With the recent launches of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles, the topic of graphics has become hotly-debated yet again among gaming diehards. With companies heavily encouraging this talk by constantly throwing around tech specs for both the hardware and games, it’s no wonder why so many gamers are paying even more attention to it all nowadays. But, there’s one company that remains pretty much out of that realm of discussion, and it’s by design. Of course, that company is Nintendo.
Since the mid-2000s when the Wii and DS came onto the scene, Nintendo effectively bowed out of the power race that’s always existed in the realm of home consoles. The Big N hasn’t really deviated from this path ever since. If anything, it’s only leaned into it over the years. Recent words from the company’s president, Shuntaro Furukawa, simply add even more proof to this. In an interview with Nikkei, Mr. Furukawa explained that Nintendo’s main priority when it comes to researching new technology is making sure that it’s “something fun”.
Mr. Furukawa precluded that statement by talking about the rise of other technologies like smartphones, cloud gaming, and streaming. Furukawa acknowledges that advancements in technology do have an effect on the gaming experience. For that reason, Nintendo’s focus is looking into tech that “could be the starting point of something fun.”
As mentioned earlier, the shift into chasing the concept of fun over power can be seen from the days of the Wii and DS. Both systems were not only massively underpowered compared to their competition, they were also totally unique takes on a home and handheld system, respectively. Nintendo’s focus was on bringing people together via simple motion controls with the Wii and adding a new perspective with the dual-screens with the DS. The subsequent Wii U, 3DS, and now the Switch continues Nintendo’s clear trend of searching for new ways to turn the concept of gameplay on its head.
Going by this statement from Mr. Furuakwa, it even seems possible that the next system after the Switch will be another entirely different idea. The hybrid design has certainly worked out quite well for Nintendo, but apparently, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily going to stick with the concept forever. For now, though, we know Nintendo is focused on fleshing out the Switch’s life for the foreseeable future. So, whenever the next console comes around, it at least won’t be anytime super soon.