Development studio Mistwalker released a new Q & A video this week with Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi responding to queries from fans and one of the questions had Sakaguchi-san speaking at length about the Nintendo Switch. A fan asked Sakaguchi what he thought of the Switch’s portable capabilities but the Final Fantasy creator went in a different direction with his answer, essentially stating that hardware features are irrelevant without good software.
To be clear, Sakaguchi also gave extensive praise to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and said the Switch does have the software needed to be successful. But in an industry too often obsessed with hardware specs, it’s refreshing to hear a developer basically come right out and say he doesn’t care about what your hardware can do if you don’t have any games.
“As Nintendo and other hardware makers say, although the capabilities and design of a piece of hardware are important, we shouldn’t forget that hardware is useless without software, and having lots of cool games is what matters,” Sakaguchi said through a translator. “That said, I heard Zelda is a well designed game and many creators I know agree. So I’m really looking forward to Zelda, rather than the Switch.”
Sakaguchi then pointed to Splatoon 2 as another example of Nintendo having “cool games” and said that this made the Switch “appealing hardware.” Sakaguchi noted that the Switch has been hard to find in Japan and he only recently acquired one, stating that he is looking forward to playing Zelda for the first time during an upcoming trip to Hawaii.
“As for taking it on the go, I don’t have any opinion because I haven’t tried it,” Sakaguchi said. He then jokingly asked if the Switch was waterproof so he could take it out to the ocean while on vacation.
“Then I’d like to ask Nintendo to make a waterproof version,” he said.
With both Sony and Microsoft focusing on releasing more powerful consoles within a shorter time frame than in generations past, Sakaguchi’s point about hardware requiring good software to be successful is something the entire industry should keep in mind. Project Scorpio and the eventual PlayStation 5 may be able to boast about things like processing power and teraflops, but at the end of the day, all of those numbers are seemingly useless if gamers don’t have must-play software to go with it.