Nintendo’s president, Shuntaro Furukawa, has discussed the company’s plans for new hardware to come after the Nintendo Switch. In an interview with Nikkei, translated by VGC, Furukawa said Nintendo is always developing new hardware in a research and development phase, but the company won’t release a new console until it can deliver something unique and meaningful.
Furukawa said Nintendo is “constantly researching technology,” adding that the software and hardware teams at Nintendo work inside the same building and are “communicating closely” about future entertainment experiences. Furukawa said Nintendo’s goal is to “propose new forms of entertainment.”
“In order to create a single piece of hardware, we have to do a lot of preparation several years in advance, so we are working without stopping,” he said. “In the end, the deciding factor in whether or not to commercialise a product is whether it can create a new experience.”
Nintendo released the Switch console in March 2017 and it is performing exceptionally well in the market, with sales outpacing the PS2–the best-selling console in history–over the same period of time. Furukawa believes the Switch still has a lot of juice left and won’t be replaced by a new piece of hardware anytime soon.
“We always say that we are in the middle of the Switch’s lifecycle, and since one piece of hardware can be used to play both stationary and portable games, we can offer a wide variety of software for this purpose,” he said. “The life cycle can still be extended.”
While Nintendo might not release a bonafide successor to the Switch anytime soon, the company is reportedly working on an upgraded version of the Switch. However, Nintendo continues to deny that this refresh is coming in 2021.
Nintendo isn’t alone in already talking about future hardware. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has also discussed Microsoft’s incubation efforts to create new Xbox hardware to follow the Xbox Series X|S generation.
It’s a busy time for Nintendo, as the company will hold its next Nintendo Direct briefing on February 17. The company is promising a 50-minute show with new details on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and games coming in the first half of 2021.