Nintendo’s new president is living up to his reputation as a game changer.
Shuntaro Furukawa, in an interview with Nikkei, hinted that Nintendo could move out of the business of making video game consoles at some point in the future, saying “flexibility is just as important as ingenuity”.
“We aren’t really fixated on our consoles,”he said, as translated by fan site NintendoEverything. “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. … 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 has previously expressed a bullishness on smartphone games, saying they were a big part of his goals for the company.
Since he was named to the position, Furukawa has seemingly been focused on shaking up the way Nintendo does business. He hopes to expand the sales territory of Nintendo Switch, with a focus on the Middle East and Southeast Asia. And he hinted that the company has been slowed by its internal approval structure, saying he will set up a decision-making panel of five directors (including himself) to sign off on specific, but unspecified, products.
Despite the talk, though, it’s unlikely Switch will be the company’s last console. Sony and Microsoft are both working on next generation products and Nintendo has quietly been looking hard at game streaming devices in Japan, a technology that many believe will be the future of the video game industry.