It has long been said that being an educated consumer goes hand in hand with financial well being; unfortunately for Nintendo, it appears as though their upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch, has a problem with connecting with your average person. In a study that was taken just one week after Nintendo officially unveiled the features of the Switch, over 69% of participants stated that they were either familiar with or planned on purchasing the Nintendo Switch. While this sounds great for Nintendo at first, the fine print is where things get a little more worrying for the company.
Of the 4,200 participants who expressed at least some degree of familiarity with Nintendo and the Switch, roughly 75% of them were self-described “soccer-moms” and grandparents—in other words, parental figures. Given that, as we all know, “soccer moms” hold most of the purchasing or other power in your average household, this, once again, sounds fantastic for Nintendo. After all, brand recognition is a powerful tool, especially for gaming companies. However, when asked to what degree were they familiar with the Switch, a vast majority of the people in the parental figures demographic stated that they already purchased a Nintendo Switch within the last decade.
When asked to elaborate, most respondents said things like “One of the controllers for that thing slipped out of Jimmy’s hands and almost broke the TV”, “Timmy plays it online with his friends. I think their favorite game on it is Halo or something”, and “Oh Bobby used to play it all the time, it has that game where Zelda uses his sword to save the Princess from a giant turtle mushroom.” Furthermore, it appears as though many of the people in the parental figures demographic are under the impression that they have already purchased multiple Nintendo Switches in the past, with a large number of them stating that they had to buy a new one because they dropped the last one too much, or because they had multiple people in their house who wanted to play on the same screen, or because children have a natural ability to spawn a crusty layer of impenetrable Cheeto dust all over the thumbsticks.
Industry experts are perplexed at the results, but have dismissed the possibility that a non-traditional gaming audience has simply gotten confused as to what Nintendo actually is. Instead, they are determined to figure out how so many soccer moms and old people are running a Nintendo black market ring. “Nintendo unleashed their Wii a decade ago on people who normally didn’t play games, and they loved the Wii, so how could so many people accidentally attribute the brand name to all consoles?” said Joseph Schmoeson, a self-described industry analyst. “No, a simpler explanation is that dear old Nana may not be as innocent as you think when she gets you a WiiStationBox 2 for your birthday.”