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.”