Nintendo confirms that it will continue to support the 3DS and may even be planning at a follow-up.
In the Q&A for Nintendo’s recent Financial Results Briefing, Nintendo President, Tatsumi Kimishima, confirmed that the Japanese games publisher will continue to support the ageing 3DS console, despite the impending launch of the Nintendo Switch.
In response to a shareholder question on how the 3DS and Switch might coexist – and if Nintendo will ever release another dedicated handheld console – Kimishima said:
“Nintendo 3DS is a different system from Nintendo Switch in terms of its shape, weight, price and the types and number of available software titles. From this perspective, I believe parents will opt to choose Nintendo 3DS as their childrenʼs first video game system. So we recognize that Nintendo 3DS as a portable game device meets different needs and fits different markets than Nintendo Switch, and we will keep this recognition in mind as we consider the future of our dedicated portable video game business.”
Shinya Takahashi, Nintendo’s managing executive officer, added:
“We have been developing new software titles for Nintendo 3DS, so please look forward to them. As for your question about a next-generation portable game system, because Nintendo never stops thinking about and researching potential future video game systems, it is not a question of whether it may make sense to release some specific product in the future. We are always engaged in researching and considering our next video game system.”
At first glance, the arrival of the Switch appeared to mark the end of the 3DS. However, the handheld console has seen a sales resurgence in recent months – boosted by the popularity of Pokémon Sun and Moon – and it remains in short supply both in Europe and the US.
With a whole new audience of owners for Nintendo to sell games to – and a decent 2017 line-up that includes Fire Emblem Echoes, Pikmin, Ever Oasis and Mario Sports Superstars – there’s no reason why the 3DS will not tick along nicely for the next year or so.
There’s also no guarantee that the Nintendo Switch will be a success. If it is, then the 3DS can be repositioned, as Kimishima indicates, as an entry-level console for younger gamers. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see a new version of the console – that’s maybe simpler, and even cheaper – released this year that directly targets that demographic.
If the Switch flops, Nintendo may well decide to withdraw from making TV-connected consoles, but there’s no reason to assume that they wouldn’t attempt another handheld device.
You can read the full Q&A Summary on the Nintendo website (pdf).