Shuntaro Furukawa is a busy man lately. As we head towards the new financial year next month, Nintendo's President has been occupied with Nintendo's latest financial reports, outlining their long-term plans for Switch.
On top of this, he's recently sat down with Nikkei for an interview, revealing a few facts about Nintendo's current strategy – which, as we already know, doesn't make much room for cloud gaming. Furukawa has, in the past, voiced the opinion that cloud gaming is a "long way off", despite the fact that games such as Control simply wouldn't exist on Switch were it not for the power of the cloud.
However, Nintendo is able to adapt to a changing market, something which was proven by its embracing smartphones. When asked about this, Furukawa advised that the company is always researching new technology for "something fun", confirming:
With the rise in popularity of smartphones, our strategy is to grow the population of people who play video games. People all over the world enjoying games by utilizing the various features of smartphones, personal computers, and dedicated gaming consoles. I’m sure new offerings like cloud gaming and streaming will emerge, but they won’t be a top priority when choosing what game to play.
I think the most important things there are the contents of a game as well as the kind of games you can play. On the other hand, technological advances can make a big difference to the gaming experience itself. Since this can happen at any time, we’re always actively researching technologies that could be the starting point of something fun.
Nintendo's focus will come as little surprise to fans. Former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi once stated "there is no relation between how fun a game is and how good the hardware is" and the sentiment was famously shared by Gunpei Yokoi, whose "Lateral Thinking With Withered Technology" philosophy prioritised the experience over cutting-edge hardware.
Furukawa confirmed Yamauchi's words are always on his mind, though he also admitted "as the times have changed, some parts of our philosophy must change too". His words are evident in Nintendo branching out to smartphone gaming, though we've not seen any new games there since 2019.
Cloud gaming was hailed by many as the next big step for gaming, but with reports hinting that all is not well within Google's much-hyped Stadia project, it would seem the Holy Grail of a "Netflix for games" is, as Furukawa states, still a long way off.
Considering the Switch's success, we cannot wait to see what comes next – although it would seem that cloud gaming isn't going to be part of that plan, at least for now.