Now that Reggie Fils-Aimé, is working for himself and no longer with Nintendo, we’ve gotten a number of frank post-mortem observations from him: it’s refreshing! This time Fils-Aimé spoke again on the subject of the Wii U, and how the burned phoenix of its remains allowed Nintendo to achieve an ever greater feeling of success with the Switch.
Speaking on the New York Gaming Awards stream, Fils-Aimé recalls the “poor performance” of the Wii U, and how the achievement of the Switch is a “lasting memory” for him. He reminds us that “when the Wii U launched, the performance over that life cycle was so poor,” and calls it the “worst-selling platform,” outside of the Virtual Boy. He goes on to state that it “underperformed pretty radically,” something we know due to hard sales figures.
Fils-Aimé says that when “your only business is video games,” it’s kind of important for your flagship product to soar. So when the Switch did what it did, both in terms of concept and cold hard sales, it’s something he can “always be proud of.” Boldly, he says that the Switch was a “make or break product” for Nintendo, and that it “luckily was a hit.”
It’s hard imagining a world where the Switch, which did basically everything the opposite of the Wii U (both in terms of marketing and ease of hardware), wasn’t a hit, but it would be really interesting to see the state that Nintendo would be in if it failed.