At Nintendo’s recent shareholder’s meeting, one of the investors mentioned how gamers over the past 30 years have been simply looking at a screen and with a controller in their hands. He proceeded to ask the how the developers felt about this and if it would continue to remain the same way.

Shinya Takahashi responded with

We are always dreaming up new things. For example, for 1-2-Switch, the first game released for Nintendo Switch, we suggested that people play by looking at each other and not at the screen. And for VR, we thought about how we could change not just the controller but also the gameplay itself, and came up with the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 04: VR Kit. The software exhibited at this year’s E3 just happened to be mostly the type that is played with controller in hand, looking at the screen. However, I think you can see from the software we’ve created that we are always trying out new ideas.

Shigeru Miyamoto followed up with

Nintendo was the first to create the style of playing video games with a plus-shaped directional pad and additional buttons, which has now become the industry standard. It was also Nintendo that changed the original plus-shaped directional pad, which operated digitally in eight directions, into the first analog input device that moves freely in all directions for Nintendo 64. This, too, is now common. We are proud to have created a variety of user interfaces that have now become industry standards.

And, as of now, in terms of accuracy and reliability, I believe this style is the clear winner.

At the same time, I also believe that we should quickly graduate from the current controller, and we are attempting all kinds of things. Our objective is to achieve an interface that surpasses the current controller, where what the player does is directly reflected on the screen, and the user can clearly feel the result. This has not been achieved yet. We have tried all kinds of motion controllers, but none seem to work for all people. As the company that knows the most about controllers, we have been striving to create a controller that can be used with ease, and that will become the standard for the next generation.

Ko Shiota finished off by saying

The hardware development team is also taking on this challenge related to controllers, but from all the devices born from this effort, only a handful will reach the consumer as products. We will only release a product into the world if it can be successfully used to control software well. We have not yet invented an all-purpose controller that is unlike any of the current devices. Then again, the conventional controller has slowly evolved from the traditional setup of a plus-shaped directional pad with A and B buttons. For example, when you take aim in Splatoon, the action may seem conventional, but the motion sensor gives a wonderful feel to the operation. So even if things may look the same, we are steadily embedding new technologies and finding good ways to use them. One of Nintendo’s strengths is that we do not just think about hardware, but are constantly thinking about it in conjunction with software. We will continue to put in our best efforts in this area.

This confirms nothing so far but for sure Nintendo wants to continue to innovate the controller again. The joycons are very innovative on their own so its good to see them never lose the drive to create something even more.

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