Nintendo "Could Shift Away from Home Consoles," Focus on Smartphone Games

Megalith

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In an interview with Nikkei, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa alluded that the company could abandon the traditional home-gaming experience for mobile titles. Addressing the topic of innovation, Furukawa noted that technology always changes and had this to say: “perhaps our focus as a business could shift away from home consoles…I’d like to increase the (amount of) games on smartphones that have a continuous stream of revenue.”

We aren’t really fixated on our consoles. 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.
 

Arcygenical

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This would be amazing imho if they keep their IP free of micro transactions. I would absolutely love to have some mobile nintendo IP without an underpowered console. The newest smartphone SOCs could easily do what the switch stutters on.
 

SeymourGore

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I think the Switch and its success is too much for Nintendo to ignore and go fully mobile phone - however, they suffer another Wii U-like console launch, I wouldn't be surprised of a shift in platform.
 

RPGWiZaRD

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I'm probably too oldschool but I never understood the ppl gaming on mobile phones, I've yet to even install a game on mine as it doesn't look very fun with that on-display unsmooth button mashing movement but that's maybe the price for being into twitch games like UT, Quake etc. where movement precision is key.
 

velusip

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I'm probably too oldschool but I never understood the ppl gaming on mobile phones, I've yet to even install a game on mine as it doesn't look very fun with that on-display unsmooth button mashing movement but that's maybe the price for being into twitch games like UT, Quake etc. where movement precision is key.
Slippery little devices, accidental edge buttons presses, unergonomic, etc. Sounds fun if you like your games with a side of Bop-It.

Nintendo has been a market leader and trend setter in the past, but with the number of platforms available and to support for both developers and consumers on the rise, what a single company does is becoming less meaningful. Developing a fully proprietary console platform boxes you into a corner of the market in the eyes of both developers and consumers. Developers have to learn and support yet another platform, and consumers need to front-load an entry fee (console cost).

Of course there is profit in incumbency, so that's not all bad, but there are also obvious benefits to conglomeration and accessibility. Nintendo taking their digital distribution platform to the established mobile platforms makes sense considering that many of the games they are distributing were ported to their platform, and already have a place on mobile. It's less about minimizing consoles, and more about maximizing software. Nintendo has already alluded to this path by way of embracing open protocols on their controllers and their latest devkit supporting multiple build targets.

Also, the 3rd party controller industry is producing better stuff than OEM these days, so you can basically have your own little "Nintendo Switch" by way of the mobile device you already have and a $65 controller. I honestly hate the Switch and its controllers, but I would definitely buy Mario Odyssey on my Nintendo account if I could play it elsewhere with an 8bitdo controller. :)
 
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I'm probably too oldschool but I never understood the ppl gaming on mobile phones, I've yet to even install a game on mine as it doesn't look very fun with that on-display unsmooth button mashing movement but that's maybe the price for being into twitch games like UT, Quake etc. where movement precision is key.
I feel the same. The last game I played on a phone was Snake and that was 15+ years ago before smart phones were a thing. I will never be a mobile gamer. The last console I bought was 9 years ago and that was a mistake as I barely even used it (PS3). It is PC Master Race or nothing at all for me at this point. Perhaps Nintendo should just abandon hardware and be a software company at this point. Or go back to making card games like they did 100+ years ago, IDGAF.
 

horrorshow

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So, it's agreed....

The moment this comes to pass, we rescue Miyamoto from the belly of the beast!!

EDIT: Imagine if he was on our side.... "Gimme that Steam controller and six months, you guys are morons."
 
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Smartphone games I'd say no, however they could completely do without a home console and do strictly mobile console gaming like the 3ds and switch without the dock. They simply crush that market and exiting it it favor smartphone games probably isn't a good idea, the hardware sales and periphs they sell pad their pockets quite generously as the hardware isn't really cutting edge they tend to do well utilizing it in more fun ways, but for the most part it's just really cheap plastic a finger nail scratches that they sell for high profit margins.
 

brentsg

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Strange to see this while they are killing it with Switch.

I have a handful of mobile games that I like, but all of them were abandoned before iOS went 64 bit, so that's all done for me. Will suck to lose Mario, Zelda, DK, etc if they go this route.
 

