Nintendo Co announced a slate of new titles for its new hybrid console Switch, moving to capitalise on early excitement for its newest video-game system.
A Pokémon role-playing game for the Switch is in development, Kyoto-based Nintendo said Tuesday in a webcast at the start of the industry’s annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The company and Ubisoft Entertainment SA will introduce a new Super Mario game only for Switch on Aug 29. Other titles include Switch versions of popular games such as Metroid 4 and Rocket League. Many of the new products will be multiplayer.
“This changes the game,” Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of North America, said in a video at the start of the presentation. “Travel the world, play anywhere with anyone.”
Nintendo, a pioneer in the videogame industry, had struggled in recent years as new devices disappointed and demand shifted toward edgier, shooter games that didn’t fit the company’s family friendly image. A turnaround began after the Pokémon Go mobile game created a global sensation last year and the company released its latest device, the Switch, in March.
The Switch’s unique design, which unifies home and mobile gaming, has made it an early hit with gamers, becoming Nintendo’s fastest-selling console in North America. The positive reaction since the machine’s debut on March 3 has sent Nintendo shares up more than 40%, climbing to the highest level since January 2009. The US listed ADRs were up 1.7% at 1.03pm in New York.
Nintendo had said it expects to sell 12.74 million Switch units by March, almost the same amount its predecessor, the Wii U, has sold during its lifetime. That strong early demand has made investors more confident in comparing the Switch to 2006’s Wii, which sold 101 million units to become the company’s most-successful home console.
Achieving the sales targets will depend on the quality of titles Nintendo releases through the rest of the year and during its first holiday season. Those will include the new Mario Odyssey game, which will be released on Oct 27. Dates for the new Pokémon and Metroid games weren’t given, indicating a schedule for 2018 or later.
Nintendo’s deep roster of games on display June 13 was in contrast to last year, when its E3 lineup was dominated by just one title: Zelda. Now the momentum is in the company’s favour, according to Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.