Interest in Switch high, but it's still too expensive, says UK public

Katharine  Byrne
Riccardo Imbriano

Over half the UK population was aware of the Nintendo Switch prior to its launch on March 3rd, but only just under a third of that figure are actually interested in buying the console in the next three months, a new report from Harris Interactive has found.

Unsurprisingly, awareness of the machine was highest among console gamers, at 73 per cent, but those who play games on mobile and handheld devices also scored highly, with 63 per cent of those polled saying that they knew about the device prior to launch. 

However, only 32 per cent of those who were aware of the console said they were interested in purchasing the console in the next three months, with 62 per cent responding they would be unlikely to buy it, or wouldn’t consider buying it at all. Just six per cent of those polled had either already bought the console or pre-ordered it. 

Price is the biggest barrier to buying the console, with 40 per cent saying they can’t afford it right now. 32 per cent also said they were already happy with another console. 25 per cent said they weren’t into gaming enough to justify the cost of the console, while 20 per cent said they were waiting for the price to fall. 

However, it’s clear the nation still wants more from the Nintendo Switch, with backwards compatibility being the highest demand in the poll. 42 per cent also said they don’t think the Switch is as good as other consoles, so the device needs to live up to expectations first before it can count on success. 

“It’s encouraging for Nintendo to see high awareness levels and propensity to buy the console, in a market where mobile gaming continues to increase in popularity,” Harris Interactive research manager for media and entertainment Riccardo Imbriano told MCV.

“However, cost and quality are the key barriers for Nintendo to overcome, as some gamers have said they can’t afford the Switch or are already happy with another console. It will be a challenge for Nintendo to compete for both living room space and spending, especially when both PlayStation and Xbox are aiming to release smaller, cheaper, or more powerful devices aimed at giving core gamers an enhanced gaming experience.”

He continued: “Nintendo’s success depends on its ability to appeal to gamers in the same way the Wii did by displaying innovative and fun ways to play the games and franchises they love on a new console. The Wii’s strength grew from its appeal to playing with family and friends, and Nintendo must build on the same experiences to drive adoption in homes.

"To persuade gamers, Nintendo must prove the Switch is as enjoyable to use as the Wii, release quality games at the correct times, and take advantage of the console’s ability to support play on the move like the 3DS, which will appeal to a wide range of gamers.”

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Tags: Nintendo Switch

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