In the early going, the Nintendo Switch is the fastest selling game console in Nintendo's history. It racked up more sales during its first two days of availability than even the crazy-popular Wii did when it launched, and rocketed to over 900,000 units sold in North America along during its first month on the market. But what about the console's long-term outlook? One of the big criticisms at the moment is the lack of third-party support. Stardock CEO Brad Wardell does not thing that is a problem.
The CEO of the development studio responsible for Ashes of the Singularity and the Galactic Civilizations series (among other titles) believes that Nintendo's own gaming franchises and IP are enough to determine if the Switch will be successful or not, regardless of third-party participation.
"Nintendo doesn't arguably need third party," Wardell stated in an interview with GamingBolt. "You think about the Mario games, Zelda—I mean, there's plenty there. I mean, if it was a $1,000 game system, maybe I'd care. But as it stands now, there is plenty to play with on the Switch, that's just fine."
We have a slightly different opinion on the matter and we'll share our thoughts soon as part of our full evaluation of the Switch. But to his point, Nintendo will need to lean heavily on its own familiar characters to continue driving Switch console sales. Wardell confirmed that Stardock does not have plans to support Nintendo's hybrid game system, citing the lack of raw horsepower underneath the hood.
"It's too different than any of the others, and there isn't a lot of...I haven't seen a lot of third-party success stories on the more recent Nintendo hardware. Nintendo is a great market for Nintendo, but I haven't seen a lot of huge hits made by non-Nintendo studios," Wardell added.
We disagree with that assessment as well. Clearly the early numbers indicate that Nintendo's gamble on a hybrid design is paying off. There is opportunity there for third-party developers to swoop in and claim a piece of the pie that Nintendo has cooked up.
One thing we do agree with Wardell about is the strength of Nintendo's IP. According to data from NPD Group, Nintendo has sold more copies of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Switch than it has actual Switch consoles, meaning the attach rate is higher than 100 percent. And with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe right around the corner, demand for the Switch is not likely to wane in the near future.