By Nick Benefield / January 5th, 2019
During a recent interview conducted by Nikkei, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa offered some details regarding Nintendo’s future in the gaming industry. These comments address the company’s approach towards inherent risks as well as their willingness to innovate and be flexible with industry trends. In the translation below (provided by Nintendo Everything), Furukawa discusses the various risks associated with both software and hardware development:
We’re in the entertainment industry; there isn’t much we can do about that risk. To us, the guiding principle by which we operate is offering customers all around the world innovative and unique ways to play games.
Perhaps the most noteworthy piece of this interview though comes from Furukawa’s final remarks. When asked about the “innovation dilemma” and Nintendo’s plans to address future dips in business performance, Furukawa indicated that the company would not simply rely on its traditional home console business model.
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.
In the long-term, perhaps our focus as a business could shift away from home consoles – flexibility is just as important as ingenuity.
He went on to add:
I’m thinking about little ways we can reduce that kind of instability. 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.
MY TAKE: Throughout its existence, Nintendo has demonstrated a willingness to explore new business opportunities as they present themselves. From playing cards, to game consoles, to smartphone applications, Nintendo’s business model has always been more about entertainment as a whole rather than just making hardware. While this interview certainly isn’t an absolute death sentence for Nintendo’s home console division, I think it’s safe to assume that Furukawa and the other executives are exploring multiple options to continue Nintendo’s long-standing legacy.
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