And, in a recent interview with Bloomberg (via Kotaku), Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara admitted that his first impression was not very positive.
I told Nintendo that Switch wouldnt be a success before it went on sale, because I thought that in the age of the smartphone, no one would carry out a game console. Its obvious I was wrong.
It's easy to see where he came from, as many other journalists and gamers drew the same conclusion after it was first revealed to the public in 2016. It's not enough that the Switch was being sold as a portable console, putting it at odds with Smartphones, but it was also apparently in direct competition with the 3DS, Nintendo's other flagship mobile device. But detractors were proven wrong, and Tsunekazu Ishihara says the experience has been educational.
...the key to a successful game is quite simple: software with absolute quality leads sales of hardware. Playing style can be flexible if the software is attractive enough. Currently, its popular among the early adopters, but there needs to be one more step to attract a wider audience. I see more potential in Switch, but one shouldnt overestimate its potential.
Would the Switch still be the mega-hit it is today if Nintendo hadn't made it the best place to get Breath of the Wild? Who can say? All we know for sure is that in light of its success, the Pokemon Company would indeed be making a new, and deeper Pokemon game for the system sometime in the coming years. But in the meantime, Nintendo has plenty of hype for the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey to keep it afloat.
Thank goodness for wrong predictions, huh?