Although it’s hard to imagine Nintendo not having a home console on store shelves, the company could move away from developing such hardware in the future. Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa hinted as much during a recent interview with Nikkei translated by Nintendo Everything.
While Nintendo has been developing home consoles for over 30 years, Furukawa said the company’s focus could shift away from them because “flexibility is just as important as ingenuity.” Nintendo has already had some success branching out, whether it’s through handheld consoles like the 3DS or smartphone titles like “Fire Emblem Heroes.” It’s also dabbling in theme parks and movies — “different ways to have our characters be a part of everyday life,” Furukawa said.
“We aren’t really fixated on our consoles,” he said. “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.”
If Nintendo does decide to abandon home consoles, it won’t be any time soon. The company recently sold through more than $250 million in products during the Thanksgiving weekend, which includes the holiday, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. The Switch is now the best-selling Nintendo console in U.S. history during that five-day period, and Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime said in a recent Forbes interview the hybrid home/handheld console is performing at “historic levels.” It’s still too early to tell if the Switch will hit its goal of 20 million units sold by the end of fiscal 2018, but Fils-Aime said he’s confident.
“…[T]he Nintendo Switch here in the United States is generating a level of revenue per piece of hardware that we’ve never seen in our history,” he said. “And so our consumers are engaged, they’re buying software, they’re playing software, as long as we continue to do this, we’re going to have a very vibrant platform which will continue to attract the very best from the big third-party developers as well as the smaller independent developers.”