Reggie admits that the Switch was a ‘make or break’ product after the Wii U’s poor sales

Reggie fils-aimé New York Awards make or break wii u

Earlier this week, Reggie Fils-Aimé appeared on the New York Gaming Awards Twitch stream. He was joined by industry veterans Jack Tretton, formerly of Sony, and Robbie Bach, formerly of Microsoft, with the trio delivering insight into their thoughts on the games industry. Everyone probably remembers the troubled launch of Nintendo’s sixth home console, the Wii U. Reggie was asked about the transition to Nintendo Switch and what his defining achievement at Nintendo was, and he described the Switch as a “make-or-break product” after the “poor performance” of Wii U.

Nintendo were unable to properly market the Wii U, with its global sales sitting at just over 13 million units. The console launched in November 2012 with very little third-party support and a weak launch lineup. After the console’s failure, it was pretty obvious that there was a lot at stake regarding the performance of the Switch.

Here are Reggie’s relevant statements:

“You know, Nintendo has done so many innovations in the space… I think what Nintendo did with the Switch, after the poor performance of Wii U, I think to me and what I was part of, that’s my lasting memory.”

“People forget, when the Wii U launched, the performance over that life cycle was so poor, I mean it was the worst-selling platform, I think maybe Virtual Boy was a little bit worse, but Wii U underperformed pretty radically in the marketplace.”

“And when your only business is video games that next had to be successful, and the Switch continues to be a dynamic platform – selling exceptionally well. And the ability for the company to come up with the concept, to bring it to life, to bring it to the marketplace, to have not only great first-party content but great third-party and independent developer content — that is going to be something I will always be proud of.”

“Along with so many of the other things I was part of, but the Switch really was a make or break product for the company and luckily it was a hit.”

In comparison to its predecessor, Nintendo Switch has already surpassed 68 million units. Nintendo’s hybrid console is only halfway through its life cycle, with a few more years to come. Although the Wii U was home to some brilliant games such as Super Mario 3D World and Bayonetta 2, there is no denying that it failed to live up to sales expectations. However, Nintendo has clearly managed to do a complete 180, and Switch is doing extremely well.

This section of the stream was then followed by the awards show, with Hades snagging Game of the Year.


Jaimie Ditchfield
Freelance Writer. Work seen on GGRecon, Zelda Universe, and BackToTheGaming. Studied Games Journalism and PR for three years, and is relentless at spreading his love for The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.