Nintendo says it might stop making consoles if the market changes


Posts: 8,332   +103
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Why it matters: For the last 30 year, the Nintendo name has been synonymous with video game consoles, but company president Shuntaro Furukawa said it is prepared to abandon the machines—if the market demands it.

In an interview with Nikkei (translated by Nintendo Everything), Furukawa said “we (Nintendo) 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," he said. "We'll continue to think flexibly about how to deliver that experience as time goes on."

Nintendo has already sold around 23 million Switch units and is expected to sell another 17.3 million throughout 2019, so it’s not as if it’s going to stop making home consoles anytime soon.

“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.”

Nintendo was founded as a playing card company in 1889, and didn’t move into the video game industry until the mid-1970s.

Furukawa has expressed admiration for smartphone games, calling Nintendo’s efforts in the area a "continuous stream of revenue." He hopes to build operations in this area into a 100 billion yen ($910 million) business.

It’s still almost certain that the Switch won't be Nintendo’s last home console, especially as it’s believed to be following Microsoft and Sony in creating game streaming devices. But if demand ever does change, the company is fully prepared to change with it.

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Posts: 4,464   +6,656
Say WHAT? Nintendo has been more devoted to keeping games exclusive to its own hardware than anyone. This is a major shift indeed. Every console maker is eager to move to game streaming but that's a pipe dream until most of us have reliable gigabit Internet with ultra-low latency. If TYO is thinking of releasing their "last" console it should not be a portable. What it should be is a box that supports not only Switch and Wii U physical media (and regular DVDs as well) but which can also handle a massive digital library of classic titles from every console generation. This thing should also have full HTPC functionality with Ethernet, wi-fi, streaming video apps and support for external USB drives. The storage isn't just for your own media: if you want to buy every game Nintendo sells online you should be able to do it once and play it forever. Regardless of how portable Nintendo's future consoles are they should probably run Android or Linux in order to simplify multi-platform development. Android does a good job of running classic system emulators, but more importantly, this would allow more recently developed titles to run on phones and tablets as soon as the hardware was capable of handling them. Dual-coding for iOS isn't nearly as big of task as it used to be, either. PC players can use an Android emulator like Bluestacks to get in on the fun.
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Posts: 133   +24
"Furukawa said “we (Nintendo) aren’t really fixated on our consoles." and that's why Nintendo will never truly dominate console gaming like they used to. Sure they will do really well with the gimmicks (wii and switch) but they have failed for over a decade to keep up with tech to stand toe to toe with the latest gen consoles and bring back third party developers. Wasted opportunity.