Reggie Talks Up Nintendo Switch Virtual Console and Target Audience

In an interview with TIME, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Amie elaborated on the Nintendo Switch’s virtual console, and who exactly Nintendo is targeting with their hybrid system.

When asked about who Nintendo made the Switch for, Reggie said the following:

Just like every system Nintendo creates, we believe in having a very wide footprint, and we are experienced enough in this industry to know that the footprint changes over time. We believe that by [next holiday season], with the launch of Super Mario Odyssey, that the footprint for Nintendo Switch will be very broad. Kids, young adults, parents, gamers will occupy that footprint. But what’s going to happen is that, that space is going to be filled in at each point in time with the subsequent launches.

So for example, if you look at the first 45 days, you’ve got Zelda, 1-2 Switch, Mario Kart 8. So the active gamer. And candidly, the more the active gamer sees, the more excited they’re going to be for that game. […]1-2 Switch is a party in a box. And so that is going to be an all family type of experience that will then broaden the footprint. And then Mario Kart 8 is going to expand it even further. And so that’s what I see happening.

A game like Arms will have a diverse footprint. A game like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be much more narrow. And so, I think it’s the best way I could describe how the consumer base for Switch is going to evolve over time. And certainly by the end of our first full year, it’ll be kids, young adults, parents and gamers occupying that footprint.

Later on, when asked about his stance on the Wii U’s perceived failure, Reggie also touched upon fan requests for a GameCube virtual console, saying:

And it’s interesting, you know, as consumers think back, the fondness and the memories shift. I joined the company as GameCube was ending its life. And as we look at the install base of the platform, certainly it’s not one of our higher install base platforms. And yet it seems the talk now is all about how consumers are hoping that there’s a GameCube virtual console, which I just find interesting.

While a GameCube virtual console has been rumored for the Switch, this is the first statement from Nintendo about it in any way, shape or form. Let’s hope the rumors are true, and that Reggie is teasing some classics like Super Mario Sunshine and Super Smash Bros. Melee coming to the hybrid console.

Matthew Sigler


Currently interning at Niche Gamer. I've been playing video games since I was three years old.

  1. TheOnceAndFutureKing
    January 17, 2017 at 1:08 am

    Anything that is currently available on the Wii and Wii U’s VC should be on the Switch’s VC day one, the way they painstakingly re upload everything one at a time is bs.

  2. Boz
    January 17, 2017 at 1:08 am

    “I find it interesting that people want to give us money, but you know what fuck those people!”

  3. orbo
    January 17, 2017 at 1:29 am

    The part about cube games and the VC basically translate to: “Nobody cared about the gamecube and we don’t see much money in doing this, we don’t know why people keep asking for it”.
    It’s hard to disagree with that.
    They way they put games on the VC through a drip feed however is asinine.

  4. Dom The Elegy
    Dom The Elegy
    January 17, 2017 at 4:25 am

    The reason the GCN’s installbase was so low was because it had next to no games while the PS2 had more games than you could swing a dead cat at. Most people only go for one console per generation so this point is beyond moot. It doesn’t take away from the fact that games like Melee, Eternal Darkness, and Skies of Arcadia Legends were amazing and deserve a port to a broader audience. But I know Nintendo seems to be interested solely in remakes of games of which you can already play the original on the console you have like Twilight Princess which is the least necessary remake in a sea of them.

  5. 3rdStrike_Ebi
    January 17, 2017 at 5:33 am

    I can’t say I agree with porting/remastering Melee onto the Switch, because there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to bring the GameCube controller over to the new console. That controller is a historical staple in the Smash Bros. community, and for a bloody good reason. If there’s no support for that controller, there will be a massive decline in interest playing it.

    There’s also all the tech that helped Melee evolve its metagame to where it’s currently at. Would they patch out wavedashing? Nerf Fox, Marth, etc.? There’s no guarantee they’ll leave it alone, what with Sakurai having such a hate boner for his most popular creation.

  6. scemar
    January 17, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I wish nintendo would wake up of that dream they have been stuck on for so long and realize who it is that actually buys and plays and cares about the things they make

    they’d waste much less energy and effort into dead ends and improve the things that matter if they did

  7. scemar
    January 17, 2017 at 6:13 am

    good thing melee runs better on dolphin than it ever did on the GC at this point

    dolphin optimization is just that good

  8. scemar
    January 17, 2017 at 6:13 am

    it lacked GTA too

  9. Gillman
    January 17, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Yeah, so…. Am I going to have to pay for Mega Man X and Super Metroid again or not? You have a “paid service” so that also implies that they aren’t planning to support the users and not just ignore us, as in previous generations.

  10. Nagato
    January 17, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Well, even less people cared about the Wii U, but that isn’t preventing them from more or less wholesale porting its library either.

  11. totenglocke
    January 17, 2017 at 6:54 am

    That’s one way of interpreting it. It could also just be “I find it amusing that so many people are demanding Gamecube games on virtual console when not nearly as many people bought Gamecubes.”

