Nintendo devotes its first-ever Super Bowl ad to Switch

Nintendo devotes its first-ever Super Bowl ad to Switch


Nintendo is taking its Switch pitch all the way to Super Bowl LI.

The video game publisher will run its first-ever Super Bowl commercial for the Switch, its latest home video game console launching on March 3 for $299.99. The ad features the console along with one of its signature properties: The Legend of Zelda. A new version of the game, called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will launch with the new console.

"There's no bigger stage than the Super Bowl," said Nicolas Chavez, vice president of marketing at Nintendo of America, in an interview with USA TODAY. "Just as Switch will change the way people play video games, in terms of changing how when and where we play, we thought it was only fitting we change how where and when we advertise those games."

The ad will focus on Switch's main feature: the ability to play games at home in front of a television or on the go. It starts with someone playing The Legend of Zelda in bed and while making breakfast, then popping the tablet-like device into a dock to continue playing on TV. The ad also features the song Believer from Imagine Dragons.
The 30-second spot will run during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. A longer version of the ad will appear online, and feature more games including Mario Kart, 1-2-Switch and Splatoon 2.

"The fourth quarter is traditionally the highest rated quarter of the Super Bowl, so we're very excited about our placement," said Chavez.

The Switch is a critical device for Nintendo as it tries to rebound from lagging sales of the Wii U. Launched in 2012, the Wii U reached more than 13 million in sales to date. By comparison, Sony's PlayStation 4, which launched a year later, sold more than 53 million as of January 1.

Chavez says one of the lessons Nintendo learned from the Wii U was the need to "really to have a strong and consistent drumbeat of new game releases with the hardware." Several games from first- and third-party publishers are planned, including a new Super Mario title scheduled to release this holiday.


02 February 2017 /
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