Nintendo President Furukawa On Labo, Nintendo 3DS, And eSports

By Alistair Wong . January 18, 2019 . 4:00pm

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Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa spoke to Kyoto Shinbun recently, touching on the Switch’s goal of 20 million units, connectivity with Pokemon GO, Nintendo Labo, Nintendo’s stance on continuing the 3DS, and more.

 

Here are the highlights:

  • Furukawa thinks that while 20 million units isn’t an easy number to make, he’d like to see how the console does over the year-end and New Year’s. As the Switch is approaching its third year since launch, it’s not as fresh anymore, and as such, continuously putting out software will be key. He’d also like to emphasize the appeal of playing the hybrid console in its different modes.

 

  • Not every game will get the connectivity treatment like Pokemon: Let’s Go did with Pokemon Go. Furukawa reiterates that smartphone games have their own methods of play, and that the smartphone games are meant to bring in new fans by increasing recognition of Nintendo characters. That said, smartphone titles aren’t about one-off purchases, but rather adding content after launch, so it’s a good way to stabilize profit and operations. Nintendo will continue to put out around 2-3 smartphone games per year.

 

  • Furukawa acknowledges that Nintendo Labo isn’t doing as well as other software, but did well over the end of last year. As it’s a new sort of play experience, Furukawa will work on expressing the appeal of the product in order for it to sell well for a long period.

 

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  • The Nintendo 3DS is entering its 8th year, and is mainly bought by people new to gaming. The 3DS is light, portable, and cheap. As it has managed to differentiate itself from the Switch, Furukawa states that Nintendo plans on continuing the systems.

 

  • On the topic of eSports, Furukawa states that Nintendo will continue to use eSports as a way to connect with the fans, rather than as competitions for prize money. He brings up last year’s Nintendo Live event held in Japan as an example, and states that they will hold competitions both in Japan and abroad.

 

  • Regarding overseas business, Furukawa wants to do more business in the Asia region, and wants to challenge entering the Chinese market as well. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, Nintendo doesn’t need to focus on bringing in game systems to the market, but instead focus on expanding their business there using the most appropriate methods.

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