Kimishima considering a 3DS successor

Man, the Switch isn't even out yet and we're already hearing about a 3DS successor. I think a lot of that discussion is going to depend on how well the Switch does.

Categories: Top Stories, Portables
Tags: 3ds


Top Rated Comment
Wed Feb 01 17 11:26pm
Rating: 7

In my opinion this is what it NEEDS to be... otherwise they're screwing up their plans to have one unified platform. And I think I'd spring for a smaller pocket-friendly Switch if the price was right.

Wed Feb 01 17 10:42pm
Rating: 1

man.... I don't know about this if they don't go all in on the switch and it gets game droughts like the wii u they might lose a large amount of their fan base.

Could be a scaled down version of the switch, that is pocket-sized and cannot connect to TV and be sold much cheaper

Wed Feb 01 17 11:26pm
Rating: 7

In my opinion this is what it NEEDS to be... otherwise they're screwing up their plans to have one unified platform. And I think I'd spring for a smaller pocket-friendly Switch if the price was right.

Ya at this point I don't really see what else they could do. The ultimate feature for a handheld would be to connect to the TV and the Switch already does that. Hardware wise a handheld doesn't need to be better than what Switch offers. The only hurdle handhelds had left were blocky models/objects, and now that that's done, it would seem a bit redundant to have both when the home and handheld consoles are comparable to each other.

I wonder how you even market a smaller Switch, because you wouldn't have joycons if it's smaller, you can't dock it, and the OG Switch is already portable. It's an even weirder spot than the 2DS, "Here's the portable-only, non-switchable Switch". Not saying it doesn't have a place, but it would be interesting to see them market a device that goes against the core tenants of the main device it's based on, but plays the same games.

if the portable Switch could have twice the battery life of the OG Switch, then there is a market for you ;)

I always wanted (and still want) a successor to the 3DS because I enjoyed many of the unique features it offered. But at the same time I can understand why some think it will screw over the Switch by splitting sales/devs/consumers etc. Nintendo is in a weird situation now that they've made their home console portable.

Yes, split your games on 2 handhelds plus mobile great going Nintendo.
What is he on about?

So much for having the strength of all Nintendo's software on a unified platform.

But nothing says growth potential like dedicated gaming handhelds! Let's make 2 at once!!

Oh Nintendo, don't. A one console future is better for both you and your consumers. A Switch lite, okay. But a secondary console is not.

Indeed. A cheaper, smaller Switch Lite/"Slim" around the time a 3DS successor would hypothetically be releasing (2018-2020) sounds like the best way forward.

Naw man, just let the 3DS pick up the slack for a couple years, then drop the price of the Switch into the $200-$250 price range. By then the Switch will be ready to take over the handheld market.

Well, if he thinks the Switch can reach Wii numbers, he probably thinks 3DS successor can reach DS numbers. Bless him.

Wed Feb 01 17 10:57pm
(Updated 4 times)

After the Fire Emblem direct from last month, I can't say I'm completely surprised. Let's see...


...Yeah, I don't know what to think about this. Pros and cons kinda balance out, as far as I can tell. But at the end of the day, this is in the same boat as Nintendo VR: they're still just considering it, so no reason to give it too much thought until he straight up says that its happening.

I wouldn't expect dual screen gaming with a 3DS successor.

Wed Feb 01 17 11:32pm
(Updated 1 time)

Losing the dual-screen would defeat the point of it being a 3DS successor. A single-screen handheld wouldn't be a 3DS successor. It would just be a smaller Switch form factor that can't use the dock. Something that I can't see Nintendo seriously doing, despite everyone else being so sure about it, as that would undermine the messaging of the Switch and confuse consumers. And after the Wii U, I don't see Nintendo chancing consumer confusion any time soon. If Nintendo really is planning on a "Switch Lite", then they were idiots for calling the system "Switch" to begin with.

Wed Feb 01 17 11:50pm
Rating: 1

If Nintendo really is planning on a "Switch Lite", then they were idiots for calling the system "Switch" to begin with.