Uvaman2

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This would be amazing imho if they keep their IP free of micro transactions. I would absolutely love to have some mobile nintendo IP without an underpowered console. The newest smartphone SOCs could easily do what the switch stutters on.
They already do micro-transactions on their Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Game, so yeah, if they refocus, they will take a page from everybody else and create more shit.
And no, Newest Phone still can't do what the switch does, I don't think phone reached shield level 3d just yet.
This is disaster news in my view, hope it doesn't happen... mobile "gaming" is complete and utter shit, as-is right now in my opinion.
Now if the future is streaming and attaching the mobile device to a TV port and also a hand held hardware with proper controls in portable gaming, then yeah, the hardware would be just a conduit anyway, doesn't matter what it looks like.
 

SixFootDuo

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Playing a game on a tiny little screen is just a super horrible experience for me and in fact when I bring this up to my other friends when the subject comes up, I hear the same thing from them as well. Of course I'm talking about guys in their 30's and 40's+.

Today's kids are basically born with a cell phone in their hands. I get it. This is obviously a age demographic consideration but more importantly, about money. I can only image it costs Nintendo a vast sum of money, personnel, planning, god knows what else to launch hardware. Imagine all the money they could save? I'm sure this is their train of thought.

I can absolutely say without a shadow of a doubt, I will never ever ... ever play Zelda on a 5" or 6" phone.

Maybe in far future if they can stream games to my TV and performance is stellar and the controllers are amazing and the over-all experience is awesome, sure, I would be down for that but the thought of Nintendo mobile games? Hell no .....
 

Uvaman2

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Playing a game on a tiny little screen is just a super horrible experience for me and in fact when I bring this up to my other friends when the subject comes up, I hear the same thing from them as well. Of course I'm talking about guys in their 30's and 40's+.

Today's kids are basically born with a cell phone in their hands. I get it. This is obviously a age demographic consideration but more importantly, about money. I can only image it costs Nintendo a vast sum of money, personnel, planning, god knows what else to launch hardware. Imagine all the money they could save? I'm sure this is their train of thought.

I can absolutely say without a shadow of a doubt, I will never ever ... ever play Zelda on a 5" or 6" phone.

Maybe in far future if they can stream games to my TV and performance is stellar and the controllers are amazing and the over-all experience is awesome, sure, I would be down for that but the thought of Nintendo mobile games? Hell no .....
True on the hardware, to an extent.. with AMD custom silicon moves, and more to surely follow how they cater right now, it is getting cheaper and more-off the shelf hardware wise.
As far as software, front end and such yeah, that will still carry development and on-going costs for sure, but so would mobile.
Streaming is supposedly working fairly well in Japan, in the switch, right now.
Apparently is not as demanding as one would image... but this is from stuff I have read 'around the net'
 

Chris_B

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Haven't had a Nintendo system since the amazingly gimmicky Wii that had about a handful of good games for it. Switch was vaguely interesting but cancelled my preorder, expected it to be another Wii-U.

I think at this point they may well be finding it difficult to see what the next console will be, 2 of the last 3 have sold well on different innovative (to an extent) merits, whereas with Sony and MS for the most part it's just a case of "moar power". The console sector really doesn't need another powerhouse console that would essentially just be more of the same that MS and Sony already offer and nintendo know that..so remains to be seen what they can do next.
 

brentsg

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Haven't had a Nintendo system since the amazingly gimmicky Wii that had about a handful of good games for it. Switch was vaguely interesting but cancelled my preorder, expected it to be another Wii-U.

I think at this point they may well be finding it difficult to see what the next console will be, 2 of the last 3 have sold well on different innovative (to an extent) merits, whereas with Sony and MS for the most part it's just a case of "moar power". The console sector really doesn't need another powerhouse console that would essentially just be more of the same that MS and Sony already offer and nintendo know that..so remains to be seen what they can do next.

At this point I think they'll kill it with an enhanced Switch later this year, but after that I suppose it's cloudy. I think they should stick with the niche hybrid thing they have going b/c I gave up on mobile gaming long ago.. don't even give any of that a thought.

I'd miss the core Nintendo properties.
 

vegeta535

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Oh boy.. can't wait to play Legend of Zelda on a 6" screen phone... yippee... :(
There won't be a enhance switch. Nintendo always done their own thing and not follow what other companies do. People don't buy Nintendo systems for the graphics or 3rd party support. Just Nintendo games generally.
 
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masquap

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Haven't had a Nintendo system since the amazingly gimmicky Wii that had about a handful of good games for it. Switch was vaguely interesting but cancelled my preorder, expected it to be another Wii-U.

