Back in 2019, the world waved Reggie Fils-Aimé goodbye as president of Nintendo of America. The man had spent a good 13 years at the helm, and presided the company during a time in which it found great success, with the launch of consoles like the 3DS and of the very popular Amiibo figurines.
And of course, there’s the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s hybrid console has taken the world by storm since its launch in 2017, and has even surpassed the 3DS in terms of sales with almost 80 million units sold to date, becoming especially popular since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the renewed popularity of gaming as a hobby.
In a recent interview with Gamertag Radio, former Nintendo boss Reggie Fils-Aimé discussed the Nintendo Switch and his retirement as Nintendo president, saying that the Switch’s success made it easier to step down in 2019, as was recently covered in IGN.
“Knowing that it [the Nintendo Switch] was going to be successful is what helped make my retirement decision easy, because I knew the company was going to be in great shape for at least a few years”, said Nintendo of America’s former boss.
But while the Nintendo Switch has been a glaring success, Fils-Aimé did have to put up with the failure that was the Wii U during his tenure at Nintendo. Actually, the Wii U was such a catastrophe for the Japanese company that some have suggested Nintendo would step out of the console business altogether.
Thankfully, Nintendo found “the magic” again with the Nintendo Switch as Reggie commented in the interview.
“The day that I sat with Mr. Iwata and held a prototype Switch and we talked about the concept, I knew it was going to be magical”, said the Nintendo man.
Sadly, though, former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata could not live to see the Nintendo Switch become a success (he passed away in 2015), but it’s clear that the idea of a hybrid console like the Switch was on Nintendo’s drawing board at the time too. This is because, according to Fils-Aimé, the Switch solved a basic problem for gamers.
“’I’m having fun, I’m playing my game, and now I need to stop because I got to go to work or school, and I can’t take my game with me. I can’t continue playing that game.’”, Fils-Aimé said. “So Switch, with the opportunity to play on that big screen TV, then take it out of the dock and go play in handheld mode, it met a fundamental consumer desire”, added the former Nintendo executive.
But while Fils-Aimé must now be enjoying the quiet life outside of the spotlight, his successor Doug Bowser is now having to decide in what direction to take Nintendo now that both Microsoft and Sony have released their new-gen consoles, the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Nintendo got a boost from the pandemic and the Switch sold like hot cakes in 2020, while the Japanese company’s games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons have been topping the charts for months.
Rumors have suggested that Nintendo will be putting out an upgraded version of the Switch (a Nintendo Switch Pro maybe?) in the months to come, as the console’s graphics are beginning to look very dated when compared to what the latest consoles offer.
There’s also the matter of Super Nintendo World, a new Nintendo-themed area at Universal which was slated to open in 2020, but its opening has been delayed until a later date.
It would be a great thing, though if an iconic company like Nintendo continues to succeed with Bowser as much as it did with Reggie Fils-Aimé, and that the Nintendo Switch keeps bringing a smile to gamers worldwide as the world recovers from the pandemic that began in 2020.