Skip to main content

Nintendo president says the company could move away from home consoles

Nintendo Switch review

Almost every Nintendo game ever made has been released on the company’s own hardware, whether that be the primitive Game & Watch stand-alone systems or the newer Switch, but it appears that approach could change in the future.

In an interview with Nikkei translated by Nintendo Everything, new Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked about the risk that goes into having a role in both the software and hardware businesses, and running into an “innovation dilemma.”

Related Videos

In response, Furukawa said that the company will continue to “think flexibly” about how Nintendo delivers experiences to players. This could mean moving away from home consoles entirely, he added.

“In the long-term, perhaps our focus as a business could shift away from home consoles — flexibility is just as important as ingenuity,” Furukawa said.

Nintendo Switch review
Nate Barrett/Digital Trends

Furukawa’s wording doesn’t make it clear whether that will mean moving away from all consoles, or simply developing hardware that operates in multiple setups, such as the Nintendo Switch. The Switch’s success — combined with the age of the 3DS — has made it Nintendo’s primary focus, but Nintendo hasn’t ruled out releasing another dedicated handheld device. 3DS games continue to come out, as well, though at a reduced rate than they were prior to the Switch’s launch in 2017.

When Nintendo has experienced hiccups, such as with the early troubles with the 3DS and the entirety of the Wii U’s lifespan, there have been calls for the company to shift its focus entirely to software. Of course, then something like the Nintendo Switch comes out, reignites interest in the Nintendo brand, and that debate is pushed back once again.

Because Nintendo systems are typically best known for first-party games, that argument does have some weight, but the Switch seems to be changing that perception. Alongside games like Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2, the Switch has also gotten quite a bit of support from third-party publishers. Bethesda, Ubisoft, and Take-Two have all released several of their games on the system, where its portability and flexibility has made it the platform of choice for some players. Buying games a second time, just for the convenience the Switch offers, isn’t out of the question, either.

Editors' Recommendations

MLB The Show 23 returns to Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch this March
Jazz Chisholm's cover art for MLB The Show 23.

Sony San Diego Studios announced MLB The Show 23 today, and confirmed that it will launch across all major PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo systems on March 28. 
No new platforms were added this year, so PC players aren't getting in on the fun. Still, this announcement makes it clear that MLB The Show is a multiplatform series across PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo platforms for the foreseeable future. Xbox's version of the trailer also confirms that MLB The Show 23 will be on Xbox Game Pass at launch, making this first-party Sony series a day-one Game Pass title three years in a row. 
MLB The Show 23 - Cover Athlete Reveal
As is typically the case with sports games, MLB The Show 23's reveal was primarily focused on its cover athlete. We learned that Jazz Chisholm Jr., a second baseman for the Miami Marlins, will grace the cover of the game. Like last year, the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch versions of the game will cost $60, while players  on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S without Xbox Game Pass will need to pay $70. So far, no new gameplay features have been teased, although a blog post confirms that cross-platform multiplayer, saves, and progression across all versions of the game will return this year. 
So far, there's not a lot that actually seems new about MLB The Show 23, but this reveal concludes the genesis of a new era for the long-running baseball series. MLB The Show 23 will be released for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch on March 28. 

Read more
This console generation isn’t about games or hardware. It’s about services
A character stands below a ship in Starfield.

It’s been over two years since the start of the current console generation, which launched with a rocky start at the end of 2020. You'd think it's been more than long enough to understand what it's all about, but for many, there's still confusion. That might be changing this year. As Tomas Franzese wrote earlier this month, 2023 could be the year where we finally see what games define this generation’s consoles, at least in terms of exclusives. He also noted that games could stop being cross-platform, launching on just current-gen consoles instead of simultaneously on last-gen ones.

While that'll finally give us some memorable games, it doesn't bring us closer to defining the hardware itself. Besides a few extra teraflops and new ultra-fast SSDs, there isn’t much that helps the PS5 and Xbox Series X and S stand out from their predecessors. Sure, the PS5 looks like a giant spaceship, and the Xbox Series X is built like a fridge, but we didn’t know what these devices could offer that the PS4 and Xbox One couldn’t besides some pretty lighting effects and virtually non-existent loading times.

Read more
Fire Emblem Engage makes the wait for a Nintendo Switch 2 more tolerable
Alear and Marth open a door in Fire Emblem Engage.

If you had asked me whether or not I was ready for an upgraded Nintendo Switch two months ago, my answer would have been an emphatic yes. I had just played Pokémon Scarlet and, like many people, was baffled by its poor technical performance. I began to wonder if Nintendo’s aging hardware had finally hit its limits, unable to meet developers’ growing ambitions. Perhaps it wasn’t just time for a Switch Pro, but a new console altogether.

That desire was a reactionary one. Two months after that Pokémon game's ugly launch, I find myself stunned by the Switch’s latest exclusive, Fire Emblem Engage. The tactical RPG is one of the console’s best-looking games to date. It’s a major step up from 2018’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses, with brighter colors that pop on my Switch OLED screen and silky smooth performance that makes it feel like a playable anime.

Read more