“We know that our fans, our players, want access to all of our digital content.”
By Alex Osborn
While Nintendo has yet to announce plans to bring Virtual Console to Switch, the company is well aware of the demand for legacy content on the console.
“We know that our fans, our players, want access to all of our digital content, we know that,” Nintendo of America president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime told IGN when asked if the company is interested in bringing Virtual Console to Switch.
According to the Nintendo exec, the company is currently working on finding the best way to deliver its classic content to Switch owners. “What we’re working through is, ‘okay, what’s going to be the best way to make that happen, to make that available?'” Fils-Aime said. “Certainly, we recognize there’s an appetite for all of our great legacy content.”
Nintendo previously confirmed that its upcoming subscription service Classic Game Selection isn’t designed to be a replacement for Virtual Console.
Fils-Aime also discussed My Nintendo and what the future holds for the company’s rewards program. “From the Nintendo of America standpoint, we have it as a priority to make My Nintendo much more meaningful moving forward,” he said. When asked if physical rewards might ever come to the program, Fils-Aime said “it could” before discussing a few of the challenges that come with doing something like that in the Americas.
“The challenge I would just share is, unlike Japan, which is a very concentrated market, I’ve got to create solutions that are going to work for Canada, that are going to work for Latin America,” he explained, noting that because it’s a “much more diverse marketplace… physical goods gets a little more challenging.” That isn’t to say Nintendo is ruling it out, though. “Could I envision unique physical goods as part of the program? Sure. But it really needs to work for all of our consumers, not just the consumers in the United States,” he added.
We also asked Fils-Aime about Switch game sales and how digital sales compare to physical. “For Nintendo, truly every game is different, and franchise drives some of this, as well as how the consumer wants to experience that game,” he explained. Fils-Aime used The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as an example, noting it had a “strong digital percent, but not as strong as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on a pure percentage basis.”
With regard to why a larger percentage of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sales are digital purchases, Fils-Aime said he thinks it’s “because the nature of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is something that you always want to have on the device. You’re out on the go, and so someone is eyeing your Nintendo Switch, eyeing those Joy-Con controllers to pop it out and immediately have a multiplayer experience, I think is part of what makes Mario Kart 8 Deluxe special.”
In the case of Breath of the Wild, it’s a very different type of experience that isn’t as conducive to the aforementioned scenario. “Zelda is a one-on-one experience. It is my game, it’s my 100 shrines, it’s what I’m doing, and so it’s just not as conducive to pop it down and to share a remote, which is why I think the digital percent is maybe a little bit different,” Fils-Aime explained. He also spoke to the success of Snipperclips, noting “the sell-through of that game has been phenomenal here in the Americas.”
Nintendo had several exciting announcements this week at E3. Head over to IGN’s E3 2017 hub to keep up with all the news from Nintendo at this year’s expo, including the announcement of Metroid Prime 4 and a core Pokemon RPG for Switch.