Nintendo President Says Focusing Only on Dedicated Consoles is Pointless

The future of Nintendo consoles after Nintendo Switch may be in cloud gaming, according to Nintendo's President Shuntaro Furukawa.

With Nintendo Switch taking a dominant position in the living room and backpack of most gamers, many have to wonder what Nintendo’s next steps are. Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa is looking to address that, talking Cloud Gaming and the future technology that Nintendo is hoping to work into their platforms.

In a conversation with Japanese outlet Nikkei (translated by our friends at NintendoEverything), Furukawa-san was asked his opinion on cloud gaming and how it will impact the future of dedicated video game hardware. In responding, Furukawa-san seemed to split the baby — promoting that in the next decade dedicated hardware from first-party manufacturers aren’t going away.

However, the viewpoint has a word of caution attached to it. According to the translation, the Nintendo President noted that solely focusing on dedicated consoles (and refusing to look at cloud gaming) might lead a company to its ruin:

“With that said, it would be pointless to solely focus on methods of play that can only be had on dedicated hardware. Once your audience starts saying they can play on other consoles or smartphones instead, you’re finished.”

This isn’t an entirely new position for Nintendo — recently ex-Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime sat down with Hollywood Reporter to discuss the future of games. Likely the most significant thing to develop in the future of gaming will be a move to the cloud and shift from physical media, according to Fils-Aime:

“As the technology evolves to be cloud, and as download speeds increase, what it means is you’re going to be able to play any game on any device at any time. It will happen over the next decade and be something that’s really meaningful for players.”

While cloud-based gaming became a meme in the earliest parts of this console generation (do you all remember “the power of the CLOUD!“), the technology seemingly wasn’t there.  As we approach the next generation of consoles like PS5 and Xbox Series X, there is no question that it is the space that companies are looking to grow.

Microsoft has been working on Project xCloud, noting the Xbox cloud-based streaming service will be up and running in 2020 on PC and Mobile. We can even expect some dedicated exclusives for the streaming platform, as the Xbox team is already in initial talks with developers.

PlayStation has had mixed success with their cloud platform, PlayStation Now, which tried to be one of the first to the markets garnering 700,000 users. With recent additions like Google Stadia entering the cloud gaming space, PlayStation Now has taken a more competitive stance with lower costs and better picks of titles — even if they aren’t the larger first-party games.

With PS5 and Xbox Series X around the corner, there is no way to know how the console generation will be shaking out in a decade. But perhaps Nintendo president Furukawa is right that we will be playing Mario on the cloud.

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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