Nintendo of America President and CEO Reggie Fils-Aimé has revealed several details about the Switch in a new interview with Wired, including what the Switch’s online service will look like, as well as what the future holds in store for the Nintendo 3DS.
A “monthly game download” is among a few of the features highlighted on the official page for the Switch’s online service, promising that subscribers will get to download and play a free online play-enabled NES and SNES game for a month.
“It means that essentially you’ve got access to that game for a period of time, and then after the month there’s a new selection,” said Fils-Aimé in his interview. “You’ll have the opportunity to buy it, but [after] that month we’ve moved on to another game.”
Fils-Aimé then goes on to describe other details about the Switch’s online service, including voice chat capabilities, which will be provided exclusively through a mobile app.
“The reason for that is, it continues to reinforce our commitment to online, and do so in a way that will enable the consumer to enjoy their Nintendo Switch and to still be able to play those connected experiences … while they’re on the go,” said Fils-Aimé.
Fils-Aimé explains the company’s belief that using a mobile app for player communication eliminates any inconveniences that may arise when using the Switch as a handheld device.
“Instead of having some sort of bulky gamer headset, you’ll be able to do it right off your smartphone, put in your earbuds that you use for your standard mobile device,” said Fils-Aimé. “We think that’s a pretty sweet solution. That’s part of the overall opportunity that we see in a subscription service.”
Wired also asks if Wii and Wii U owners who have spent money on Virtual Console games on those platforms can expect to see any sort of discounts or special offers when buying the same retro titles on Switch.
“… We recognize that some of our most passionate fans have spent quite a bit, whether it’s with Virtual Console on Wii or Wii U, and we recognize that consumers are rightly concerned about moving to Nintendo Switch without backward compatibility,” said Fils-Aimé. “My comment is: Stay tuned, we understand the concern, more information to come.”
Switch supply concerns were also addressed, especially in the wake of the NES Classic Edition launch.
Fils-Aimé reiterates that two million units will be shipped worldwide in March for the launch.
“Two million [units] for essentially the first month is a huge number, especially when you look and see that this is not peak seasonality,” said Fils-Aimé. “This is essentially the first three weeks of March. Our focus is making sure that the consumer who wants to buy a Nintendo Switch can buy a Nintendo Switch. That’s how we build our supply chain, that’s how we think through the amount of product that’s available.”
The Nintendo 3DS also looks like it will be sticking around alongside the Switch, as Fils-Aimé has promised a number of new titles that will release for the console in the future.
“3DS has a long life in front of it. We’ve already announced games that will be launching in the first couple quarters of this year. There are a number of big games coming,” said Fils-Aimé. “And in our view, the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Switch are going to live side-by-side.”
Fils-Aimé also reiterates the idea that the Switch is a home console, first and foremost.
“I think there’s a sense that Nintendo Switch is a portable device,” said Fils-Aimé. “It is portable. But at its heart, it’s a home console that you can take with you on the go.”
Lastly, Wired asked Fils-Aimé, “Will we ever get Mother 3?”
“We hear all of the comments …” said Fils-Aimé. “We hear all of the comments.”
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