Wed Feb 01 17 11:58pm
(Updated 1 time)

I mean...that was a revision, not a...2DS is clearly...alright, I concede. Nintendo could probably call a handheld-only Switch something else if they really wanted to. (I want my dual-screens, though.)

the shoemaker
Thu Feb 02 17 12:04am
(Updated 1 time)

I think they could get around the Switch idea by still using JoyCons (as those are the core of the Switch), but they would be getting pretty small at that point.

Or even just a smaller version of the Switch that does not have JoyCons, but can still be docked. ( dock sold separately I would assume)

I think 2 screens looks too dated and serves little purpose in 2018-2020. Not enough of a difference to justify itself anyways. I can see Nintendo releasing more of a GBA Micro kind of device - something very small, and portable with a long battery life and lower end games at a cheaper price - everything Switch doesn't offer. Two screens is an added cost for very little value. Besides 3DS did well because of the software, not the dual screens. Dual screens were just there to continue the DS branding.

By successor it could mean continuing the DS line, but really 2 screens is just unintuitive at this point when it comes to touch screens.

I could be wrong though, Nintendo knows their market better than I do, maybe they would rather stick with the two screen design for backwards compatibility. Personally, I think they may as well go back to one screen now like they are doing with Switch to prevent any difficulties with backwards compatibility in the future. Going with 2 screens again just means the DS, 3DS and XDS lines will forever be awkward to emulate, when they could just keep the awkwardness to DS and 3DS.

Eh, I disagree about dual-screens being dated. From a game development perspective, there are a decent number of games that manage to utilize the bottom screen for more than just inventory management or use the two screens in tandem in fun ways. The move to a single-screen would make those games lose a bit of their flavor. From a market perspective, it's fantastic for differentiation. It's a small device with a clam-shell design, something that few others things in the market of portable devices share, thus rendering it as something unique, even when placed against the Switch. (Yes, there are laptops, but no one is going to look at a laptop and confuse it for a 5-to-6-inch device that can fit into your pocket. Similar logic goes towards anyone still rocking a flip phone.)

Nintendo could totally make a smaller, non-TV form factor for the Switch work, no problem. But there's nothing really stopping them from making a successor to the 3DS, whatever it may be called, work just as well. People still know them for that clamshell form factor, so might as well keep that going if you plan on making another dedicated handheld.

Nintendo drop touted features of systems all the time down the road so to see them drop the core element of Switch with a Switch Lite wouldn't be too surprising haha. Obviously there's 2DS, then there's GBA Micro losing backwards compatibility. DSi losing the GBA port that wasn't just for BC but also was necessary for games like Guitar Hero and even for Pokemon to bring Pokemon over from GBA games. The Wii eventually lost the GameCube ports and then later lost WiFi in the mini preventing it from accessing the VC (a main selling point when it was revealed). None of these are as major as losing the ability to dock the Switch (which they could still do but just sell the dock separate) or the JoyCons, but the fact is Nintendo don't care about removing features. If they do it further along the road where everybody knows what the Switch is, there shouldn't be much of an issue.

The Wii [...] later lost WiFi in the mini
Wait, what? Really? The Mini doesn't have WiFi? What were they thinking? WiFi is such a standard and essential feature, and should be cheap to implement too... I'm surprised they took that out!

By that time, they knew the WFC and other channels were going out of commission soon. No reason to add WiFi to something where said features would be turned off soon.

Thu Feb 02 17 02:49pm
(Updated 1 time)

Yeah, but the Wii Shop Channel is still available even today. Factor that in the weird amount of people who still use the original iterations of the 480p console as a Netflix or Crunchyroll box, and it counts as a an odd removal.

Yep, no online play or access to the shop. It had USB ports but you couldn't even hook up the Ethernet adaptor to get online.

I know it wasn't core to the marketing of the system, but losing any sort of online feature on Wii is just as big of a loss as losing the docking feature would be with Switch. It didn't lop off the Wii's main appeal but it definitely wasn't a trivial removal.

Thu Feb 02 17 10:19am
(Updated 1 time)

I still feel like it would be weird because of what you said: losing the ability to dock the Switch would be losing a huge factor of the device. One that is key in them advertising it. The 2DS is the only other system revision that they've done that does away with the key-selling point of a previous version, while the others were extra features that they never focused on when advertising the system. Nintendo never touted the Virtual Console in commercials, or the DS's backwards compatibility with the GBA. And even then, the n3DS came along shortly after the 2DS, and it still retained glasses-free 3D was never fully. The 2DS served as a cheaper form factor along its n3DS sibling. Regardless, I admit that the 2DS does set a precedent for the removal of any system feature, as you say.

