While many have applauded Nintendo over the years for consistent game quality and innovation, the company has been broadly criticized for its approach to online gameplay and features, especially in comparison to major competitors. Despite the criticism, Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and more, contested said critique at a recent conference.
At the 79th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, where Nintendo made comments suggesting rumors of the Nintendo Switch Lite were credible, Shigeru Miyamoto responded to a question regarding the aforementioned criticism. The question was prefaced by the statement that there "is an impression that Nintendo has been a little slow to join large global trends," and a major point in the industry's discourse is now "the entrance of major corporations into cloud computing and streaming games as well as alliances between rivals in the arena of cloud gaming."
Asked about Nintendo's thoughts on this overall trajectory, Miyamoto assured that Nintendo has "not fallen behind with either VR or network services." He added, "We worked on them from the very beginning and have been experimenting with them in a variety of ways."
Miyamoto continued, "In that time, we have objectively evaluated whether they actually allow our consumers to have an enjoyable play experience and whether we can operate them at an appropriate cost." Miyamoto explained that, because online features aren't a main focal point when Nintendo markets products, "it may look like we're falling behind."
While other representatives said, at the same conference, that Nintendo was "investigating" 5G and cloud gaming, Miyamoto offered his perspective on cloud gaming as well as a traditional point of view on local gaming. Miyamoto said, "I think that cloud gaming will become more widespread in the future," adding that many games will continue to be entertaining "because they are running locally and not on the cloud."
Shigeru Miyamoto has traditionally taken great pride in Nintendo's status as an innovator in the gaming industry. Thus, Miyamoto's claim that online features have been an area of development, albeit one where Nintendo has to decide the costs and benefits of making them integral, does make sense. Currently, Nintendo offers Nintendo Switch Online, which works solidly for the most part. If all continues in that direction, then Nintendo may give Microsoft and Sony a run for their money when it comes to online components.