Just in time for my birthday, Nintendo announced the launch date, launch titles, and pricing for its latest console, the Switch. As has become typical of critics and gamers themselves, the perceived reaction has been decidedly mixed. Negativity sells. However, the real story is what the silent majority is feeling.
In order to get insights into what gamers are feeling without the filter of games blogger narcissism, an analysis was made of recent polls GameFAQs conducted on the Nintendo Switch. As one of the top websites in the world, with hundreds of thousands of daily visitors, it’s safe to say that GameFAQs polls provide reliable data, although interpretation is another bugbear entirely. The ones of interest to us are the following:
- Now that we’ve all seen the presentation, how do you feel about the Nintendo Switch?
- Have you pre-ordered a Switch?
The day after the presentation, gamers were more or less divided into three groups: the impressed, the cautiously optimistic, and the suspicious. The first category can be divided almost evenly between the preorder crowd and those who thought they’d buy it in March, totaling about 34%. The cautiously optimistic, those who wanted to do a hands-on test before committing to buying, came in at 30%. The suspicious crowd, who either were “disappointed” and expect Nintendo to work to sell it to them, or simply would never buy it, came in at 36%. In other words, the majority of gamers were enthusiastic or intrigued.
Two days after the presentation, the picture was a bit different. Preorders were approximately equal to the data from January 13 (15%), 4% were disappointed they could not find someone to accept their preorder, 21% expected to buy it off the shelf when they saw them, another 15% expected to get it before the latest Super Mario game was released, while a whopping 45% suddenly asserted they had no interest in buying the console. This can be attributed to two factors: first, the poll lacked an option similar to the “disappointed” crowd. However, that does not account for that overnight 10% jump.
The second factor that caused such a shift is based around observation. Namely, that by the time people voted in the second poll, they would have been bombarded by the talking heads at various gaming publications and their published opinion pieces. Any further commentary here would be speculation, and thus unsupported by data or observation.
Based off the data so far, it would be safe to say that gamers are excited by the Nintendo Switch, and are looking forward to it. Once March 3 comes around, we’ll be able to compare the post-announcement excitement with actual sales numbers to form some conclusions.