Next-gen consoles don’t have Switch’s ‘inventive quality,’ Platinum’s Inaba says

The end of 2020 will see the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X as the newest next-gen consoles, but Platinum Games’ Atsushi Inaba isn’t terribly excited about them. In fact, he thinks one of the most “inventive” consoles is already here: the Nintendo Switch.

[If] you think back to the generation between Super Nintendo and PlayStation, and how we went from pixel art to 3D polygons… nobody could have ever imagined that a few years prior,” Atushi Inaba began in his interview with VGC. “When that stuff started coming out people were just blown away: they weren’t ready for it, they weren’t anticipating it… it was just so new.”

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“Whereas I feel that the announcements that we’ve had for recent consoles generations, while all good and interesting, and of course I’m happy for us as developers to have better technology to work on… it’s a ‘perceivable’ future,” Inaba continued.”

One of the issues Atsushi Inaba is highlighting is “diminishing returns.” As an example, the difference between the SNES and N64 is much more astonishing than the difference between the Wii and the Nintendo Switch. Rather than simply increasing graphical powers as the next-gen consoles have done, Inaba has an appreciation for how the Nintendo Switch has innovated in other ways.

next-gen consoles vs. Nintendo Switch red

“Switch opened up all these new possibilities,” he continued. “I think the Game Boy and the DS also did that: there were so many surprises in those. If you compare that to when you’re simply seeing graphical improvements or just ‘faster, bigger’… obviously it’s nice, but it doesn’t have that same inventive quality that really surprised me with past consoles.”

The sentiment is certainly understandable, especially for those of us who might prioritize gameplay or console functionality over graphical fidelity. That said, he’s nonetheless appreciative of the improvements that SSDs and more powerful hardware that developers will have access to with next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

“I’m always happy to see these makers that are pushing themselves to make more visual enhancements and improvements in technology, and I’m happy that we’re able to do more with each console.”