Just 11% of Nintendo Switch owners in the United States are women, confirms new data released by Nintendo. The company surveyed over 60,000 owners of its new console and released the findings in its latest financial results briefing.
Nintendo surveyed the Switch players on their demographics as well as their playing habits.
Why Does the Nintendo Switch Have so Few Female Players?
According to its financial results briefing, Nintendo sent out its email survey to over 600,000 Nintendo Switch owners in the United States who have a Nintendo Account associated with their console. Over 60,000 people responded and out of these, 86% of players identified as male, 11% identified as female, and 3% identified as neither.
12% of Nintendo Switch owners are aged 18 or below, 20% are aged between 19-24 years old, 43% are aged between 25-34 years old, 17% are aged between 35-44, and 3% are aged 45 or older. The survey also confirms that most players 30% of players prefer to play in tabletop (handheld) mode, less than 20% prefer TV mode and just over 50% switch between modes.
Some may be surprised at the data, particularly the gender demographics, as the Nintendo Switch appeals to everyone regardless of gender, right? The console’s announcement trailer also featured multiple women playing the game.
But the data actually isn’t so unusual. According to data published in 2016 by the Pew Research Center, young men are more likely to be early adopters of technology in the United States. The average Nintendo Switch owner is male and aged between 25-34 and so Nintendo’s data does line up with that.
Although there are several Nintendo Switch games with female characters, the console does not yet have a standout game with a sole female protagonist. Games like ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Splatoon 2 feature no default character (you can play as a male or female character). Meanwhile, system selling RPG The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild features male character Link as its playable protagonist (though it did consider a playable female lead).
Super Mario Odyssey, another Nintendo Switch exclusive, features Mario as its playable character. The game does look wonderful and is already providing be a system seller too, but given the existing concerns about sexism in the Super Mario series, it’s understandable if some would-be female Switch players are hesitant.
Of course there’s no guarantee that those Switch demographics will look a bit more even if Nintendo suddenly introduces games with sole female protagonists. Female players prefer certain genres and it will take more than just putting a female character in the game to get women to play. In any case, Nintendo has a large potential market there and it will be interesting to see if the company responds to that with its games and practices in future.
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