“We think the 3DS can continue in its own form.”
Nintendo may be planning on pushing their upcoming Switch system as a home console first and foremost, but it’s hard to get away from the undeniable fact that it’s a portable first and foremost- it’s a system that’s designed around the limitations of being portable that also happens to output images to a TV. It’s an extremely powerful portable, sure- but it’s a portable nonetheless.
But if it’s a portable, what does that mean for the 3DS? Nintendo’s current portable is a far cry from its predecessor, the Nintendo DS, which sold 154 million units worldwide, but at over 60 million sold, it still remains the most successful system of the generation, and indeed, of all time. Are Nintendo planning on phasing out the 3DS in favor of the Switch, too?
Speaking to Bloomberg, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said that he feels that the 3DS’s software successes mean it can continue selling for some time, instead of being undermined by the Switch. “Thanks to our software, the 3DS hardware is still growing. So that business still has momentum,” he said. “Certainly rather than being cannibalized by the Switch, we think the 3DS can continue in its own form.”
I think he may be right, at least initially- the Switch will be a rather high end system for Nintendo, and one that simply is priced too high for Nintendo’s traditional demographic of younger kids. For them, a cheap 2DS, with an established library of games, many of them available at cheaper price points too, will continue to be an entry into the Nintendo ecosystem.