  12. Mr0303
    January 17, 2017 at 7:04 am

    What will most likely happen is that they’ll remaster some of the GC’s greatest hits. I doubt it would be profitable to include it in the VC, or at least this is how I’m reading his statement.

  13. totenglocke
    January 17, 2017 at 7:09 am

    The Switch dock has at least three USB ports, two of which are side-by-side on the side of the dock. There’s no reason that they can’t ensure that the software will recognize the Wii U Gamecube adapter.

  14. totenglocke
    January 17, 2017 at 7:10 am

    Honestly, I’d prefer HD remasters over virtual console games.

  15. OldPalpy
    January 17, 2017 at 7:19 am

    It’s funny to see Reggie actually admit this because the diehards refuse to admit that the GCN was a failure that prompted the Wii as a GCN 2 would have put them in a even more vulnerable state.

  16. 3rdStrike_Ebi
    January 17, 2017 at 7:20 am

    Sure, but again, the anti-Melee stance Nintendo has had for years still worries me.

  17. OldPalpy
    January 17, 2017 at 7:44 am

    I think they view VC as competition for their new games rather than a license to print money that’s the only way to explain it. Like they see them as promo material rather than putting them out at a regular pace without fanfare, look at how they handled Pokemon Red/Blue, looking into similar things like that I see they out Star Fox 64 on Wii U VC a month or so before Zero which is pretty fucking blatant.

  18. Malcolm_Ecks
    January 17, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Me too. VC games half the time aren’t good ports.

  19. Malcolm_Ecks
    January 17, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Its Nintendo, you’ll pay again and enjoy it.

  20. SiliconNooB
    January 17, 2017 at 7:56 am

    GameCube was almost twice as popular as Wii U.

  21. Donwel
    January 17, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Well we know how much Nintendo likes to beat that dead horse.

  22. Feniks
    January 17, 2017 at 8:27 am


  23. Feniks
    January 17, 2017 at 8:34 am

    No DVD and making the GameCube look like a purple toy didn’t help either.

    Picture yourself as an edgy 15 year old in a game store looking at the PS2 and GC side by side.

    This was in in a time when gaming was finally growing up becoming less about kids and more about teens and young adults. I still don’t know what the hell Nintendo was thinking.

  24. Dom The Elegy
    Dom The Elegy
    January 17, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Well I was about 15 when both consoles came out; I eventually had both but I forgot which one I had first. Goes without saying that I spent more time with the PS2 tho because it had /way/ more games. As much as I love Wind Waker and Eternal Darkness, they alone couldn’t keep a whole system afloat for 5 years.
    The PS2 was basically the next SNES, at least in terms of its games library, no contender could hope to touch it. Sadly we still haven’t had a follow up to that.

  25. British_Otaku
    January 17, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I expect Nintendo to be pretty darn lazy for a Melee port/remaster, we can probably expect it to at worst be a single version of Melee (it has at least 4 versions IIRC) so that local multiplayer or online work.

    They wouldn’t waste the resources to piss people off, but then we’ve seen how they localise games at times. Who knows…

  26. British_Otaku
    January 17, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I follow that logic, but is there a good reason why they should hold that pace for games which aren’t getting any sequels, successors or Smash Bros appearances?

    (Not to mention how some regions wait ages for games which are on other regions or potentially the 3DS/Wii VC)

    They can achieve the same effect with a game which is previously released by simply having a temporary price drop on the eShop.

  27. bdp
    January 17, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Nintendo always wanting to play business tycoon on hard mode.

  28. MusouTensei
    January 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    His usage of “footprint” kinda annoys me.

  29. ProfessorFluffy
    January 17, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    “Just like every system Nintendo creates, we believe in having a very wide footprint…”
    I’m betting Reggie buys his shoes in the child’s section.

    “So for example, if you look at the first 45 days, you’ve got Zelda, 1-2 Switch, Mario Kart 8.”
    If he’s talking about the system as a whole and not just Nintendo’s own developed games that sounds like a troubling launch line-up.

    Sadly it sounds like his footprint analogy is saying “We’re going to release our games that a wide range of people will like” rather than release a diverse catalog of games that everyone can find something. This leads me to not be hopeful for more mature titles to appear on the system, but with how they handled them on the WiiU its probably for the best.

    I would imagine they will more likely make HD remasters of their old games like they did with Wind Waker rather than do a virtual console. They would probably make more profit for the effort it takes to remaster a game and sell it as a 60$ rather than emulate it on a virtual console and sell it for 10-20$.

  30. scemar
    January 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    so little people cared about the gamecube that it has now the best emulator ever made

    who made it, who plays it? we’ll never know, it’s a mystery

  31. larverto365
    January 17, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Hopefully they put Gamecube VC on here, as well as Path of Radiance because holy damn that game is expensive

  32. Heresy Hammer
    Heresy Hammer
    January 17, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    >Paying for roms

  33. Jack Thompson
    Jack Thompson
    January 17, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    >kids, young adults, parents and gamers
    >The last part is not redundant
    Reggie admits it, gamers don’t need to be your audience. Nintendo’s going to be making games for people who don’t play games. Just like the rest of the industry.

