“Flexibility is just as important as ingenuity,” says Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa.
The Switch has clearly been very successful for Nintendo, even doubly so when you consider the fact that it followed directly from the unequivocal failure that was the Wii U. Recently, however, Nintendo has been expanding its business as well, moving beyond just the console space and attempting to have more of a presence in the mobile market, while the Switch itself is also plainly indicative of the fact that the company doesn’t really want to adhere to the traditional console/handheld schism anymore.
And according to Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, that is a direction that they will continue to head in. Recently, while speaking in an interview with Nikkei (translated by Nintendo Everything), Furukawa said that Nintendo isn’t “fixated” on consoles by any means, and that they will continue to be flexible to deliver what they look at as “the Nintendo experience” as technology continues to change, even saying that in the long-term, their business focus might shift away from consoles.
“We aren’t really fixated on our consoles,” he said. “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,” he continued. “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 also went on to re-iterate that Nintendo wants to have a larger presence in other areas, mentioning the company’s recent efforts with theme parks, films, and the mobile market as examples.
“I’m thinking about little ways we can reduce that kind of instability,” said Furukawa. “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.”
None of this, of course, is to say that Nintendo is just going to give up on consoles entirely any time soon, and is rather indicative of the fact that they’d like to continue being flexible with how they approach their main business focus, while also expanding in other areas. It should be interesting to see where this direction takes them in both, the short and the long term, though.