Pokemon CEO Discusses His Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch’s Success

Pokemon CEO Nintendo Switch's Success

For years gamers and tech fans alike have been in love with mobile portable devices. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the world has taken to Nintendo’s Switch. Boasting around 18 million units sold since it’s launch last March, the company predicts a further 20 million units will be sold by March 2019 (current financial year). Even despite the shorter lifetime of the Switch is has already sold more units when compared to Nintendos Wii U. Numbers like this are even more impressive when you consider the fact that the Wii U has been around for nearly 6 years. Many successful titles have helps attribute towards Nintendos overall success, which include the world or Mario, Zelda and slightly more recently, Pokemon. A few key points on these resulting partnerships and also Nintendo Switch’s success have been discussed by Pokemon CEO and President, Tsunekazu Ishihara.

Who Is Tsunekazu Ishihara?

Tsunekazu_Ishihara Nintendo Switch's Success

Tsunekazu Ishihara prior to becoming the main Pokemon franchise manager was the President and co-creator of Creatures Inc, which was, of course, formerly known as Ape Inc. Being a subsidiary of Nintendo, Creatures Inc worked on The Pokemon Trading Card Game. This arguably was a contributing factor in the worldwide success for Pokemon as a franchise. In addition, Creatures Inc and Ishihara, worked on Multiple Mario and Pokemon titles, on a variety of platforms. From the early NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and Gameboy right up to the Nintendo DS and Wii U.

In 1998 during Pokemon and Nintendos combined Growth, Ishihara established the Pokemon Center Inc, which later became The Pokemon Company in 2001. With all things considered is it safe to say that if anyone is qualified to comment on the gaming industry, especially regarding Pokemon and handheld devices, Tsunekazu Ishihara is your guy.

The Nintendo Switch’s Success

Despite the now worldwide success of the Switch, its global triumph was not always foreseen. Even the legendary Tsunekazu Ishihara, was once not so confident. It was even reported in a Bloomberg Interview, that Ishihara told Nintendo, that the Switch would not succeed. In his own words, he stated that the success of a game was primarily down to the software presented in conjunction with high-performance sales of the accompanying hardware or device. This model, he felt at the time, would not work so well with the Nintendo Switch.

Furthermore, Ishihara claimed that in a current age where all people readily had access to portable games and devices in the form of smartphones (mobiles), there would no longer be a need or desire to purchase a separate console. Thankfully for Nintendo, this was not the case! By not only creating a device that appeals to all ages and abilities but also concomitant games, multiple functions and an intuitive interface, the Switch will forever go down as a handheld gaming success. The beauty in an achievement of this magnitude, is the resulting almost exponential growth.

Again as Ishihara stated, there was a wide popularity amongst early adopters, and now the console is being integrated toward a wider audience, thanks to “attractive software”. This is synonymous with the MAYA (Most Advanced Yet Acceptable) principle in design, which focusses on how the general public will adopt and consume a “newer” design, concept or idea, as long as there are assets and factors which remind users of previous iterations. Due to previous accomplishments within earlier handheld gaming devices, Ishihara was right to respect the possible Switch’s growth which, although originally hesitant, he mentioned that he does “see a potential within Nintendo’s Switch”.

Zelda and Mario Helped Boost Switch Sales

Another factor according to Tsunekazu Ishihara which aided in the Nintendo Switch’s success and brilliance was due to the overwhelming enjoyment and gameplay, provided by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Being released March 7th last year (2017), die-hard Zelda fans, have adored exploring the lands of Hyrule as Link since 1986. So when Breath of the Wild was announced and set for release, there was a direct correlation with Switch console sales. Also, the fallout from this game’s success has responsively seen a continued growth in Switch sales.

Nintendo Switch's success Zelda

Much like the success and colossal international Zelda fanbase, the world of Mario has an equally fervent following. With both Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey, on the Switch. There again was a spike in sales, by no coincidence, around the time of these games release dates (both released in 2017). Even the family-friendly crossover in the form of Mario & Rabbids – Kingdom Battle, has had a positive effect. With Donkey Kong DLC to come out on June 26th, 2018 as was revealed at E3 2018, these games and titles help cement a constant stream of sales and downloads.

Pokemon on the Switch

As we’ve discussed there has been a longstanding relationship between Pokemon and Nintendo. With new titles releasing at key points on the devices/console life cycle, we are set to get a new Pokemon game coming to the Switch in addition to a recently released Pokemon title. The first of these being Pokemon: Let’s Go (Pikachu! and Eevee! versions). These are set to hit the markets and game stores 16th November 2018. The release of this mainline Pokemon series game will see a huge boost in sales once again for Nintendo.

The second known title for the Switch is the recently released Pokemon Quest. A totally free to play RPG (Role Play Game). Set in the Tumblecube Island, the Voxel-styled game has been a smash hit on the Switch. In less than a month, Pokemon Quest has been downloaded over 2.5 million times according to the Japanese Official Pokemon Twitter account. This continued rate or download will surely be maintained at least until Pokemon: Lets Go comes to the Switch.

Pokemon Quest Features & Release Date

Thanks to huge titles and a perceptive and popular device, we will see further advances and growth in what will surely be an extended increase in sales for years to come. With even more incredible titles coming in the near future, it looks like the Nintendo Switch’s success will not be slowing down any time soon.


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