That the Nintendo Switch will launch on March 3 with only 10 games has been one of the major points of contention among fans since Nintendo revealed the console’s launch details last month. Some pundits have even gone as far as to speculate that Nintendo really isn’t ready to launch the Switch next month and is forcing the release timing so it doesn’t miss the end of its fiscal year.
The latest statement from Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima, however, give the impression that Nintendo believes it has plenty of games in the pipeline for the Switch. The console holder is just purposefully spreading them out to not leave gamers waiting too long between first-party Nintendo releases.
“Our thinking in arranging the 2017 software lineup is that it is important to continue to provide new titles regularly without long gaps,” Kimishima said in a recent investor briefing. This encourages consumers to continue actively playing the system, maintains buzz, and spurs continued sales momentum for Nintendo Switch.
“For that reason, we will be releasing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, which is making its debut on the Nintendo Switch during the first half of 2017, and Splatoon 2, which attracted consumers’ attention most during the hands-on events in Japan, in summer 2017. We believe that these titles exemplify the concept of the Nintendo Switch, which is to be able to play anywhere with anyone and at any time, and will expand and invigorate competition between players.”
Kimishima even explicitly noted that some investors have voiced concerns that the Switch’s launch lineup is “weak.” It seems that perception won’t sway Nintendo to rush any other games to market on launch day, however. Instead, the company will push The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the day-one system seller while leveraging its other internal Switch games to execute its long-term Switch strategy.
Because of problems with third-party support dating all the way back to 1996’s Nintendo 64, Nintendo prolonged software release droughts has been an issue for Nintendo consoles for decades. There are 100 games currently in development for the Switch.