Nintendo Switch media coverage: Good, but not great

ICO Partners finds new console announcement generated more articles than Scorpio, but not as many as PS4 Pro

A new console from Nintendo is always going to be big news, but a new blog post from ICO Partners CEO and co-founder Thomas Bideaux offers some perspective into just how big. Using ICO's internal tracking software, which monitors thousands of websites in dozens of languages, Bideaux examined the number of stories generated by last Thursday's announcement of the Nintendo Switch and compared it to the output of the PS4 Pro and Project Scorpio reveals.

The Switch reveal trailer led to 3,636 articles across ICO's range of covered websites, well ahead of the 1,068 articles from the announcement of Microsoft's Project Scorpio, and a bit behind the PS4 Pro's 4,283 articles. Bideaux noted that the Switch number may have been hampered by the news dropping outside of any major media event--Scorpio and PS4 Pro were revealed at E3--and right in the middle of the busy holiday release season. On top of that, the lack of details may have further tempered the number of articles devoted to the Switch.

"I would call this a small victory for Nintendo, if only because there is very little to talk about on the Switch at the moment," Bideaux said. "Of course, there are many speculative articles, but it doesn't feed the media cycle the way the Sony press conference did, where there was a price point, technical specs, and titles to discuss."

However, when Bideaux looked instead at the number of websites that covered the Switch instead of the number of articles they collectively published, he found Nintendo actually outperformed the competition. The Switch announcement was covered by 1,311 websites, compared to 1,144 for the PS4 Pro and 834 for Scorpio.

"Nintendo is clearly behind the two other console manufacturers, and it shows in the monthly tracking we do on the coverage of each platform, so being able to get this amount of attention is good for them," Bideaux said. "It is the biggest beat related to the Nintendo brand since we started tracking media coverage (January 2014), but it is still way behind what Sony and Microsoft gained for their biggest announcements in the period (usually around E3, but not exclusively, as the PlayStation Experience managed to build a lot of significant coverage the past couple of years too)."

"Here are the last couple of numbers to give some food for thought," Bideaux said. "At the time of writing this blog post, five days after the reveal, the Nintendo Switch reveal video on YouTube had 17m views; the Battlefield 1 reveal trailer had 22m views over the same time period."

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Latest comments (1)

Jordan Lund Columnist 2 years ago
All of which makes sense, think of it like this:

We know next to nothing about Scorpio. No images released, no date, no price. Other than some system spec and "It's coming" there's not a lot to report. It makes sense it would have the least amount of coverage. That will change when it gets an official reveal.

The PS4 Pro has spec, date, price, pictures, titles, everything so of course it gets the most press, it's also coming sooner than either Scorpio or Switch.

Switch falls in between the two. We have a promo video so we know what it looks like (unlike Scorpio), we know the kinds of games they're targeting (Skyrim, although Bethesda refuses to confirm it). We know the release (March), but not a price or a title list or system spec. Again, all that will change as we get closer to release.

So 1) Most press, a finished product with an impending release date. 3) Least press, an unfinished product more than a year from release. 2) Medium press, a mostly finished piece of hardware with a release a quarter or two away with no real detail yet.
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