The #Nintendo Switch is taking social media by storm, pretty much everyone is going nuts. The newly revealed console is the most unique, and will have huge amounts of 3rd party support from companies like Ubisoft, EA, Bethesda, FromSoftware, and more.
The Switch will also feature a crazy new controller system that will allow users to 'switch' between a typical console controller, a controller-with-screen, and two mini split controllers. If you missed the hubbub, check out our full breakdown of the Nintendo Switch.
But there's something more. Nintendo seems to be firmly committing to a much wider demographic than other consoles. Nintendo has always been quirkier and different than the other Big Two console companies, but the reveal of the Switch is especially striking. And it's a great thing for people who don't identify as gamers.
The 20s and 30s Millenial Demographic
In the whole reveal, we don't see a single kid. What we see in the Switch reveal trailer is a diverse cross section of young people in their 20s and 30s using the Switch. They have homes or apartments, they own dogs, they travel frequently, they own cars, they can afford to go to big #eSports events.
They're also a generation that is less likely to buy TVs, so the built-in screen could have a large appeal - even if we do see many very nice TVs in the reveal. You don't have to buy a TV just to use this thing, you can get it and immediately get to playing.
Importantly, the Switch's target demographic is likely to have grown up with a Nintendo #3DS. The original DS launched in 2005 in the US, that means kids who got a DS as teenagers are now the exact people running around in the reveal trailer.
The targeted demographic is young people more interested in the social aspect of gaming, not hardcore gamers obsessed with the tech or visuals.
While the Nintendo Switch has been previously promised to be competitive with the #PS4 and #XboxOne, we can make the safe bet that the Switch hardware isn't as strong as the other major consoles, especially not something like the PS4 Scorpio. The Switch is just too small and in-console space is a real issue, there's only so much high-tech graphics tech that can be stuffed into a small package.
But that seems to be ok. Because the target demographic doesn't mind those things too much.
People Who Play Games But Shy Away From Gamers
The concept of the 'gamer' has had a bad rap in the past few years, and maybe there is merit to the pronouncements that "'Gamers' Are Dead" after all. The hardcore gamers have the PS4 and Xbox One, but where does that leave more casual and more mobile gamers who only have an aging 3DS?
If you go back and rewatch the PS4 and Xbox One reveals, I think you'll notice a stark contrast to the Switch reveal.
The other two console reveals are very focused on the sorts of things that traditional 'hardcore gamers' are interested, while the Switch veers in a very different direction.
The Xbox One reveal: We get close ups and slow pans over the hardware while phrases like "ultimate precision," "ultimate realism," "cloud powered," and "cinematic gameplay" flash on the screen before a slew of features like movies, music, sports are listed off. The focus is the physical hardware, as an object of power that sits in your living room.
The PS4 reveal: The entire video shows off graphics and practical particle effect. We are pretty much exclusively showed off what games will look like on the system in full screen, without even a real look at what the system itself will look like. The focus is the visuals, a demonstration of the graphical power the PS4 offers.
The Switch reveal: Nintendo's reveal showed us, instead, how the console/handheld will exist in our lives. We get to see how we will interact with it on our couches, on planes, on the go, with friends, and the emphasis is on ease of use and transport. The focus is the flexibility of the console, and all the ways it can fill in the downtime gaps of your daily life or the ways you can bond with friends in person, together.
- The focus was not hardware specs
- The focus was not game image quality
- There was no slow panning on the hardware itself
- There was no direct screen feed of gameplay
- Because the Switch is not marketed towards hardcore gamers who would care about those things
The Switch is intentionally veering away from the 'hardcore' audience, and even the 'gamer' audience – the Switch seems made for people who play video games but would never call themselves a gamer.
Nintendo is Smart to Find a Way to Offer Games to a Different Audience
There are already PCs and two consoles for the hardcore gamer demographic. Why would Nintendo bother creating a direct competitor to the PS4 and Xbox One?
After all, did you really expect NINTENDO to create the next hardcore gamer-focused PS4-killer living room console? I doubt it.
More Now Loading Coverage of the Switch:
- Screenshots of The Nintendo Switch Playing Skyrim, This Is Not A Drill
- Is A Mario Kart 9 Announcement Hidden In The Nintendo Switch Trailer?
- Twitter Reacts To The Nintendo Switch Announcement
How do you feel about the Switch?