Nintendo has been a leader in video game controller design for the past 30 years. However, at its recent Shareholders Q&A, it stated how it is actively working on establishing a 'new standard' within the industry.
When asked if he thought developers would continue making video games where players were required to look at a screen while using a traditional controller, Shigeyuki Takahashi explained how Nintendo had been challenging norms like this for some time now:
We are always dreaming up new things. For example, for 1-2-Switch, the first game released for Nintendo Switch, we suggested that people play by looking at each other and not at the screen. And for VR, we thought about how we could change not just the controller but also the gameplay itself, and came up with the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit. The software exhibited at this year's E3 just happened to be mostly the type that is played with controller in hand, looking at the screen. However, I think you can see from the software we've created that we are always trying out new ideas.
Shigeru Miyamoto added to this, by outlining his own vision for an entirely new generation of controller:
I also believe that we should quickly graduate from the current controller, and we are attempting all kinds of things. Our objective is to achieve an interface that surpasses the current controller, where what the player does is directly reflected on the screen, and the user can clearly feel the result. This has not been achieved yet. We have tried all kinds of motion controllers, but none seem to work for all people. As the company that knows the most about controllers, we have been striving to create a controller that can be used with ease, and that will become the standard for the next generation.
Ko Shiota reinforced the fact that Nintendo would only release a product if it was unique enough and controls software well enough, concluding:
We have not yet invented an all-purpose controller that is unlike any of the current devices.
It's fascinating to hear Miyamoto speak about this particular subject and it sounds as if he wants to achieve a new level of motion control that is a hybrid of the Wii Remote, Kinect and PlayStation Move.
Switch owners can no doubt feel safe that their current 'standard' controller setup will be around for a long time to come, but it also seems that Nintendo isn't done with motion controllers completely. Watch this space.
What did you think of Miyamoto's ideas? Are you interested in Nintendo developing further new controllers and input methods? Let us know in the comments.