After flying off the shelves during the Switch’s extremely successful first year, the portable system has gone on to win over the gaming market and become one of Nintendo’s most well-regarded systems. Looking to expedite the Switch’s development, Nintendo is now teaming up with Scrum Ventures to bolster the accessory lineup for its hit console.
Based out of San Francisco, the VC firm Scrum Ventures has now joined forces with Nintendo in hopes of bringing new accessories to the console as well as expanding on the Switch’s use cases and play styles. This is a move that follows Nintendo’s recent efforts to expand the Switch by way of the build-your-own cardboard accessories known as LABO. With the LABO kits launching in just a week, the Japanese gaming company is now looking for assistance from third parties.
The new program run by Scrum specifically looks towards startups and other teams in hopes of uncovering new ways to improve the Switch. This isn’t necessarily just to release new waves of third-party controllers or other similar accessories, but to tackle pursuits outside of Nintendo’s normal wheelhouse. These include brand new components, sensors, improved chips and other add-ons. Nintendo and Scrum will then work with these outside teams to bring products to market in a manner similar to Apple’s Made for iPhone program.
Opting to leave a key decision of the Switch’s future up to an external company is a strange move for Nintendo, given it normally handles development of just about all of its releases in-house. However, Nintendo’s willingness to get some outside help on new initiatives has definitely increased over the past few years, with Pokémon GO, arguably one of its biggest releases as of late coming from the partnership with Niantic.
Because the program is just beginning, it’s most likely that we won’t be getting any new accessories any time soon. Scrum notes that it’ll be tackling a larger portion of its search come fall, so we’re probably looking into 2019 before any unique new Switch upgrades hit store shelves. Even though a new era of Switch accessories isn’t necessarily around the corner, this partnership will hopefully speed up Nintendo’s efforts to expand its console.
That being said, this is still an interesting move for Nintendo, given how it’s handled third-party relations in the past. Being huge fans of the console here at Toys, we’re eagerly awaiting the whatever Nintendo and Scrum inevitably have in store for us.