats’. My list showcased that WiiU had all the big boy multiplats on the launch day one. Whereas Switch has basically NONE. *And* on top of that, the only games Switch has going for it are the WiiU ports, which everybody seems to purposely avoid mentioning and keep dubbing it as if these are Switch exclusives lol.

  3. “We’re listening”
    Someone complains

    Cmon people,even if there are some things that need to be fixed,you have to admit that they are listening to a degree. Not defending nintendo,but not every company can make everything happen at once.

      1. King Kalas X3 {I only buy exclusives that interest me on Switch. For everything else that interests me, there is PS4.} says:

        I find that hard to believe. Last time I checked, Earthbound’s creator was okay with fans making fandubs of Mother 3, so why would Nintendo be having legal issues with the guy over bringing Mother 3 to the States if he’s okay with fans doing it?

  4. i can agree with the storage being small on both the Wii U and the Switch but at least neither of them are required to install the entire disk onto the system memory like the PS4 (not sure if its the same on the Xbone because i dont own one to make a comparison) which to me is worse than a poultry 32GB system storage.

    1. agree but we are hitting a point where disc readers arent fast enough to process the bigger and bigger file sizes and the world the game creates in a fast enough rate without having absurdly long load times and a lot of pop-ins in such short ranges. Storage on Drives and game cards are the only remedy for this. We’ve gone from cartridges to disc to, now, game cards and hard drives/SSDs, as games are getting bigger and bigger.

  5. I really hope that this listening is for online as well. I don’t hear Nintendo talking about that horrible voice chat anymore and I think it’s for a reason. I hope it’s because their working as much as possible to bring a fix lol of course that’s just one small gripe I have with the online

    1. King Kalas X3 {I only buy exclusives that interest me on Switch. For everything else that interests me, there is PS4.} says:

      I have a major gripe with the entire online crap by smartphone. I hate smartphones as they are evil & is turning many into slaves & zombies. So they better be at work in getting all online features to work on the Switch itself. Otherwise, I will only be using Switch’s online for eShop & patches.

    1. “But it improves the game experience! You would get bored if you were able to play whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted!” – Nintendo

      1. King Kalas X3 {I only buy exclusives that interest me on Switch. For everything else that interests me, there is PS4.} says:

        Who was the idiot that said that again?

        We should start a petition to have a slapping booth at gaming events & other convention events for idiots like that to be slapped at. lol

  6. i actually like the wii u better than the switch, though i can see why it floped, it was nintendos poor marketing and lack of games

    1. and hard to develop for system, with an absurd rule tht 3rd parties need to use the 2nd screen which takes away more of the Wii Us power to make it even harder to port games to already near 7th gen specs. (well tht kind of categorizes it in the “lack of games” reason. :P)

      1. The second screen really didn’t rob the system of power. When doing screen mirroring, the TV’s image is just being scaled down on-chip before being sent to the gamepad. Any time that menus or a map its barely using system resources at all. In fact, the Gamecube had a 16 MB pool of memory intended to be used for audio, disc-caching, and menus that has less bandwidth than most hard drives. It was that much of a non-issue.

  7. So its actually thanks to 2 Wii U games that became succesful and drove the hardware sales for the Switch.

  8. I don’t recall being annoyed with load times on the Wii U. I don’t remember games taking a long time to load. In fact, I never even noticed much difference when Nintendo made the quick-start menu. Even the way it normally was before that didn’t take that long.

    1. Load times at launch were horrid though they were improved significantly within the first year. Really a lot of the load times could have been improved more if the system applets were designed less rigidly. There was a lot of things about Cafe OS that were slow by design but could have been fixed pretty easily. Even things like getting into the Wii Remote and Gamepad settings was one more step than it needed to be.

      1. King Kalas X3 {I only buy exclusives that interest me on Switch. For everything else that interests me, there is PS4.} says:

        Please don’t remind me of that god awful settings menu bullshit & how we were forced to use the Gamepad’s screen for everything in it. I might have continued playing on a Wii U if it didn’t have that bullshit of needing two separate Gamepads functioning at the same time to do the stupid Wii U to Wii U system transfer. I wasn’t about to pay around 100 bucks to fix one of the broken Gamepads at home just to do something that should have been quick & simple with just one controller.

