In an interview with Bloomberg, The Pokemon Company’s CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara revealed that prior to launch, he wasn’t sure about the Nintendo Switch being successful.
“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 around a game console”, he 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. 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.”
He also offered some (vague) development insight into the upcoming Pokémon game for the Switch which is being developed at GameFreak:
“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”, he explained. “Right now we’re using 7 to 8 inch screens, but on a high-definition TV you can express a whole different world with graphics and sound.”
Ishihara also notes the Switch’s emphasis on local and social play and wants the upcoming game to make good use of that:
“Until now, games were made as one for one person, but now you can go home and play with everyone — so how do we tackle these themes, and how do we make sure it’s not complicated? Unlike smartphones, the Switch is not a game device that assumes that there’s constant network connectivity. So from our perspective, it’s really not that different from DS or 3DS in terms of connectivity.”
There’s still no final release date for the game but it’s safe to assume we won’t be seeing anything about it till at least late next year.