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Nintendo starts moving to a Wii-like “non-gamer” strategy for the Switch

Enlarge / I haven’t played any video games recently, but this “Switch” appeals to me somehow…

After a launch year “aimed at Nintendo fans and avid game players,” Nintendo is planning to target less-traditional game players in the Switch’s second fiscal year. That’s according to outgoing Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima, who spoke about widening the system’s appeal in a recent investor Q&A.

“In this second year, the initiatives we are planning come from our recognition that we also have to challenge ourselves to delivering Nintendo Switch into the hands of consumers who have never played a Nintendo platform before, and to those [who] have played before, but not recently,” Kimishima said. Those “initiatives” include a software lineup “meant to attract people including those who have not been playing video games recently,” he continued.

If that kind of phrasing sounds familiar, it’s because Nintendo used similar language in describing the “Blue Ocean” strategy behind the Wii over a decade ago. The strategy that brought us games like Wii Sports and Wii Fit was one “which aimed to bring in lapsed gamers and to capture non-gamers,” according to previous Nintendo Q&As. It was reflected in everything from the Wii’s marketing and software to its reduced price point and simplified controller.