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Nintendo is 'investigating' 5G and streaming tech, but refuses to 'chase trends'

Nintendo is "investigating" how technologies such as cloud streaming and 5G will affect the video game landscape, but has rejected the notion that following those trends is absolutely critical.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

July 5, 2019

2 Min Read

Nintendo is "investigating" how technologies such as cloud streaming and 5G will affect the video game landscape, but has pushed back against the notion that following those trends is absolutely critical. 

Speaking during a recent shareholder Q&A, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked how the Switch maker intended to respond to those emerging technologies, particularly given the company's reputation for being a "little slow" on the uptake. 

"While we don't expect all games to become cloud games any time soon, the technologies are definitely advancing. We see a future where cloud and streaming technologies will develop more and more as a means of delivering games to consumers," commented Furukawa. 

"We must keep up with such changes in the environment. That being said, if these changes increase the worldwide gaming population, that will just give us more opportunities with our integrated hardware and software development approach to reach people worldwide."

Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto also shared his thoughts, and was quick to point out that Nintendo hasn't fallen behind with either VR or network services. The legendary designer claimed the company has been experimenting with new tech in a variety of ways, but would only implement them when they actually brought something valuable to the play experience.

"Because we don't publicize [our work] until we release a product, it may look like we're falling behind. In regards to VR, we think that we have created a product that is easy for our consumers to use in the recently released Nintendo Labo VR Kit," he explained.

"I think that cloud gaming will become more widespread in the future, but I have no doubt that there will continue to be games that are fun because they are running locally and not on the cloud. We believe it is important to continue to use these diverse technical environments to make unique entertainment that could only have been made by Nintendo."

Nintendo director and senior executive officer Ko Shiota echoed Miyamoto's remarks, and honing in on 5G explained the company doesn't chase trends, but rather thinks about how to apply technologies in meaningful ways. 

"5G can send a large amount of data without latency. We are aware that this technology has been gaining a lot of attention, and Nintendo is also investigating it. However, we don't only chase trends in technology," added Shiota. 

"When considering what to offer in our entertainment and services, we think about both how the technology will be applied to gameplay and what new experiences and gameplay we can offer consumers as a result of that application."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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