Nintendo of America’s former president, Reggie Fils-Aimé, recently appeared on a New York Gaming Awards Twitch stream earlier this week alongside industry counterparts Jack Tretton (Sony) and Robbie Bach (Microsoft).
Reggie was asked what his defining achievement was during his time at Nintendo and touched on the company’s transition – as a collective – from the Wii U generation to the Switch. He summed up the hybrid device as a “make or break product” for Nintendo after the “poor performance” of its previous system.
It comes as no surprise the Switch had to be a “hit”, considering the Wii U shifted just over 13 million units during its lifetime.
“You know, Nintendo has done so many innovations in the space… I think what Nintendo did with the Switch, after the poor performance of Wii U, I think to me and what I was part of, that’s my lasting memory.”
“People forget, when the Wii U launched, the performance over that life cycle was so poor, I mean it was the worst-selling platform, I think maybe Virtual Boy was a little bit worse, but Wii U underperformed pretty radically in the marketplace.”
“And when your only business is video games that next had to be successful and the Switch continues to be a dynamic platform – selling exceptionally well. And the ability for the company to come up with the concept, to bring it to life, to bring it to the marketplace, to have not only great first-party content but great third party and independent developer content – that is going to be something I will always be proud of.”
“Along with so many of the other things I was part of, but the Switch really was a make or break product for the company and luckily it was a hit.”
In contrast to the Wii U, the Switch has already sold 68 million units and is barely halfway into its lifecycle.
While Wii U played host to some fantastic first-party titles, at the time it was a rough period for Nintendo (again, because of sales) and in a lot of cases, it was equally as difficult for fans. Fortunately, as noted by Reggie, the situation has drastically changed since then – with Switch not only hosting quality first-party games but also “great” third party and independent content.
Back in 2019, Reggie described the Wii U as a “failure forward” simply because it led to the creation of the Nintendo Switch.