“We look at every launch uniquely as to what’s the right thing to do for that launch,” Fils-Aime told GameSpot in an interview today. “And I’ve been involved in launches dating back to the Nintendo DS. Each one is a little different. For this launch, what we found is that with the range of software that’s coming–not only available day one but through April and into the summer, and including the holiday timeframe with Super Mario Odyssey–that we wanted to enable the consumer to buy the software they want, to look to get to the most approachable price point we could get to. That led us to a $299 price point, and let the consumer decide what games they want to buy.”
Fils-Aime explained that Nintendo started out by identifying the price they want to be at–$300 in the United States–and worked to reach it. There are certain things that simply couldn’t be left out of the package, like the Joy-Cons and various cables.
“The first decision that we make is, where do we want to be in terms of the hardware price point that’s going to be approachable and hit the marketplace we want? And from a US price point, we wanted to be at $299,” he said. “Certainly, lower is always better, but at a $349 or $399 price point, we just didn’t feel that was the right place to be. So we start there. And then it’s all about, what’s going to be included? Obviously the inclusion of the two Joy-Con, critically important; all the right cables, the dock, critically important. We also have to do this from a financial perspective as well. Once we got to that bundle, it really needed to be at $299 without a piece of software.”
When asked specifically about 1, 2, Switch and how it seems like the ideal evolution of the Wii Sports-style bundled game, Fils-Aime acknowledged the similarities between the two. However, he disputed this to some degree, arguing 1, 2, Switch is a more comprehensive game.
“You make the comment about Wii Sports, and certainly, the analogy that it’s a great utilization of the Joy-Con and shows off the capabilities of the system, that is absolutely true,” Fils-Aime said. “I would say, though, that 1, 2, Switch has many more experiences–it’s a wider pallet of experiences, potentially more akin to Wii Play than to Wii Sports. And, again, from that standpoint, Wii Play was a standalone piece of software both with a controller at the time and without, so that’s probably the better analogy.”
Switch launches on March 3 with identically priced two versions: one with gray Joy-Cons, and one with neon-colored Joy-Cons. At this point, the launch lineup appears to be somewhat sparse, although The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be there on day one. You can see all of the launch games we know about so far here, and check out our full list of confirmed Switch games.