The Nintendo Switch is selling incredibly well, especially after the holiday season, yet Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa is looking toward the future.
We aren’t really fixated on our consoles. 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.
The console comments are a bit surprising considering the Switch is almost lightning in a bottle. While it doesn’t have the explosive popularity of the Wii it’s already out sold the Wii U. Every game developer is pressured from fans to put their game on the Switch if they haven’t already and Nintendo has smartly jumped on the indie game craze.
Furukawa goes on to mention the huge market of mobile games and how he’d like to improve Nintendo’s presence in the mobile game space. Nintendo began releasing mobile games in 2016 beginning with Super Mario Run, followed by Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp in 2017. The only mobile game published by Nintendo in 2018 was Dragalia Lost, an RPG developed by Cygames that’s become popular in Japan.
A mobile version of Mario Kart, called Mario Kart Tour, is due out before the end of Nintendo’s financial year (March 2019).
Clearly Nintendo would love to have another runaway mobile success like Pokémon GO, which was licensed to Niantic.
Furukawa also mentions movies and even theme parks as different revenue streams, and appears to be amenable to licensing their popular characters for such ventures. Furukawa recently replaced Tatsumi Kimishima as Nintendo president last summer.