Following the Nintendo Switch hands-on event in New York City last week, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime told Polygon that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the final first-party game released for the Wii U. In other words, after the game launches on March 3rd, the Wii U will be dead, thus ending one of the more disappointing chapters in the company’s long and storied history.
Everything about the Wii U, from its underpowered hardware to its oversized controller to its embarrassingly dated online platform, was confusing and off-putting. Nintendo is painfully aware of all of those mistakes, but how does the company plan on avoiding them with the upcoming Switch?
Speaking with GameSpot this week, Fils-Aime explained that the concept of the Switch is much easier to understand than that of the Wii U, which was much more difficult to market than the Wii:
“Nintendo Switch is a home console you can play anywhere, with anyone. Clear. Compelling. We see the reaction by consumers whether it’s measured in Twitter trending topics or views of videos on YouTube or just the frequency with which I get called by old high school buddies that I haven’t heard from in 30 years who are asking me how to get their hands on Nintendo Switch. We have communicated the proposition clearly and it is compelling.”
Along a clearer, more compelling concept, Nintendo also plans to release games at a faster pace:
“Wii U will go down as having fantastic content–the issue was as you look at the reality of exactly when the games were launched, there were large gaps in between.” The Switch will have a “steady cadence of content.”
That sounds encouraging, but at the moment, there are only six games scheduled to launch alongside the Switch on March 3rd, and only two of those will be exclusives (Super Bomberman R, 1-2 Switch).
As I stated in my hands-on preview of the Switch, the hardware itself is fantastic and as interesting as anything on the market, but Nintendo is going to struggle to move millions of consoles if the third-party output is going to be as dire for the next several years as it has been since the Wii U launched in 2012.