Nintendo is known by most as a giant in the video game console and handheld space. That's been the case for more than 30 years, but the company's history stretches back well over 100 years, and they've evolved many times. Even recently, they've been aiming to re-brand themselves as an "entertainment company" with video games as one of their core pillars.
The video game focus has shifted from arcades and playable watches to home consoles and handhelds, and going forward, it could shift again. Speaking with Nikkei, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa speculated about how the company could evolve in the long term. These are his comments, according to a translation by Nintendo Everything.
Nikkei: Have you ever run into an "innovation dilemma" – where the company's past successes were too big, making innovation impossible?
Furukawa: 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.
Many Nintendo fans will likely find this language alarming, but it's important to remember that Furukawa is speaking speculatively about the possible ways the company could evolve in the long term. There's no telling how far ahead Furukawa is looking, but it's clear that in the present they are dedicated to the highly successful Nintendo Switch brand. And after all, Switch itself is an evolution of hardware design that goes beyond what you'd get out of a traditional home console.