Nin­tendo en­joys a ban­ner year

From Poké­mon Go to Switch, Nin­tendo has been on a roll

StarMetro Toronto - - MOVIES - Aaron Chatha Metro | Cal­gary

To say Nin­tendo’s on a roll right now is some­thing of an un­der­state­ment.

Both the new Nin­tendo Switch and the older Nin­tendo 3DS are fly­ing off shelves, and the Switch it­self launched with one of the high­est-rated games of all time (The Le­gend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild).

Dur­ing the big buzz of E3 2017, Nin­tendo of Amer­ica pres­i­dent Reg­gie Fils-Aimé told us Nin­tendo’s roll started well be­fore the Switch launched.

Fils-Aimé felt Nin­tendo’s lat­est streak re­ally started with Poké­mon Go last sum­mer.

“It up­ended how peo­ple thought about aug­mented re­al­ity and vir­tual re­al­ity,” he said. “I think there’s a lot more ex­cite­ment around AR than VR, and I think that’s due to the type of — dare I say — suc­cess that we en­joyed with Poké­mon Go.”

The good times con­tin­ued with sales of the 3DS, a six-yearold con­sole that be­came a rare find dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. Fils-Aimé claimed the con­sole ac­tu­ally be­came Nin­tendo’s only plat­form of 2016 which grew in unit ship­ments — and the com­pany has been work­ing to keep up.

De­spite the por­ta­ble na­ture of the Nin­tendo Switch, Fils-Aimé has promised the 3DS won’t be dis­ap­pear­ing.

In fact, one of the big­gest an­nounce­ments at this year’s E3 show was the re­turn of the famed Metroid se­ries, with Metroid: Sa­mus Re­turns on the 3DS and Metroid Prime 4 on the Switch.

“Ob­vi­ously, Metroid is a fran­chise we think deeply about,” Fils-Aimé smiled. “We wanted to make it clear that we’re com­mit­ted to the fran­chise, we’re in­vested in the fran­chise and we want to make sure fans can en­joy both as­pects of the fran­chise.”

He’s re­fer­ring to the fran­chise’s re­turn to its 2D roots in Sa­mus Re­turns, while Prime 4 will ap­pease fans of the se­ries’ first-per­son it­er­a­tions.

This is how Fils-Aimé plans to con­tinue Nin­tendo’s great year. One of the big­gest crit­i­cisms of the Wii U was its lack of third­party sup­port and how far apart Nin­tendo’s own re­leases are.

With the Switch, Nin­tendo is push­ing its part­ner­ships with EA and Ubisoft hard, while de­liv­er­ing a Zelda ti­tle and the up­com­ing Su­per Mario Odyssey in the same year.

It’s the cul­mi­na­tion of more than a decade of great mo­ments for Fils-Aimé.

“Whether it was at my first E3, ut­ter­ing that now in­fa­mous line about kick­ing ass and tak­ing names, or more re­cently hon­our­ing Mr. Iwata and hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity at two dif­fer­ent events to hon­our and share my deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the time I spent work­ing with him,” he re­flected. “It’s been a great ca­reer.”

I think there’s a lot more ex­cite­ment around AR than VR. Reg­gie Fils-Aimé

AARon ChAthA/MetRo

Reg­gie Fils-Aimé, pres­i­dent of Nin­tendo of Amer­ica, shares his plans for the com­pany’s fu­ture with Metro.

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