Nintendo on new Switch model rumors, QOL still happening, classic games for Switch, more
Posted on June 27, 2019 by Brian(@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News, Switch
More summaries have emerged from the Q&A hosted by Nintendo yesterday during its 79th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. A number of notable topics were discussed, including rumors of a Switch revision, Quality of Life, classic games for Switch, and more.
You can find a roundup of the Q&A that’s been translated thus far below, courtesy of Cheesemeister. Note that all answers are from Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa unless otherwise specified.
The exclusivity of Nintendo IP on the Switch is one of Nintendo’s strengths, but 3rd-party AAA titles (games expected to be big hits) aren’t ported much, or tend to be delayed. Going forward, do you think that the increasing gap w/ next-gen will mean ports will become harder?
When publishers create software, they judge hardware based on the number of units in the market. Install base expansion is our priority. We are working to expand the lineup and attract software. To give support, we talk to publishers and provide Unity and Unreal.
With interest in e-sports increasing, even Nintendo is holding official tournaments. The Splatoon 2 tournament is shown on Nico-Nico Video, there are lots of comments on the contestants’ appearances, and the hosts and camera react to these. This doesn’t make people happy. Do you approve of this, or will you do something about it?
While we can’t get into specific details about what we plan to do about it, I can tell you our thinking on e-sports. We think that tournaments that get many people excited are one way to enjoy games. Nintendo has held tournaments for multiple games before. Our company wants to continue to make people smile and create an interest in games with those who have none through tournaments. We want to hold appealing tournaments that take your point into account.
What will Switch sales be like from this point? It feels like these sales circumstances are like those of the Wii when it was a hit. Thinking about how sales of the Wii dropped off, will the same thing happen to the Switch?
Sales are doing well and outperforming the previous term’s results in each region. Not only are many new titles becoming big hits, but previously-released titles are still selling. The business is remaining healthy. We had a good response at E3. With continued investment in appealing software and improvements to our network services, we want our products to be enjoyed for as long as possible. I’d like to show some video from E3.
Takahashi: We’ve just seen video from the pre-E3 tournament. Many people enjoyed it. Overall attendance at E3 fell, but the Nintendo booth was as exciting as before. People at the NY Nintendo store were excited with each announcement.
Your entry into smartphone gaming, gacha monetization, VR, etc. were met with initial negativity and late entry. Google, Microsoft, and Sony are working on cloud gaming, leading to speculation that consoles might go away. Aren’t you late to the cloud? What will you do?
We don’t believe that all games can be moved to the cloud right now. However, we do think that cloud technology development is making definite advances. We need to address changes in the environment. If advances in technology increase the gaming population then the number of people we can reach with our game console business will also increase. In the midst of that, we think that continuing to offer entertainment unique to hardware and software should be our top priority.
Miyamoto: We were the last to enter AR/VR and networking. It’s not that we’re following, but first we set to work. We take time to develop something that customers can play comfortably and safely.
Miyamoto: We think that the price of Labo VR and the length of play time both feel comfortable. Going forward, we want to announce other things that can be used with peace of mind. We won’t drag you on showing things 3 years out. This year’s E3 was for this year’s titles.
Miyamoto: We don’t know what will come of the cloud. The age of all-local processing may end, but there will still be interesting things done that way. We don’t take the approach of doing what other companies do and asking people to choose Nintendo because we can too.
Miyamoto: Nintendo creates businesses that don’t have competition from other companies. If there are big hits, some won’t be so big, but the next big hit will make up for it. We talked about audience expansion, but… Mario Run reached 300m downloads.
Nintendo is late in tackling its subscription service. What will you do from this point? Also, what is your thinking in regards to how to handle the transition from 4G to 5G transmission standards?
Subscription services are expanding even beyond the game industry. We’re delivering NES games for the Switch. We’ll need to keep expanding. For each type of content, we will expand while thinking about what titles are appropriate for the subscription.
Shioda: 5G is getting attention because it sends a large volume of data without delay. We’re looking into the technology. We don’t just follow technological trends, but in conjunction we also think about how to use them in business. If we can master using it and figure out how to do so, we can offer it. Even good technology can be hard to use if it’s expensive.
The stock price went up in April when there was news of entering the Chinese market. While there’s risk of withdrawing due to the government’s policies, what’s your thinking?
We’re working with Tencent on releasing the Switch in China. Tencent is the largest company in the Chinese game business. We think that Tencent’s cooperation will allow for the business to reach its greatest potential. We will announce release timing, etc. when we’re ready.
Regarding software development, the Switch is doing well, but I’d like software released that speaks to you for 10 to 20 years. Famicom Detective Club still gets me even after 30 years. Is Nintendo situated to be able to create adventure titles? This includes dev. overseas.
Takahashi: Within Nintendo worldwide, there are several thousand development staffers including at “second-party” software companies. There are many producers with fields in which they’re strong or not, but they sometimes make titles in genres they usually don’t. In regards to working abroad, there are people who can speak Japanese and there are also bilinguals in our company. They sometimes act as a go-between, but when we actually meet to develop, we say, “Let’s develop in Japanese,” or, “Let’s do it in English.”
Miyamoto: We’re making games that won’t be embarrassing even in 10 years. People may say that we just make things in series, but we do succeed in continuing series as 30-year brands. We also make 1-title series. Adventure games are honestly tough. We made lots in the past. Adventure games are now mostly voiced. Along with text, the cost of localization balloons. Further, younger gamers don’t enjoy them. Ace Attorney and other adventure game titles are still anticipated, but understand that it’s difficult to make them mainstream. We’ve been co-developing overseas for over 20 years. Even compared with the competition, I think we’ve become good at working abroad. Even the number of foreigners at NCL has increased. Developing together in affiliation, I feel that we’ve become globalized.
There’ve been rumors of a new Switch model for the past 6 mo. Are you developing such?
We’re aware of reports. Answering rumors/speculation would take away any surprise and wouldn’t help you shareholders, so I can’t answer. Generally, we’re always developing new hardware.
In regards to entertainment with sleep, there hasn’t been any news for a long time. Is it connected to Pokemon Sleep announced by The Pokemon Company the other day, or is there something else?
A while ago, we announced that we were trying a new business developing a product that would increase quality of life. Development is continuing. We cannot yet proudly announce it as a Nintendo product. Pokemon Sleep is the Pokemon Company’s and not related to Nintendo’s QOL.
About N64 and GameCube software. What will come of your legacy release strategy? Can we expect the expansion of the Switch online service? The GameCube had Kirby’s Air Ride and other famous titles. (Kirby comments continued, cut here for brevity. Same last year and before.)
An abstract of the cut comments: Since the release of the GameCube about 20 years ago, a generation has passed. Isn’t it important that parents who enjoyed it when they were young can now enjoy those games with their kids? Kirby soundtracks are now expensive. Please re-release.
While I can’t give any new information about further classic hardware etc. here, we are thinking about expanding the NES software lineup on the online service and other ways of providing them. We understand your desire to play past products.
About content regulation. On other platforms, there are cases of restrictions applied independently of CERO and other 3rd-party organizations. What does Nintendo do?
Nintendo, as do 3rd-parties and their software, applies for an objective rating from 3rd-party organizations prior to release. If platform-holding companies choose arbitrarily, the diversity and fairness in game software would be significantly inhibited. We provide parental controls that can be used to apply limits.