During its 80th annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Nintendo’s upper management was asked to comment on plans for the next Nintendo console and future hardware. The question was answered by company president Shuntaro Furukawa and senior executive director Ko Shiota. You can read the full exchange below:
Could you tell us about the outlook for your next game system? Game hardware has always displayed an image on a TV or other kind of screen while you do something, and I think that’s where the limits for this format are. Would the hardware you’re thinking about go beyond those limits?
Shuntaro Furukawa (President): Our current generation system, Nintendo Switch, has entered its fourth year since launch, but its momentum is increasing. We believe there are two factors behind this. First is the existence of two hardware configurations with different characteristics, in Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. The second factor is that Nintendo’s development resources are concentrated on developing for a single platform, Nintendo Switch. We want to extend the life cycle of Nintendo Switch while maximizing such advantages.
Ko Shiota (Director, Senior Executive Officer): In addition to the performance aspect (higher technical specifications), Nintendo’s dedicated video game platforms are developed with a focus on providing a comfortable environment for consumers to play fun software. From the perspective of playing with the image displayed on a TV, we believe that because consumers can play Nintendo Switch on a TV or the game console screen itself, it has greatly increased the opportunities for gameplay in various scenes in their lives, compared to previous consoles. Through Nintendo Switch, we’ve made many discoveries about where a dedicated video game platform can fit into a consumer’s daily life. We see scenes on social media of children and their families sitting around a game console to play, which gives us a renewed sense of value of our dedicated video game platform. We will utilize these experiences in carefully considering the form our future game consoles will take.
It almost sounds as though the person that posed the question could have been subtly asking if Nintendo plans to investigate technology like virtual reality, which is displayed through means other than a TV screen. Furukawa and Shiota don’t address that part of the question directly, and their responses indicate that Nintendo is currently more interested in further exploring how the convenience of a device like the Nintendo Switch affects users and their playing habits.
In case you missed it, Furukawa and General Manager Shinya Takahashi also talked about Nintendo-related topics like Joy-Con drift and Nintendo Directs at the June 2020 investor’s meeting.