Owning a PS4P and XBonX I still feel the Switch was a great purchase for the games exclusive to it. I rarely use it in portable mode but Mario Odyssey and BotW were worth the price of entry for me (even if BotW I initially disliked because it was a radical departure from previous Zelda games)
 

Tekara

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No surprise, Switch is just a tablet hardware wise. Everything already developed could be ported to standard mobile devices, would be nice if Nintendo did a custom controller though to avoid the on-screen stuff. Also don't really get the hate from the folks that grew up with Gameboys. Current phablets aren't much of a departure and already carried by millions.
 
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Youn

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I’d like to increase the (amount of) games on smartphones that have a continuous stream of revenue.
Why not release more shorter-length games, instead of one good game every other year? Maybe not go so far as episodic gaming, but putting all your eggs in one basket with a 60+ hour game isn't for the faint of heart...
 

RanceJustice

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If they mean "We will release full 3DS/Switch style titles on Android and/or PC.", I'd champion this effort. If it means "We're aiming to inject Yen directly into our veins by way of making shitty mobile titles with the worst of mobile monetization, add some Nintendo window dressing, and watch our fix come in", that would be disappointing.

I've long been of the opinion that Nintendo should get out of the proprietary platform/console game, as their strengths are on their first party IP and peripherals/hardware. Both of those elements could be easily developed for open platforms such as PC and Android. For instance, I am sure there are many who would enjoy playing Zelda Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart, Smash Bros Ultimate, Splatoon, Fire Emblem and other Switch titles on PC. Likewise, well made Android (and I suppose iOS ) support for Switch and 3DS style games would go over very well - I would have loved to see the 3DS Fire Emblem titles on Android for instance. Furthermore, Nintendo could make peripherals and controllers with open platforms in mind. In fact, before its release I hoped the Switch would be powered by Android with a Nintendo skin, as it would be a great example of this convergence - allowing full use of Android/mobile/tablet applications on an open platform, supporting Nintendo games, and with great hardware such the JoyCons, Dock etc.. and how they attach helping to ease the limitations of mobile gaming (ie Lack of non-touch controllers that don't obscure the screen etc). Sadly, the Switch as it launch dumped all this potential.

Nintendo has briefly waded into the mobile platform but these ventures concern me. Each one of them is unabashedly a "Mobile" game in ideal, theme, and monetization. Pokemon Go, Super Mario Run, and that FireEmblem game all aren't "proper" titles or even old GameBoy/DS style mobile games, but are the kind of things that hit many of the "mobile" tropes - free2play, real money currency, "energy" where you wait or pay, buy power ups with real money currency , Gatcha style random assets, notifications, ad potential, and all the skinner box psychological tricky nonsense. I'd love for them to look away from that and instead sell reasonably priced full games on open platforms, both via mobile as well as PC.
 

Aioeyu

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The idea of mobile only Nintendo sounds awful to me. However, I hear people making a lot of criticisms of mobile gaming. My phone screen is almost as big as the switch screen, and the phone is more powerful than a switch. I hate gaming on the switch, mostly use a pro pad on my tv. I can do that with my phone too. I'd honestly rather see Nintendo go the way of Sega. Heck, the games I play most on my switch are made by Sega.
 

ZodaEX

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The idea of mobile only Nintendo sounds awful to me. However, I hear people making a lot of criticisms of mobile gaming. My phone screen is almost as big as the switch screen, and the phone is more powerful than a switch. I hate gaming on the switch, mostly use a pro pad on my tv. I can do that with my phone too. I'd honestly rather see Nintendo go the way of Sega. Heck, the games I play most on my switch are made by Sega.

What GPU does your phone use that's more powerful than the Switch's gpu?
 

Red Falcon

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What GPU does your phone use that's more powerful than the Switch's gpu?
I would like to know this as well, and while nearly all smartphone CPUs and storage are faster than the Switch, the GPU in them are pretty much all completely inferior to that of the Switch.
 

Dekoth-E-

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I hope they do this honestly. Why? Because it would ultimately force them to also release on PlayStation and Xbox. So we would finally get Nintendo games on consoles that aren't running trash hardware. I love Nintendo games, but I'm absolutely sick and tired of the extremely outdated hardware and the shitty gimmicky controller's.
 

Soulmetzger

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No thank you. As I do want to see Nintendo titles on PC, but I don't play mobile games at all. This means I won't be playing anything new from Nintendo.
 
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