Reggie says mid-cycle upgrades, pricing & content can help Nintendo maintain Switch lifecycle

by Pierre Bell

Games Industry recently had the opportunity to chat with former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime about how Nintendo can prolong the Nintendo Switch family of systems lifecycle. Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said in February this year that the Nintendo Switch is halfway through its lifecycle so he suggested ways the Kyoto-based company could continue momentum going forward before they release the Switch’s eventual successor. Reggie pointed out various things such as a mid-cycle upgrades, pricing changes, and producing content of value. As most gamers would attest, the most important thing a software and hardware company can do is to continue producing quality software that will move the hardware. Here’s Reggie’s thoughts:

“So let’s just acknowledge that moving from one successful platform to the next is incredibly difficult and challenging to do,” he says.

“Specific to Nintendo and Switch, the company has also said that in their view the Switch is still halfway through its lifecycle. If that’s true, the company needs to be thinking about what it’s going to do over the next four or five years to continue the core business momentum for the Switch. Then it’s about following the heels of that and what the future holds. It’s quite a heavy lift to be done.

“I believe that, first and foremost, you need to be thinking about the content pipeline and what’s going to keep players engaged. I do think you have to look at history and what have been some of the historical tactics that have worked to maintain a lifecycle of a particular generation — and that includes everything from mid-cycle upgrades to thinking about pricing and value. There’s a number of different tactics you can play, but fundamentally the content pipeline needs to be there.

“I continue to be very active in this industry, I’m active as an investor and advisor, and I think that being aware of demographic changes and geographic opportunities, about how technology is continuing to evolve, these are all things a company like Nintendo needs to be thinking about in order to launch the system after Switch.”