Pokemon Boss Thought The Switch Was Going To Be A Failure

The Nintendo Switch is a hit, especially in Japan. But before the hardware was released, Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara told Nintendo it wasn't going to be successful.

[Image: Bloomberg]

When speaking with Bloomberg (via Nintendo Everything), Ishihara recalled what he initially thought about the Switch.

"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," Ishihara said. "It's obvious I was wrong."

For Ishihara, the Switch's success has been a learning experience. "I came to realise the key to a successful game is quite simple: Software with absolute quality leads sales of hardware," he continued. "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."

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Right now, the Pokemon Company is working on a Pocket Monster game for the Switch that's slated for release one day. Ishihara said that the company doesn't see the Switch as being that different from Nintendo's traditional handhelds with regards to the way it interacts with the internet. "Unlike smartphones," he explained, "the Switch is not a game device that assumes that there's constant network connectivity. So from our perspective, it's really not that different from DS or 3DS in terms of connectivity."

So what are the Pokemon Company's goals for its Switch game?

"With the Switch, we see it as a chance to create Pokemon that goes deeper and with a higher level of expression. As a result, that makes it an extremely important platform." And one that is, so far, incredibly successful.


    "in the age of the smartphone, no one would carry out a game console" - This guys company makes a living off selling pokemon games, 99% of which are on a portable game console. WTF lol.

      Its certainly true, Im assuming the sales of pokemon games flying off the shelves werent what they use to be.
      Also, the step up of pokemon related developments on mobile platforms prior to the switch was a good indication that they might have been looking at releasing a real pokemon game on mobile. (I would definitely pay money for that)

      Hes the CEO, what would he know? :P

    Well it's good to hear that the Switch is not going to be a complete failure. But what's this I hear about a Pocket Monster Switch game you're working on Ishihara-san since both Pokemon Sun and Moon were complete failures for the Nintendo 3DS? You said during the Nintendo E3 Spotlight earlier this year that Game Freak is currently working on a new Pokemon game and that you also said that the new Pokemon game for the Switch may not release for more than a year. I mean I'm fine with that but a Pocket Monster game for the Switch I'm definitely in for a Pocket Monster game for the Switch and I'm also in for Pokken Tournament Deluxe that's coming out on Nintendo Switch later this month.

    Think it's too soon to say whether the Switch is a roaring success or dismal failure in any sense, the signs look positive however, especially in Japan - which given the sales of handhelds over there in general (PSPs were still selling like wildfire not too long ago and the 3DS sells in monstrous volume relative to the market) - shouldn't really have been that big a surprise, especially when - as stated above - his company makes the biggest selling portable game series?

    Everything about the Switch seems positive in a way it never did with the Wii-U, I still see comments on sites criticising the lack of power or shortage of games but anyone who has one/has used one will know neither of these are problems, games like Mario Kart/Rabbids look fantastic, and most people have an XBOX/PS4/PC to play the big multiplats anyway so never sure why people care about so many third party ports in a graphical sense?

    Sure if the games dry up (they never seemed to really get started on the Wii-U) then perception will change, but even the media seem on-board right now!

    It can't be just me as a switch owner who on seeing a game coming out instantly checks to see if it's coming to Switch because the thought of being able to take a proper console experience on flights/business trip/camping/holidays/etc is too awesome?

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