In a recent interview with The Sankei News (as translated by Nintendo Everything), Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa discussed the future of the company’s recent powerhouse console, its success, and plans moving forward. It seems that 20 million unit by the end of the fiscal year is still the ultimate goal for the Big N, a number that’s been consistently mentioned in discussions regarding the Switch’s sale numbers.
Most notably, Furukawa states that the company’s main focus is to continue pushing out current Switch units, so it is “not considering a successor or a price cut at this time.” While this seems like a contradiction to the Wall Street Journal article a while back on a new model coming out this year, it’s unclear whether an upgraded version lies within Furukawa’s definition of a “successor”.
Twenty million units by the end of the fiscal year (or March 31, 2019 in the case of Nintendo) is a tough objective, an achievement that even Furukawa himself sees as ambitious, albeit a worthwhile goal to maintain. Much of the Switch’s success comes from its strong software lineup, a fact that is no stranger to the leader of the industry giant. In the interview, Furukawa acknowledged the “great sales for our home consoles.” Specifically, he attributes the year’s success to Super Mario Party, Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
One burgeoning aspect of Nintendo’s gaming operation that’s been relatively overlooked is its mobile division, having generated immense success in 2018 thanks to titles like Dragalia Lost and Fire Emblem Heroes. When asked about the platform, Furukawa mentions a distinction drawn between this part of its operations versus its hardware aspect. “Our operational model is to continue to build a relationship with our consumers,” the president says. “We certainly want to release games across a wide variety of genres. We want this to continue to be one means of supporting our pillars of revenue.” As unpopular as the mobile genre has become to hardcore gamers, it’s undeniably a central aspect of the industry, its profitability far ahead of any other platform out there.
Finally, in regards to the increasingly competitive and unpredictable space of the gaming sphere, Furukawa addresses the need to focus on acquiring top talents in the industry. More specifically, he states that the fluidity of the business necessitates those that can adapt to the times. “In the past, we have increased our internship programs and such to interest people in how we do things; we want to continue to spread Nintendo’s ways of thinking.”
If Nintendo’s upcoming 2019 lineup is any indication, the Switch should have another phenomenal year to hopefully get it past the 20 million mark.