Nintendo has said it’s more important than ever to offer consumers “unique propositions” in order to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
During a Q&A session following Nintendo’s financial results briefing on Wednesday, the company was asked what risks it’s especially mindful of as it looks to build on the success of its dedicated gaming platforms and its expanding IP business.
Despite the console’s blockbuster success, Nintendo said it’s taking nothing for granted, given its past experiences with tricky generational transitions. For example, while Wii reached almost 102 million sales, its successor, Wii U, sold just 13.56 million units, before Switch revived the company’s fortunes this generation.
“We approach our business every day with a profound sense of urgency,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa told shareholders (translated by VGC contributor Robert Sephazon).
“The generational transition of platforms in the dedicated gaming console business is never easy. We have experienced significant challenges following successful platforms multiple times, so we never consider our current situation to be totally secure.
“Furthermore, as you pointed out, our business is always exposed to great competition. From a broader entertainment perspective, not only video games but also various forms of leisure are competitors in this industry. In this environment, there’s an increasing need, more than ever before, to continue offering unique propositions to become a brand that customers choose.”
Although the company is yet to comment publicly, Nintendo’s Switch successor is widely expected to launch this year, after VGC reported last summer that development kits were in the hands of key partner studios.
While specific details on the upcoming console are being kept closely guarded, sources VGC spoke to indicated that it would be able to be used in portable mode, similar to Switch. Bloomberg also reported last month that the console will have an 8-inch LCD screen when it launches this year, corroborating previous VGC reporting that it won’t launch with an OLED screen.
“To continue offering innovative entertainment that can be enjoyed by our customers worldwide, we believe that continuing with our integrated hardware-software dedicated gaming console business is the best strategy at this point,” Furukawa said this week. “As such, we are advancing various research and development efforts.
“Since our products are not daily necessities, if they are not interesting, we quickly lose people’s attention. Therefore, it’s crucial to continue efforts to make Nintendo feel close, even outside of the dedicated gaming console, increase customers who support Nintendo IP over the long term, and maintain connections with our customers.”