With virtual reality and smartphones bringing more competition to the gaming industry, Nintendo has unveiled its ‘Switch’ on Friday – a latest game system which doubles up as a handheld device and stationary console.
The commercial debut of the product is slated for 3rd March in Japan, Canada, Australia and United States, parts of Europe and Hong Kong. The price of the device will be $300 or about 30,000 Yen.
Nintendo had released a teaser video last October and fans have been waiting for more details since then. Observers are also waiting to see if the ‘Switch’ which is the first home console to come since 2012 Wii U which failed to perform well in the market can help Nintendo turn a new leaf in its growth trajectory.
Tatsumi Kimishima, the President of Nintendo stated during a media preview held in Tokyo that the ‘Switch’ represents a new home-stationary gaming console that has the ability to diversify styles in video-game play.
After the teaser video last year, the Friday event was also the first that showcased Nintendo Switch to the media.
The “Switch” sports a 6.2” touch-screen, a dock and two controllers. It looks like the tablets and can sit atop a TV-connected dock and work like a stationary console. Nintendo also emphasized that the controllers in the ‘Switch’ are provided with motion sensors that allow games to reckon physical movement of the users.
The vibration functions and motion sensors, the controllers let users enjoy games with their physical movements and bodies, a concept that the Nintendo Wii also brought along.
The financial markets, however were not very enthused by the ’Switch’ and hammered the company’s share prices by about 6%
Nintendo has been struggling for some time now. Between the period 2012 and 2014 the company posted operating losses and have been hesitant in producing games for the smartphone segment.
After a turnaround in the last financial year, Nintendo has, in recent times, been moving a new growth trajectory.
“Super Mario Run” was the first smartphone game to be released by Nintendo last month and in just 4 days saw 40 million downloads which was also a record on the App Store of Apple. In the fiscal year starting this April, Nintendo is hoping to sell 2 million ‘Switches’. The dual role of the device however, may backfire impacting the market for Nintendo’s portable game device where it enjoys a strong presence with the 3DS.
We need to wait to see what the “Switch” delivers to Nintendo in terms of financial performance.