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Nintendo could "shift away from home consoles" says company president

Shuntaro Furukawa discusses the "innovation dilemma"

Nintendo's future could lie away form the home console market, according to president Shuntaro Furukawa.

Speaking in a recent interview with Nikkei (translation via Nintendo Everything), Shuntaro mused on the "innovation dilemma" brought on by Nintendo's previous successes.

"We aren't really fixated on our consoles," he said. "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.

"It has been over 30 years since we started developing consoles. Nintendo's history goes back even farther than that, and through all the struggles that they faced the only thing that they thought about was what to make next.

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

Despite concerns that the Nintendo Switch began losing steam last year, it is still the company's fastest-selling console, with revenue recently hitting historic levels in the US.

Given that, it seems unlikely Nintendo will be deliberately moving away from the console market anytime soon, with several analysts expecting a "Pro" or "Lite" version of the console to launch sometime this year.

However, the company's exploration of mobile demonstrates that flexible thinking touted by Shuntaro, despite somewhat mixed results.

Fire Emblem: Heroes has been doing solid numbers since launching nearly two years ago, while mobile exclusive IP Dragalia Lost has proven an interesting endeavour, generation exceptionally high revenue per install.

Surprisingly, poster child Mario under-performed in his first mobile foray while Animal Crossing -- seemingly a perfect match for the mobile format -- remains Nintendo's weakest game on the platform.

With Mario Kart the last of Nintendo's planned tranche of mobile games set to release sometime this year, it's likely to be a telling sign of what the future holds for the company's mobile aspirations.

For the record: This article has been amended to reflect the fact that Nintendo Everything translated Furukawa's comments, not Forbes.

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Ivy Taylor avatar
Ivy Taylor: Ivy joined in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.
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