Pokemon Boss Didn’t Think the Switch Would Be Successful

At Least He Admits It

Six months into its lifespan and it’s safe to say that the Nintendo Switch is a hit, both critically and commercially. In Japan specifically, it has sold extremely well, besting even the PS4 in sales by significant margins every week. However, before it launched in March, not everyone thought the console-hybrid machine was going to be as big of a hit as it has proven to be, including Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara.

nintendo switch yellow joy-con

In an interview with Bloomberg covering mostly Pokemon Go details, Ishihara revealed what he said to Nintendo before the Switch went on sale. He also explains what he’s learned about how Switch is being used by the public.

“I told Nintendo that Switch wouldn’t be a success before it went on sale because I thought that in the age of the smartphone, no one would carry out a game console,” Ishihara said. “It’s obvious I was wrong.”

“I came to realize the key to a successful game is quite simple: software with absolute quality leads sales of hardware,” he continued. “Playing style can be flexible if the software is attractive enough. Currently, it’s popular among the early adopters, but there needs to be one more step to attract a wider audience. I see more potential in Switch, but one shouldn’t overestimate its potential.”

It’s always a treat seeing statements like this, especially coming from those that work closely in the industry. At COGConnected, we too are surprised by the success of the Switch but couldn’t be happier. His comments about smartphone popularity and how it affects portable gaming is something we’ve talked about at length here as well.

Ishihara is currently working on a Pokemon title for the Switch but we probably won’t see it for quite some time. A comment from the interview at least hints at what the team is hoping to accomplish:

“With the Switch, we see it as a chance to create Pokémon that goes deeper and with a higher level of expression. As a result, that makes it an extremely important platform.”

What are your thoughts on the Switch’s popularity? Have you been able to pick one up even with it being difficult to find? Let us know down below.