NINTENDO COULD BE MOVING AWAY from home console development to be a more flexible entity ready to adapt to different tech and demands of gamers and entertainment seekers.
Given the massive success the Nintendo Switch has enjoyed over the past year and a bit, and how, with the exception of a few slip-ups namely the Wii U, Ninty has been pretty good at flogging console hardware, such a move might raise some eyebrows.
But according to a Nikkei interview with Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, translated by Nintendo Everything, the Japanese gaming giant isn't 100 per cent cemented into making gaming consoles for home use.
"We aren't really fixated on our consoles," said Furukawa. "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."
"It has been over 30 years since we started developing consoles. Nintendo's history goes back even farther than that, and through all the struggles that they faced the only thing that they thought about was what to make next. In the long-term, perhaps our focus as a business could shift away from home consoles - flexibility is just as important as ingenuity," Furukawa added.
What exactly that will entail for Nintendo is pretty much open to interpretation. It could, for instance, create a game streaming service that relies on apps for TVs and tablets, piping in-house developed games from the Mario and Zelda franchises onto such devices without needing to worry about designing and creating the consoles to support them.
Or Nintendo could push deeper into smartphone gaming, bringing say legitimate GameBoy emulators to Android and iOS devices. Given Furukawa wants to see Nintendo's presence in the smartphone software world grow to create "a continuous stream of revenue", that's a distinct possibility.
While we suspect Nintendo still has another blockbuster console up its sleeves, there's likely to be more of an adaptive culture inside the Japanese firm as 2019 roll on, particularly as Furukawa wants the company to be ready to adapt to challenges and uncertainty in the home console world by "thinking about little ways we can reduce that kind of instability".
With all the tech coming out of CES 2019, including unlikely partnerships like Samsung adding Apple iTunes support into its smart TVs, there's a whole lot of tech that Nintendo could tap into to facilitate its flexible future. µ
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