The whole business was on its final knees before the Nintendo Switch came out. Now, Reggie admits that the move for the company was a “make or break” product.
The Nintendo Transition was a planned swansong, according to former Nintendo of America chief Reggie Fils-Aime, if it didn’t work. Nintendo was “lucky” that the Switch was a success, the much-beloved figure said per Nintendo Life.
Nintendo a Fading Legend
Many think about Nintendo and recall that it was a prosperous giant in the ’90s. Even now, people assume that the business has always been successful. The games that made people revere Nintendo, such as Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing: Fresh Horizons.
Many had overlooked the Nintendo nearly closed up at some time in the mid-2000s and the early 2010s. Reggie Fils-Aime recalls the period well.
“You know, Nintendo has done so many space inventions… I think what Nintendo did with the move, after the Wii U’s bad success, I think to myself, and what I was part of, is my enduring memory,” Fils-Aime said.
“People forget, the performance over that life cycle was so poor when the Wii U was launched, I mean it was the worst-selling platform, I think maybe Virtual Boy was a little worse, but Wii U was pretty radically underperformed in the marketplace.”
Was the Wii-U A Mistake?
Reggie was right in naming the Wii-U a disappointment. The Wii-U has moved just 13 million units during its life cycle. The Wii-U had plenty of great titles, but it was eclipsed by its PS4 and Xbox 360 competitors.
Wii-U had a stellar title base, but it was at best, a gimmick console. It was challenging to produce and lacked third-party titles for it as well. The drought was ended by the Nintendo Switch.
“And when your only business is video games that next had to be successful and the Switch continues to be a dynamic platform – selling exceptionally well,” added Fils-Aime.
“And the ability for the company to come up with the concept, to bring it to life, to bring it to the marketplace, to have not only great first-party content but great third party and independent developer content – that is going to be something I will always be proud of.”
“Along with so many of the other things I was part of, but the Switch really was a make or break product for the company, and luckily it was a hit.”
By September 2020, the Nintendo Switch had shipped more than 68 million units and was not yet equivalent to half its life span. It was great for Nintendo that the Turn is as successful as it gets.