Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima recently spoke with TIME on a whole host of issues and ideas regarding the Nintendo Switch. One of the most telling is that the console will not come installed with a web browser because, as Kimishima puts it, the console is a “dedicated video game platform.”
He also discussed in depth the decision to leave Mii Maker and Miiverse behind on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, stating that Nintendo wants to create a social network that’s even broader than what its current system is capable of.
You can read his full comments below.
In terms of the applications available on Wii U, all of those are not necessarily transferred or installed. In principle, we think about which application needs to be improved or discontinued by looking at consumers’ reactions. Mii characters can be used to represent a user profile, for instance, but are not required. Users also have the option to choose a profile picture from an included library of Nintendo character images. Mii characters can still be used in games if developers choose to include them.
As for Miiverse, while Miiverse will continue to be supported on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems, our approach with the Switch is to make greater use of other established, broadly used social platforms. For example, capturing gameplay screenshots to share on popular social networks, and social features such as voice chat are possible with smart devices through our app.
Concerning Mii Maker, on the Switch the software to create Mii characters is now located in System Settings, and no longer resides on the Home menu as a standalone application. You can also create a Mii character from the Profile screen. Making Mii characters is similar to the method used on past systems.
Next, whether Nintendo eShop is fully supported and functioning for Switch at launch, we can confirm that it will be possible to purchase and play downloaded software at launch, but we are not sharing further details at this time. And in terms of the Internet browser, since all of our efforts have gone toward making Switch an amazing dedicated video game platform, it will not support it, at least at launch.
Does anyone even use the web browsers on their consoles?
With a sample group as large as the entire video gaming audience, some people out there have to use the web browsers on their home consoles. However, I’m willing to bet that those who do are in a minority.
I never have once, and it’s no skin off my back that Nintendo didn’t go with the option. My laptop is perfectly fine for surfing the net, and so is my smartphone when I’m out and about. Is this a deal breaker for anyone?