For "Joe Average Consumer" the Switch was announced in late October and released the first week of March. So basically yes, a little over 4 months of actual marketing time. I doubt even 3% of Switch owners know if was initially announced under the codename "NX". October 2016 is the first time they saw anything about the system and could make a judgement on whether they wanted it or not. PS5 announced in June 2020 and launched in November 2020. Switch OLED announced in July 2021 and launched October 2021.
The early adopters are forum/twitter users though, or at least people who follow gaming news a bit more closely. Average consumers hardly buy a gaming console at launch, it's more expensive, has few games, it's sometimes harder to find at stores and sometimes it's just someone who is used to adopting late, people who buy consoles in the middle of their lifecycles since always and don't want to buy new hardware because their older hardware is still perfectly functional.
Companies need to keep those gamers engaged and updated, they are the ones more likely to preorder hardware
The amount of forum users is honestly overrated. The biggest forums like Resetera have like 50,000 registered users, and that isn't even active users, probably only about 30,000 of that are active regular posters. This forum is maybe a few thousand regular posters maybe.
It's not like Nintendo gave any information, they just announced something called the NX and that it would be a dedicated game hardware, they would not comment on what it was, the hybrid nature, which games, what the hardware capability was, I don't think Nintendo even confirmed Nvidia was the chip supplier until October 2016.
EDIT: Here's actually an article that explains why Nintendo had to announce NX at that time (March 2015) ... NX was announced at the same investors event where Nintendo announced they would be working with DeNA on cell phone games, they had to announce NX to reassure investors that they weren't leaving the gaming hardware business.
The announcement was made during a hastily convened press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. The main purpose of the event was to explain Nintendo’s decision to enter the smartphone gaming market, via a partnership with smartphone games specialist DeNA.
However, Nintendo’s chief executive, Satoru Iwata, went on to announce the hardware platform in order to assuage fears that Nintendo may move away from manufacturing dedicated games machines.
You're not going to see 1+ year advance hardware announcements any more I don't think unless a system has really flopped because all you're doing by announcing a system that far in advance is undercutting sales and probably a holiday season of existing hardware and there's no point to doing that.
4-5 months in the modern world is more than enough time to announce an electronics product and have it out for release. Cell phones get announced and are available the same week these days, even the old Apple cycle of announcing an iPhone and having it available maybe 6 weeks later is too much lead time these days. Switch, Switch OLED, Switch Lite, Playstation 5 are all basically 3-5 months from actual product reveal to being on store shelves.
Last edited by Soundwave - on 22 September 2022