  34. Zombie_Barioth
    January 17, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    No, what your doing is twisting words.

    Nintendo has always talked about a ‘core’ audience being separate from mainstream/casual audiences. What he’s saying is some games appeal to more than one group, while others don’t.

    This isn’t anything new. The industry has always done that, or do you think DDR was aimed at the same audience as Resident Evil?

    Pacman was literally designed to be inclusive, hence the food theme.

  35. Zombie_Barioth
    January 17, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Actually, it sounds like its the latter, not the former.

    He’s basically saying that some games have a wider appeal than others, and they want to cover as many bases as possible, but they can’t do it all at once.

    So they’ll focus on the games with broader appeal first, then work their way towards more discerning tastes.

    It doesn’t sound like he’s talking about the system as a whole though, just their own games. They might not want to speak for other companies, especially when they haven’t announced anything yet.

  36. InkViper
    January 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    That would be stale pizza crust! LOL…

  37. OldPalpy
    January 17, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Probably not, it’s possible they don’t view their older games to the same degree we do look at how if you want Yoshi Island on VC your only option is the greatly comprised GBA port that would be akin to ID only putting out ports of Doom at are based off the 32X version.

  38. Blake Good
    Blake Good
    January 17, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    How about they take the XBLA approach like M$ does with the Xbox One and add 5-10 VC games a week, that would be better than the slow trickle that we saw on the 3DS and Wii U.

  39. Personaknight
    January 17, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Reggie comments about the game cube, of course people want those games available for download. All games should be available for download when emulators are a thing because there will always be niche stuff the slips through the cracks that people should experience and should receive recognition. Especially when in the situation when a game gets on least selling console of that gen, bad launch, console/gerne biase, or has huge controversy against it will still have something specific about it that clicked with someone enough to publish it and someone else to recognize it.

    I’ll start supporting the digital store when I can get those games to gift them digitally and not have to buy scarcity prices on amazon and cons to find this stuff simply out of convenient way to support games I enjoy.

    Of course that’s not a logical corporate approach so fuck me.

  40. Jack Thompson
    Jack Thompson
    January 17, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Iz was joke. The tell was supposed to be “gamers don’t need to be your audience”, because iz parody of media. Be calm my friend.

  41. Zombie_Barioth
    January 18, 2017 at 12:23 am

    Oh, well looks like then the jokes on me then. I couldn’t tell if you were being sarcastic or not.:P

  42. Jack Thompson
    Jack Thompson
    January 18, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Well the irony required some context. Feel free to think I was “merely pretending to be retarded” though.

  43. Zombie_Barioth
    January 18, 2017 at 2:34 am

    I’m sure it would, beyond the quote, it isn’t something that translates well through text after all.

    It doesn’t help that there are people who legit think that way either, and is it not a sentiment I would only expect from the media.

    Heck, it wouldn’t exactly be out of place here.

  44. NotshaneTM
    January 18, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Well, from what I have heard thus far:

    – Online Multiplayer (Friends Only)
    – NES and SNES

    If both of these are true and they launch with Kirby Super Star, the Switch will be one of the funnest consoles I ever own. It’s hard enough to find people to play certain retro games with as is, so being able to friend someone, ask if they have the same game and then just play it with them in the comfort of my own home (or even go to their house with my own Switch) sounds like a damn good time.

    If their Virtual Console is fruitful and the Switch tries its best to port over everything from the old eShop and maybe even most of the Wii Shop Channel (Arcade and Neo Geo titles, for instance), then the Switch will be a very brutal force to be reckoned with.

  45. NotshaneTM
    January 18, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Fully agreeable for Nintendo’s own library, but they can’t just put third-party games on there willy-nilly. They have to ask permission for those from Konami, Square Enix and so forth.

  46. epobirs
    January 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    There are a handful of Nintendo published GameCube titles that merit revival but most of them would be better served as remakes. Super Mario Sunshine, for example, has been shown in the Dolphin emulator to be a good candidate for an HD remake. On the tird party side, almost all of it that is worthy of reviving has been across multiple platforms.

  47. NotshaneTM
    January 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Drip feed…I see somebody read that Forbes article.

    But, yeah, they have put everything on there but GameCube and Virtual Boy. I CAN CERTAINLY AGREE THE LATTER OF THOSE TWO IS UNPOPULAR, but even I want to play Teleroboxer on a modern Nintendo console someday. Just give it a monochrome look and remove the 3D effect or something.

  48. NotshaneTM
    January 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    One thing at a time. Let’s see if they will even give us GameCube Virtual Console at all. Honestly, people shooting their expectations up like this are just begging for them to be shot down.