Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime has said the 3DS still has a long life in front of it,” and that the company will continue to support its now six-year-old handheld console alongside the upcoming Switch.
Speaking in an interview with Wired, Fils-Aime re-iterated that the Switch won’t be a direct replacement for the 3DS and that there are still plenty of 3DS titles lined for it.
We’ve already announced games that will be launching in the first couple quarters of this year,” said Fils-Aime. There are a number of big games coming. And in our view, the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Switch are going to live side-by-side.
You’re going to be meeting different price points, you’re going to be meeting different types of consumers, you’re going to have the newest, freshest content available on Nintendo Switch, you’ve got a thousand-game library available on Nintendo 3DS, plus some key new ones coming. They’re going to coexist just fine. We’ve done this before, managing two different systems.”
Of course, one of Switch’s big attractions is the ability to offer big, home console-style games on the go, making it one of the most powerful handhelds Nintendo’s ever made. That said, the company didn’t seem keen to play up its handheld capabilities at its worldwide unveiling event last Friday, instead positioning the machine as a more traditional home console-style offering that also happened to be portable.
I think there’s a sense that Nintendo Switch is a portable device,” Fils-Aime added. It is portable. But at its heart, it’s a home console that you can take with you on the go.”
Whether this is the right marketing tack remains to be seen, as several members of the games industry MCV spoke to at the Switch’s UK premiere event on Friday were concerned that marketing the Switch as a home console would put it at a disadvantage when compared with the PS4 and Xbox One.
At 279, Switch will be more expensive than PS4 and Xbox One, and while some might argue that Nintendo is aiming for a different audience – they’ll need traditional gamers for third parties to enjoy success – so right now, they’ll find it hard to appeal to the core outside of early adopters,” said Gareth Williams at Premier.
Patrick Dane at Bleeding Cool added: The concept is there clearly but I certainly have some key doubts like this should be like when a new PlayStation or Xbox One is coming out, that is massive, right now with the Nintendo Switch I’m kind of like ‘yeah, alright’… It doesn’t feel like the big massive thing a whole new console should come with. At least for me."