Nintendo Switch’s next wave of hardware will come from an unexpected place

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The Nintendo Switch is the company’s least traditional console since, well, ever. It’s not a home console per se, but it’s more powerful than any handheld we’ve yet to see. It has classics like Mario, Zelda and Metroid, sure, but it also provides its youngest fans with zany DIY cardboard playsets that play collections of mini-games.

Now, Nintendo is taking its less-than-traditional approach to games and hardware overseas and bringing them straight into the heart of Silicon Valley - a new report says Nintendo will be partnering up with a venture capital firm to find startups to create new hardware and software for the Nintendo Switch. 

The report comes by way of Bloomberg, who says Nintendo will be partnering with San Francisco, California-based Scrum Ventures - an early-stage Venture Capital firm with strong ties to Japan. 

Specifically, Nintendo is looking for hardware and software designs that will provide players unique ways of interacting with Nintendo hardware - however, it says game design concepts will be excluded. 

Neither Nintendo nor Scrum will invest directly in these ideas, however, but rather offer support and guidance bringing these devices to store shelves. 

From card games, to video games, to cardboard video games 

Nintendo’s eccentric development ideas are nothing new: Most will remember how Nintendo broke new ground with the Nintendo Wii, one of the most successful consoles ever made. 

The Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Labo and this new pilot program are all just  an evolution of that concept of being different in the all-too-similar-feeling hardware space. Nintendo might not be able to compete with Microsoft’s or Sony’s high-powered gaming consoles, the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, but it’s not trying to. It’s taking its own path up the mountain. 

So just when will we see these new experiences on store shelves and in our own homes? Scrum says they’ll handpick startups in the next few months to prepare for a pitch meeting with Nintendo sometime in the later half of this year. 

If you’ve ever wanted to work on a Nintendo product, here’s your window of opportunity.

[Correction 4/12/18: We've corrected this story to say that Scrum is accepting pitches for both hardware and software pitches - however, it will exclude game design concepts.]