Bloomberg reported that the gaming giant Nintendo has teamed up with Scrum Ventures so that it can scout for startups that are looking for new ways in which the Switch can be used or played. The Switch is Nintendo’s top selling gaming console.
The two companies have joined hands to create a program which will be run by Scrum. According to the deal, Scrum will search for startups or even teams within large corporates and universities that are working on ways to enhance the Nintendo Switch platform through the use of new software tools. The program will look for tools ranging from components, chips, sensors and other add-ons.
As part of the program, Nintendo and Scrum will give outside developers the help they need to bring their products to market. However, neither company is planning to invest directly in any of the startups they zero in on.
This move is something new for Nintendo as the company has historically worked with established hardware suppliers. Through this program, Nintendo intends to select new suppliers, who, if selected, will see their technology used in the gaming giant’s products, or even see their product released under the Nintendo brand name.
Through this program the Japanese company is looking for new and innovative ways to keep its gaming console competitive. It is thanks to the Switch, which was released just over a year ago, that the company has seen a huge turnaround. The success of the gaming console has been such that it has help more than double the company’s shares.
Priced at $300, this gaming console is basically a tablet that can be used on the go or hooked up to a television set. The Switch comes equipped with two detachable controllers that are souped up with sensors such as infrared cameras and hi-tech vibration engines.
While the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U did not perform well in the market, falling far behind its competitors from Sony and Microsoft, the hybrid design of the Switch is exactly what gamers were looking for in the next gen console.
Scrum is an early-stage venture capital company that has strong ties with Japan. The company has also formed a partnership with another Japanese giant, Panasonic, in the form of a joint venture to look for tech within the company that could be spun-off as separate startups. In its partnership with Nintendo, Scrum said that it will first choose teams which it will work with before any ideas are pitched to the gaming giant.
Nintendo’s executive Ko Shiota stated that the company was always looking for ways in which entertainment could evolve. This was one approach the company was using to discover new and unique technology that could add to the Switch experience.
Nintendo’s willingness to think outside the box demonstrates the company’s focus on experimentation. And the company’s investors are rewarding the gaming company for its approach. In fact, when Nintendo launched a set of cardboard accessories for the Switch in January, the company’s shares prices went up.
In February, Nintendo increased its guidance on Switch sales, going up from its original estimate of $10 million to its current estimate of $15 million. Nintendo’s president Tatsumi Kimishima stated that he was looking at about 37 million units of the Switch being sold by March 2019.
This week after the company announced its partnership with Scrum, Nintendo saw another 1% hike in its share prices. For 2018, the Japanese gaming giant’s shares have gone up by 9.6%. This is in contrast to the Nikkei 225, which has slipped by 4.4% in the same time period.