Nintendo Switch is obviously doing extremely well. Those recent sales figures in Nintendo’s annual financial report are evidence enough. In 2019, former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé announced his retirement from the company after 15 years with the company. The Regginator appeared on Gamertag Radio yesterday, where he provided insight into his various experiences. Reggie was asked whether or not he was surprised by the success of Switch. It turns out that he wasn’t surprised at all, stating that Nintendo Switch was solving a “key” consumer complaint by becoming a portable system.
According to Reggie, the success of the hybrid console made his “retirement decision easy,” believing that the company was in “great shape” for at least the next few years. Here is his full statement, courtesy of Nintendo Everything:
No, it was not a surprise to me. And I say this because the first time I saw the Nintendo DS, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. The team was demoing an early, early prototype of what would become Nintendogs. Immediately I saw the potential. The first time I picked up a Wii Remote and played, again, a rudimentary experience that would become Wii Sports, I knew it was gonna be magical. The day that I sat with Mr. Iwata and held a prototype Switch and we talked about the concept, I knew it was going to be magical.
And I say this because the system was solving for a key player complaint, and that complaint is, I’m having fun, I’m playing my game, and now I need to stop because I got to go to work, or I gotta go to school, and I can’t take my game with me. I can’t continue playing that game. So Switch, with the opportunity to play on that big screen TV, then take it out of the dock and go play in handheld mode, it met a fundamental consumer desire. That was the triggering moment. There were so many other smart things the company did – the support for Unity and Unreal, which allowed all of the great independent content to come. A number of other key decisions.
But no, it’s not a surprise, and candidly, knowing that it was going to be successful is what helped make my retirement decision easy because I knew the company was going to be in great shape for at least a few years.
During the New York Game Awards last month, the former Nintendo president admitted that the console was a “make or break” product after the Wii U’s poor sales. Despite his retirement from the big N, it seems like Reggie is still managing to provide insight into his past experiences to try and educate aspiring games industry folks.