Nintendo talk about the origins of the Switch concept 

Takumi Watanabe of Toyo Keizai Online recently spoke with Shinya Takahashi and Yoshiaki Koizumi of Nintendo Co., Ltd. regarding the behind the scenes of the Nintendo Switch product development. 

The two reveal that the Switch was first conceptualised in 2012 with this concept finalised by late 2013, being aimed at audiences of both smartphones and home consoles. Please credit Japanese Nintendo if re-using elsewhere.

How did you decide on the concept of Switch? 

Takahashi: Nintendo is always thinking about the next hardware. After the Wii U was released in 2012, we had already been debating about the concept for the next generation. We were set on 2 concepts that would become Switch’s prototype just before we entered 2014. Those two are:
① Leisurely use 2 detachable controllers called Joy-Con. ② While it’s [mainly considered as] a home console, it can also be carried outside. 

Koizumi: What we’re conscious about is that the gaming population is getting polarized into two. In the recent years, we are in a situation where ‘People who want to play leisurely choose smartphone games, and people who play games deeply would play with PlayStation 4 and PC.’ The idea of combining the good points of smartphones and home consoles became the result of thinking a game that can be enjoyed by both audiences.


Text kindly translated by Kite Stenbuck. Please support his hard work here.

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