E3 2017: Metro gets an inside look at one of Nintendo's best years
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé says Nintendo’s roll started well before the Switch launched— the buzz started building with Pokémon Go last summer.
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To say Nintendo’s on a roll right now is something of an understatement.
Both the new Nintendo Switch and the older Nintendo 3DS are flying off shelves, and the Switch itself launched with one of the highest-rated games of all time (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild).
During the big buzz of E3 2017, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé told us Nintendo’s roll started well before the Switch launched.
Fils-Aimé felt Nintendo’s latest streak really started with Pokémon Go last summer.
“It upended how people thought about augmented reality and virtual reality,” he said. “I think there’s a lot more excitement around AR than VR, and I think that’s due to the type of — dare I say — success that we enjoyed with Pokémon Go.”
The good times continued with sales of the 3DS, a six-year-old console that became a rare find during the holiday season. Fils-Aimé claimed the console actually became Nintendo's only platform of 2016 which grew in unit shipments — and the company has been working to keep up.
Despite the portable nature of the Nintendo Switch, Fils-Aimé has promised the 3DS won't be disappearing.
In fact, one of the biggest announcements at this year’s E3 show was the return of the famed Metroid series, with Metroid: Samus Returns on the 3DS and Metroid Prime 4 on the Switch.
“Obviously, Metroid is a franchise we think deeply about,” Fils-Aimé smiled. “We wanted to make it clear that we’re committed to the franchise, we’re invested in the franchise and we want to make sure fans can enjoy both aspects of the franchise.”
He’s referring to the franchise's return to its 2D roots in Samus Returns, while Prime 4 will appease fans of the series' first-person iterations.
This is how Fils-Aimé plans to continue Nintendo’s great year. One of the biggest criticisms of the Wii U was its lack of third-party support and how far apart Nintendo’s own releases are.
With the Switch, Nintendo is pushing its partnerships with EA and Ubisoft hard, while delivering a Zelda title and the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey in the same year.
It’s the culmination of more than a decade of great moments for Fils-Aimé.
“Whether it was at my first E3, uttering that now infamous line about kicking ass and taking names, or more recently honouring Mr. Iwata and having the opportunity at two different events to honour and share my deep appreciation for the time I spent working with him,” he reflected.
“It’s been a great career.”
Metro’s Aaron Chatha is reporting from E3 in California this week, one of the biggest conferences for the video game industry.