Fils-Aime gives me such a strong pitch he could be nominated for the Cy Young. Switch is doing great. People are hyped for the new Pokémon and Smash. Super Mario Party is “doing quite well” in the Americas, the portion of Nintendo sales he oversees, and he relates that he visited his daughter in college and played the game with her and her friends for hours. Did they drink? I interject. “Without alcohol,” he says. “It was early afternoon.” He’s proud of everything, of the upcoming games and of the recent Switch games.
When the president of Nintendo of America is selling, he’s selling everything, and boy does he have a lot to sell. There isn’t just a new Pokémon game out, there’s a new bundle with a Pokéball controller, a copy with the game and the ball on its own. Supply can always be an issue, he acknowledges, but he thinks they’ve planned well for it. However, he tells me, a hardware bundle for Smash Bros Ultimate, Nintendo’s biggest 2018 game, is “effectively sold out.”
I float that the Switch’s November Pokémon games, Let’s Go Pikachu / Let’s Go Eevee, aren’t brand-new, nor is Smash Ultimate..
“Technically those games are building off older games,” I say. “Smash is based on Smash Wii U…with lots of stuff added to it.”
“Smash Bros. is a brand-new Smash game. The broad roster of playable characters, new playable characters, that is a brand-new game. [The franchise director] Mr. Sakurai will continue to tweak the different characters until launch and even past launch. Brand new experience. We showed what the single-player experience looks like. That one is not anything from past systems. It is something brand new for that Smash players.”
Fils-Aime may sell an overly optimistic view of the Nintendo Siwtch’s second year, as the company pushes the Switch and carries the 3DS and 2DS along. That’s his job. He doesn’t have a bad array of games to sell, but there’s no doubt the boasts will come easier next year and the targets more easily achievable, when there’s a brand-new, all-original Pokémon to sell and an Animal Crossing and maybe some other mega-games, too. I’ll just have to find something different to disagree with him about.