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Pokemon CEO Didn't Think the Nintendo Switch Would Succeed

Yeah, about that.

News by Matt Kim, .

Japan's current gaming landscape is dominated by mobile devices, but the Nintendo Switch found massive success in the region. One person surprised by the Switch's success is Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara who recently revealed that he didn't believe Nintendo would have much luck with the Switch.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Ishihara explained his initial reactions to the hybrid game console.

"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 out a game console. It's obvious I was wrong," said Ishihara.

Pokemon Sun Moon Starters Shot 02

However, once the console began selling out in markets, including Japan, Ishihara had to learn some new truths. "I came to realize the key to a successful game is quite simple: software with absolute quality leads sales of hardware," said the Pokemon Company CEO. "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."

Just because the Pokemon Company CEO didn't initially believe in the Switch doesn't mean the company isn't working for the platform. An untitled Pokemon game is currently in development for the system. Since Ishihara believes that the Switch is "really not that different from DS or 3DS in terms of connectivity," he hopes that the Switch title will offer a Pokemon experience "that goes deeper and with a higher level of expression."

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Comments 5

  • Avatar for Talraen #1 Talraen 2 months ago
    I can't criticize him, I didn't think it would succeed either. And now I love my switch so much I got my sister one, too. Happy to be wrong!
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  • Avatar for Vaporeon #2 Vaporeon 2 months ago
    I'm glad to hear he aspires to a "higher level of expression" in Pokémon games. I can't shake the awkward image of my Sun avatar's permanent half smile, regardless of what events are taking place around him. I know Ishihara-san's meaning of "expression" is deeper than that...

    ...but, seriously, please add facial expressions.
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  • Avatar for franciscovillarrealh #3 franciscovillarrealh 2 months ago
    I'm not surprised, given how his message at E3 smacked of the same sentiment of "Wait, we have to make games for the Switch!? We can't just throw a rushed port and ignore it?" that's been on Capcom and EA.
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  • Avatar for AstroDemon #4 AstroDemon 2 months ago
    It's hard to say it's succeeded or not at this point. It's definitely popular with certain crowds, but it's also in short supply and the list of 3rd-party top tier games available is seemingly much worse than what the Wii U had. The Wii U had Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed, for instance. That said, at least the hardware is being marketed to consumers much better than the Wii U ever was.

    Ishihara is a smart man by saying, "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."

    In my experience, my friends talk about missing the NES and SNES Classic, but haven't said a peep about the Switch. I'm the only one who cares an ounce about it, but my early-adopter self can't find a Switch to buy unless I go through a scalper. F-that.

    I hope the Switch be successful in the long run for Nintendo because I want some great Metroid and Shin Megami Tensei games, but I'm not expecting a Wii level of success here because the gaming ocean is so vast at this point with all of the options available now.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #5 LBD_Nytetrayn 2 months ago
    "I'll admit it: After the Wii U, I thought Nintendo was doomed. Just between us, off the record, we already started talking to SEGA about bringing Pokémon to the Dreamcast 2 as a flagship title..."
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