Technology

Nintendo Exploring New Switch Technology, Teams With VC Fund

Nintendo new Switch technology scrum
ant2506 / Pixabay

Nintendo is wanting to explore new technology for Switch in collaboration with the San Francisco-based Scrum Ventures. Scrum is assigned the task of hunting for startups, research teams with big companies and universities working on tools such as sensors, chips or other add-ons, to improve the Switch platform, according to Bloomberg.

“As one of our approaches we look forward to discovering unique technologies that add to the Nintendo Switch experiences through the program managed by Scrum Ventures,” said Ko Shiota, a senior executive officer at Nintendo, according to Bloomberg.

Both of the companies would assist third-party developers to launch their products in the market but would not invest directly in the startups. This is the first time Nintendo is leaving out established developers and siding with the startups for their hardware needs.

The new Switch tech would take some time, maybe sometime in the latter half of this year since Scrum would need a few months to pick the startups. If the console maker finds any new Switch technology worthy, it could make its way to other Nintendo products or released under its brand.

The Japanese console maker is keen on finding creative ideas to take the Switch gaming experience to a new level. Nintendo is known for its less than traditional style of approaching a development idea. Be it Nintendo Wii, or recent ones like Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Labo, the Kyoto-based company has pushed the limits continuously offering something unique each time.

In a separate development, the Japanese company is underway researching and developing a new console according to the General Manager of Nintendo’s Entertainment and Planning Division, Shinya Takahashi. Speaking to the BBC at the BAFTA Awards, he said “Nintendo constantly works on hardware, so we have been doing research and development. You may see the new system sometime in the future.”

Takahashi, however, did not give away if it was just a plain statement or the company is actually planning to launch a new console soon. However, coming from the head of an important internal division that has worked on games like Metroid: Samus Returns, the statement does hold some water. Takahashi’s statement also reveals that the division creates software for existing and new Nintendo hardware.

A couple of months back, Nintendo confirmed that it would continue to support non-Switch hardware such as 3DS. Takahashi’s statement, however, suggests that the company is working altogether on the new system.

Nintendo working on new technology is nothing new as the company had earlier dedicated a full decade researching 3D technology for the 3DS, notes Twinfinite. Although Nintendo has been releasing 3DS hardware constantly, after the recent release of the New Nintendo 2DS XL in 2017, it is not clear if there is anything major that the gaming company can bring apart from a few changes here and there.

Nintendo somewhat falls a little weak against the higher-powered gaming consoles such as Xbox One or PS4 Pro, but it seems that is not what they are trying to achieve. Nintendo shares almost doubled after the Switch was released last year with sales breaking all the records at home and abroad.

With the Switch, the Japanese company presaged the new era of experimentation, and it seems to be paying off. The hybrid mobile console crossed the 4 million sales mark in Japan a few weeks ago, according to Media Create, the trusted online sales tracker in Japan. It took PS4 a total of 38 months to hit the same number. Sony’s PS4 sales number sits a little over 6 million in Japan right now. So, if the Switch continues at the same pace, it would outperform Sony’s platform even before the year ends.

Both in-house games and third-party titles add more firepower to the Switch sales. Nintendo has a robust library of games for the Switch. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came as the first title and it took the entire gaming world by surprise. The game was a successful detachment from the original Zelda formula. Other titles such as Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, Bayonetta 3, and Metroid Prime 4 have added further to the Switch sales.

Last week, the Switch eShop launched a few games, but not as exciting as it was expected to be. A few titles that stood out were the arcade sports like Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Bad Dudes and Arcade Archives: Punch Out!! Also, the offers on eShop were worth looking at such as Snake Pass, which was being offered for $9.99 (discounted from $19.99), Kamiko, a short action game that features some beautiful pixel art ($2.99, down from $4.99), and The Jackbox Party Pack 2, the best of the series and an essential multiplayer game ($16.24, down from $24.99).

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