Nintendo has confirmed it has plans for a console beyond the Switch, which will follow the ‘integrated hardware-software’ approach utilised in its previous consoles and – shocking no one – added that it will arrive within this century.
The details were found in the company’s Corporate Management Policy Briefing for the current fiscal year. In it, you’ll find a slide explaining Nintendo’s Future Outlook. The slide alludes to the “next gaming system” Nintendo plans to produce, which is said to arrive in “20XX.” This means fans can rest easy knowing that they’ll get another Nintendo console this century. Phew!
In terms of concrete details, there’s little to go on, other than the fact that Nintendo will continue to use the current Nintendo Account system on the next console, and plans to add more services linked to Nintendo Accounts over time to offer better value for users.
We can speculate on a few other areas of the briefing. As you might expect, the next Nintendo console will follow the same ‘integrated hardware-software’ model used for DS, Wii and Nintendo Switch, with Nintendo creating exclusive games specifically designed for its new hardware:
“We are dedicated to finding ways to pleasantly surprise consumers and deliver unique experiences by considering where people will play, when they play, and how they might feel”, reads the briefing. “That’s how we’re able to keep developing and offering entertainment that’s unlike anything that came before it, such as the Nintendo Switch hardware itself, the Nintendo Labo series, Ring Fit Adventure and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, which we recently announced. The symbiotic relationship between hardware and software in these experiences creates strong connections between Nintendo and our consumers.”
As for the next console’s innovations, it seems that Nintendo wants to keep people guessing, in much the same way as it has done with the past few generations. A slide covering the company’s investment in new technology begins, “We allocate internal resources very carefully so that technologies we adopt can turn into a source of fun. We strive to create products that consumers didn’t realize they wanted until the moment they’re announced. To do this we can’t simply follow what other companies are doing or chase the latest technology trends.”
One conclusion we may be able to draw that Nintendo’s going to keep creating relatively straightforward consoles that won’t come in at a high price: “We pay close attention to any potential negatives,” the technology slide continues, “such as when adding more features to hardware or services results in a more complicated configuration, gets in the way of a positive user experience, or puts it at an undesirable price point.”
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The company has seen a consistent upward trend in downloadable game purchases, as the industry has moved to integrate storefronts onto consoles over the past decade. However, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa did note that “converting our business to be 100% digital” is not Nintendo’s ultimate goal, due to its emphasis on “unique combinations of software and accessories such as the Nintendo Labo series and Ring Fit Adventure.”
In other Nintendo news, the company recently announced another Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase, which is set for Thursday September 17th at 7am Pacific / 10am Eastern / 3 PM UK (that’s midnight AEST on September 18).