Polygon spoke to several developers and industry executives about the Nintendo Switch, to gather opinions about the system and how they think it will impact on the gaming industry. Most are extremely positive and paint a good picture for the future.
(Series producer, Street Fighter, overseeing Ultra Street Fighter 2 on Switch)
When Nintendo gave us a presentation on the Joy-Con that attached to the side, showing that you can remove and play on small controllers like with the NES and SNES, I remember thinking, “Oh! If it looks like this, we can create an environment where players can casually enjoy fighting games [anywhere].”
(CEO, Grasshopper Manufacture, directing untitled Switch game)
I’ve worked with Nintendo on lots of different projects, and I think most of the time Nintendo does a good job of challenging developers with new ideas. … That’s kind of the essence of game design. So this time, I feel like Switch is new and offers something really interesting. … Being able to go from a handheld to a console hooked up to your TV is pretty cool and revolutionary. For example, a game like The Silver Case [an adventure game Suda is working on, which has not been announced for Switch] would be perfect because that’s something where the story makes you want to keep going and take it with you.
(VP of product development, Sega of America, overseeing Sonic Mania and Sonic 2017 on Switch)
When I first heard about [Switch back when it went by the codename NX], I felt there was a lot of appeal in being able to enjoy a console gaming experience whenever and wherever you wanted. … [In the future] I’d like to see them further expand on the diversity of the hardware by maybe making a smaller, more shock-resistant version for younger gamers, a supercharged docking station for additional performance or even a larger size screen version of the Switch that would all be compatible with the same software.
(Chief Operating Officer, Sixfoot, publishing Rime on Switch)
The Wii U audience never hit the broad market that, for example, the Wii did. And I think that the Switch has the ability to recapture some of the Wii magic in a couple of different ways. But a lot of it has to do with the fact that it’s a 2-in-1 system. The fact that it is trying to be a portable and a home console all in one package — first of all, it’s an easy sell from a value for money family purchase standpoint. You know, I just think that if you looked at it only as a portable system, it’s probably the best portable that has ever been. And if you look at it as a home system, it’s capable, is probably the best way I’d put it. In that regard, I think the adoption is going to be broader than the Wii U was.
(Senior vice president of product management, Activision, overseeing Skylanders Imaginators on Switch)
Game development requires careful consideration to ensure fans have the best possible experience. The digital library was no different. Arguments for doing it included that Nintendo has done a great job with the console and gives people a slick way to bring toys into the game. On the other side, as the pioneers of the toys-to-life experience, we taught fans how to bring toys to life in a certain way [and weren’t sure we wanted to abandon that].
(Former president, SCE Worldwide Studios and corporate VP, Microsoft, worked on the PlayStation 1-3 and Xbox One launches)
Any new Nintendo platform is always an exciting moment for the games industry, and for players. I’ve not yet had a chance to play Switch but as a Zelda fan I think of the new console as a delivery device for a Zelda fix. Breath of the Wild looks amazing, which is why I pre-ordered the console (for the first time in my life). The hardware has some very unique features and Nintendo’s challenge will be to communicate them in a way that resonates with players who are currently enjoying high-end consoles from Sony and Microsoft or (mostly) free-to-play mobile games on phone and tablet. That’s going to be tough in an increasingly crowded and fragmented games market.
But it’s always about the games. Their first-party teams are always incredible and they’re touting an impressive list of third-party publishers so they’re making the right moves. Apart from Zelda, the game that stood out for me is 1-2-Switch. That looks to be a fun and a clever use of the platform’s mobile or untethered elements. I really like the idea of games that don’t require visuals but use the controllers in multiplayer modes, so I’m looking forward to that. I don’t know if Nintendo can win the arms-race in terms of raw pixel power, so they have to do something different to compete and I applaud them for that.
These comments are very interesting and give a lot of positivity in mind for the system. Ono’s comments were especially interesting and it makes me wonder if it is possible that judging from his comments, Ultra Street Fighter II isn’t the only fighting game Capcom has in store for the Switch. That would awesome because Switch is the ideal platform for many fighting games, such as Pocket Fighter and Darkstalkers to return on.
Switch is a system that will reach new audiences and it seems that most people are truly excited for it.