Nintendo’s new President, Shuntaro Furukawa, is looking to change the way the company approaches console development moving forward.
Although Nintendo has been in the game for over 30 years, delivering some out of the box ideas, some good, some… not so good, Furukawa seems adamantly aware of the constantly changing landscape when it comes to flexibility in the gaming industry.
“We aren’t really fixated on our consoles.” Said Furukawa in an interview with Nikkei. “At the moment we’re offering the uniquely developed Nintendo Switch and its software–and that’s what we’re basing how we deliver the ‘Nintendo experience’ on. That being said, technology changes. We’ll continue to think flexibly about how to deliver that experience as time goes on.” Lovingly translated by translation by Nintendo Everything.
Furukawa went on to say that through Nintendo’s lifetime their focus has always been what to make next. He reiterated that “flexibility is just as important as ingenuity.” He’s not wrong, and Nintendo is no stranger when it comes thinking outside the box in regards to console development. Furukawa seems to think that while the console market is surely a lucrative business, there are other ways to continue to bring their long-standing characters into our everyday lives outside of that market.
Furukawa noted that as Nintendo moves forward they want to double down on their mobile developments/IPs while also exploring new and interesting licensing agreements with some of their characters. Obviously, this means movies or tv shows, but don’t forget Nintendo is almost done working on their first Theme Park, a revenue outlet that others have not chosen to utilize yet.
“I’m thinking about little ways we can reduce that kind of instability,” Furukawa said. “I’d like to increase the (amount of) games on smartphones that have a continuous stream of revenue. We’re also dabbling in theme parks and movies–different ways to have our characters be a part of everyday life. I’m anticipating a strong synergy like that.”
Now, obviously, none of this should be taken as “Nintendo isn’t developing consoles anymore.” It would seem that Furukawa is just making it known that he intends to keep his options open for the long-standing game company moving forward. While Sony and Microsoft probably wouldn’t fair as well branching out in these ways, Nintendo, if anyone, probably has the best shot at taking these kinds of risks. After all, some of their characters have some of the largest and long-standing fan bases in the world.
Clearly, as long as their consoles continue to perform as well as the Nintendo Switch has, chances are they won’t be backing out of that area anytime soon. Furukawa also mentioned last year how they wanted to explore possibilities in regards to a 3DS successor, as well as making smartphones a “pillar of their income.”