        1. Yea, the settings menu was one of the many cases where things were more verbose than they needed to be, too. I actually came up with a whole alternative navigation structure for the Wii U’s OS. I kind of wanted to make a video about it but I feel like the time to talk about something like that has past.

          There’s even a bunch of little things that would make things far less annoying. Like look at this alternate Home Menu I did.

          Just something small like that would have cut down on clutter, saved on memory by a very tiny degree (basically just removes the need for some icons and layout stuff), and not only is there one less step to get from the Home Menu to each controllers settings, but it’s the same amount of steps to get from the Wii Remote settings to the Gamepad settings. Little stuff like that adds up :-)

          Btw, what actually broke on your gamepad if you don’t mind me asking? I was always very protective of mine but one time it took a condenser mic falling right on the screen and it miraculously didn’t break so I assume it was more durable than I was giving it credit for.

          1. King Kalas X3 {I only buy exclusives that interest me on Switch. For everything else that interests me, there is PS4.} says:

            I broke the Gamepad’s screen & the HDMI connector on the Wii U broke soon after (one of the connectors inside the Wii U was bent out of place.) Not wanting to risk losing my data by sending them in to be fixed, I bought a new one (a refurbished one from the Nintendo Online Store) & was going to transfer my stuff to the new one til I discovered I needed two functional Gamepads. At that point, I was already annoyed by a few other things going wrong with Wii U so I was all “fuck it! I’m done with this system!” and got a PS4 a couple of months later.

            I haven’t looked back since. The reason I didn’t want to risk losing my data was because I went through two Wiis (the first time was my fault but the second time something went wrong with the disc drive) & had to start over from scratch on a few games on the Wii twice because of the fact you can’t copy online games to the memory card. So I was paranoid about trusting Nintendo with my save data. My break up with Nintendo started around that time but it wasn’t til midway through the Wii U that I finally snapped.

            1. Damn! You really haven’t had the best luck with Nintendo consoles. Well, if you still have the both Wii Us and you ever want to try the transfer again, you can buy a replacement screen on eBay for $18 or $25 on Amazon and the process is pretty painless. It’s just two ribbon cables.

              I only got my PS4 after the Switch was announced. I beat Uncharted 4 on it but I haven’t played much else. Right now it’s really just my new Blu-ray player. I’ll also occasionally use the DS4 on my PC to play around with Breath of the Wild.

        1. Haha sorry! When I made that, TVii was still around. Yea, I agree. It had so much potential and I think it’s a shame that Nintendo and consumers preferred to ditch it instead of fix it.

          I had hopes that the successor to the Wii U was going to at least expand on what the Gamepad could do as a universal remote, but that obviously didn’t happen. Even the current gamepad could have had the ability to control sound systems and store favorite channels with just a firmware update. In fact, I would have tried to fit all the TV Remote setup settings directly onto the Gamepad if it were possible.

  9. King Kalas X3 {I only buy exclusives that interest me on Switch. For everything else that interests me, there is PS4.} says:

    Listening my ass. There are a few things they seem to be ignoring us on. If they were listening, where is some kind of “We’re working to fix the issues some of you have with having to use a smartphone for features that should be on the system itself. By the time we start charging you, you won’t need a smartphone if you don’t want to use one.”?

    1. King Kalas X3 {I only buy exclusives that interest me on Switch. For everything else that interests me, there is PS4.} says:

      A notification in the news section on the Switch telling us this would be fucking great to have.

  10. I call BS on these statements. The only thing WiiU did wrong was absolute lack of any marketing effort whatsoever, where Switch’s marketing efforts are extremely noticeable. The WiiU’s menu and OS is inspiring, charming and leaves impression. Switch OS is basically non-existant. It’s a boring tablet basically. And how ironic that they are bragging with the succesfull “Switch games” when they are in fact PORTS FROM THE WIIU.

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