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Monday, April 24, 2017

Understanding the Nintendo Switch's Fast Success

The Nintendo Switch had a worldwide release date of March 3, 2017. In just a little over a month, Nintendo's console/handheld hybrid has already sold more than 2 million units world wide. Needless to say, that is no small feat.

The Switch making such big sales numbers in a very short amount of time is impressive for a number of reasons. Nintendo released the console during a time when it wasn't the holiday season, you know, the time that a lot of consoles launch. The GCN, the Wii, the Wii U, Nintendo's past previous three home consoles all released during the holiday season. I've seen numerous people say that the Switch launch was rushed and there is evidence to support this with some of the consoles features not up and running on day one, but rushed launch or not, the Switch is selling like hot cakes and has become Nintendo's fastest selling home console.

One of the main reasons I think the Switch has done so well right out of the gate is because it is different from what Sony and Microsoft are offering. The Switch doubles as a home console and portable game device. Any game you get on the Switch can be played anywhere. You can sit on the beach and play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Oh, sure you can take your laptop with you and play games on that, but let's be real here: a laptop, no matter how compact it is nowhere near as practical. The Switch was built as a game device thus it is far more suited for gaming on the go. With our Andoids, iPhones, Tablets and iPads, we've fully embraced the convenience of portable technology. Now there is a console that delivers a home gaming experience that we can take wherever we go. You'd better believe the appeal of that is freaking huge.

The other reason the Switch has sold so fast? The almighty power of advertising. It has been said time and time again but Nintendo did an absolutely poor job of advertising the Wii U. I originally thought the Wii U would be a resounding success because it had the Wii name in it, but because Nintendo's ads for it were so abysmal, the majority populace had no idea what the Wii U was, often mistaking it for some kind of Wii add on. However, with the Switch? Everyone on the planet knows what that thing is. Maybe Nintendo had to take that hard L with Wii U to learn, but it is so nice to see so many ads for the Switch. The extended Super Bowl 51 ad is one of my favorite ads from the Big N.

While the Switch may not be as powerful as the PS4 or the XBO, it seems plenty of gamers, be they casual or hardcore, aren't really all that concerned that it doesn't pack the specs under the screen that the aforementioned consoles do. Access to home console gaming at any time is just too good to pass up and I think most are willing to deal with a system that isn't quite as powerful if it can deliver that, which is exactly what the Switch does.

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