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Nintendo President Says Commitment To Innovation Keeps Its Success Consistent

A recent profile of Nintendo by Time Magazine includes excerpts from a rare English-language interview conducted with Nintendo's president.

A recent profile of Nintendo by Time Magazine includes excerpts from a rare English-language interview conducted with Nintendo's president since 2018, Shuntaro Furukawa. In it, Furukawa confirms what many Nintendo fans have likely already thought to be true: Nintendo's focus in succeeding as a company is on innovation.

Nintendo doesn't innovate solely for innovation's sake, however. The second prong to the company's strategy is its considerable Intellectual Property. It's innovation, though, that allows its recognizable characters to shine, time and time again, across generations.

Throughout the article, Furukawa does recognize the strength of Nintendo's IP being a major pillar of the company's success, but seems to position innovation as his primary focus—for better or for worse. He acknowledge that his affinity for experimentation impacted both the failure of the Wii U, and the meteoric success of the Switch (Time points out that Nintendo's stock is currently at around its five year high).

Whereas other major game companies are innovating in numbers, Nintendo innovates in experience. That is to say, Microsoft and Sony tend to push the raw technical capabilities of their consoles; meanwhile, Google is now attempting to revamp how games are distributed. Nintendo consoles innovate by rethinking how games can be fun. Rather than foregrounding more powerful technology or a new business model, Nintendo attempts to maximize the amount of entertainment offered by its games above all else. Innovations like the Switch's Joy-Cons, or even things like the recent Ring Fit Adventure's Ring-Con peripheral are created in service of entertainment, and not simply doing something new or unusual. Furukawa even extends this philosophy to Nintendo's upcoming theme park.

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On one hand, this is bread and butter to anyone who grew up arguing the merits of their Nintendo console on the elementary school playground to all the Playstation owners and their admittedly superior graphics. That said, Furukawa outlines specifically how Nintendo goes about releasing systems and games (and soon a theme park) that are so consistently fun, above all else. They start with their original IP, and build innovative and original ways for those beloved characters to be experienced and played, all in the service of the player having as much fun as they possibly can.

Source: Time

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