Nintendo hasn’t announced any plans to create more mini systems like it did with the NES and the SNES, but according to former Nintendo boss Reggie Fils-Aimé, it’s unlikely that’s going to happen. The previous Nintendo of America president said as much recently in an interview where he discussed the timing of those classic versions of the consoles and why, based on what Nintendo is doing right now, he doesn’t feel the mini consoles will make a return.
Fils-Aimé spoke with CNET about his new book, Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo, among other topics related to the gaming industry. Those naturally skewed largely towards Nintendo-centered conversations given his experience with the mini consoles coming up during the talks, too.
Looking back on the launch of Nintendo’s Classic consoles, Fils-Aimé said the minis came at a “critical moment in time” when the Wii U wasn’t doing so hot and the Nintendo Switch wasn’t quite ready yet. By comparison, he said he’d feel the focus now would be providing the “legacy content” appeal of these reimagined consoles through Nintendo’s online services.
“Will it come back? Will there be other physical boxes with legacy content? I don’t think so,” he said. “If I were back at Nintendo for a day, I would be much more focused on: How does the company leverage all of its great content, deliver it to the consumer through that Nintendo online experience?”
Nintendo has indeed been bolstering its online offerings through things like more NES and SNES games made available through Nintendo Switch Online as well as the Nintendo 64 games offered through the online service’s expansion option. He said he views the future of Nintendo’s retro offerings like the Nintendo 64 games to be delivered online as opposed to through these mini consoles.
“Which they are doing… they’re putting out some N64 content, they’re working with other platform holders to bring out some of that legacy content,” he said. “But that’s where the opportunity is. Nintendo still has more N64 content to leverage. They’ve got GameCube content to leverage. They’ve got Wii content. I see this future of digitally delivered content to you, the consumer, as just this burgeoning opportunity that I would want to keep taking advantage of.”