In a recent interview with Nikkei (translated by Nintendo Everything), Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa spoke about a variety of topics, including Furukawa’s management style and the company’s devotion to being unique instead of being safe. Of particular interest is his revelation that the company could be switching away from home consoles in the long-term.
In the short interview, Furukawa was asked if the company has ever run into an “innovation dilemma,” a situation where the company’s past successes made it impossible to innovate. He responded that Nintendo isn’t really fixated on their consoles. Nintendo currently offers the Nintendo Switch and software for it (as well as the Nintendo 3DS), and they’re focused on using the Switch to deliver the ‘Nintendo Experience.’ Of course, he mentioned, technology is constantly changing, so Nintendo is flexible as to how to best deliver the ‘Nintendo Experience’ to its customers in the future.
Furukawa then spoke a bit about the company’s past and their philosophy on innovation and flexibility:
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 interview concluded with Furukawa speaking about how the company is planning on reducing financial instability and business performance fluctuations. Furukawa said he’d like to have more smartphone games, and the company is dabbling in theme parks and movies, such as the Super Mario Bros. movie being made by Illumination Entertainment. Nintendo’s devotion to innovation and being unique has led to some stumbles in the past, such as the Virtual Boy, but the Switch is currently one of their best-selling consoles, so they’re likely doing something right.