I understand the logic behind what you all are throwing at me. And that know there are quite a few who would want just the portable aspect of the Switch, just as there are people wishing for a pure home console variation. Heck, I feel like a cheaper home variation of the Switch would be a better idea than a cheaper portable one, if we're talking revisions. And Nintendo could just save money selling the Switch by itself, instead of creating a newer, saller form factor. Makes replacements for damaged systems easier and still gives consumers an option. But the idea of an only portable Switch just doesn't gel with me all that well, personally. If we have to get a new dedicated handheld, a dual-screen one would be far more interesting to me. That said, if Nintendo does end up doing a "Switch Lite" as a new dedicated handheld, I'd accept it. It's not like I'd have to buy it anyway, since the main Switch would still be there, after all.

Wed Feb 01 17 10:57pm
(Updated 1 time)

The Switch is already a handheld whether Nintendo admits it or not. How about making a traditional console instead?

The Switch is far more than a handheld whether you admit it or not. And if by 'traditional console' you mean try to beat MicroSony at their own game by doing exactly what they do... well... that would just be suicidal...

Thu Feb 02 17 06:58am
(Updated 1 time)

So how do you propose to make the Switch even more handheld than what it actually is? If you follow Nintendo's history, they said that the DS was a "third pillar" that wasn't supposed to replace the GBA, and look at what happened. I tell you, the 3ds is dead when Nintendo realizes that the Switch's audience is mostly mobile and handheld users upgrading from their 3ds'.

Thu Feb 02 17 11:04am
Rating: 1

By making it smaller, of course. The Switch ain't exactly tiny. It's the same length as a Wii U gamepad, and larger than a 3DSxl. It can be carried around, but it ain't really portable in the way past Nintendo portables were:

It wouldn't be much of a stretch for Nintendo to make a regular 3DS-sized Switch (something between. Regular 3DS and an XL) with two screens, 3DS backwards compatibility, and portable Switch power in 2018, for a much cheaper price than the current Switch. And there IS a market for it, because there are plenty of consumers out there that can't afford $300 or $250 for a console. And since it runs the same software, there also isn't much of a risk. It would basically be like Nintendo releasing a two sizes of 3DS, or Apple releasing a phone and a tablet that run most of the same software but have some different functionality.

You guys do know that Takashi (the wall street journalist) said that based on the context in the article just means that the 3DS and Switch will be together for now and they are just opened to the idea just like they are open for VR. Doesnt mean is going to happen...

For people on the internet, there is no 'maybe'... there's only "someone said something, PANIC!!!"

What's the point! You got your successor right in front of you, with the Switch! I was hoping the Switch would finally bridge the gap between lower res handheld, and higher quality console gaming...

The Switch will indeed do that. But it won't take away the wish for a simple low res handheld.

I think it's safe to say a mainstream entry for Pokémon will be on the Switch. If they'd make a "Switch lite", with a smaller SoC (less energy used for the proc), a smaller screen (around 5,5") and non removable JoyCons with a regular D-pad. And release it for 200 euro's / dollar in 2018-2019 they will have their 3DS successor that plays the same games as their Wii U successor. (There should be no exclusives for the Switch / Switch Lite)

Oh no...please don't Nintendo. I'm really tired of the game droughts since Nintendo you have proven time and time again without 3rd party support you CANNOT support 2 systems at one time. I remember the 2011-2012 for the Wii where we literally got nothing for like 8 months. I also remember all throughout the Wii U's "life" in general. I don't want all the games heading to the 4DS when you have a perfectly capable portable system with the Switch already.

Think about what Switch could possibly have if they use it as an "all in one" device:

-3D Mario
-A big Mario Kart
-Smash Bros.
-2D Mario
-Big open world Zelda (BOTW)
-Paper Mario
-Mario & Luigi
-Fire Emblem
-Metroid Prime
-Donkey Kong
-2D Metroid
-Star Fox
-Advance/Battalion Wars
-Main series Pokemon
-Multiple Kirby releases
-All the handheld exclusive Pokemon spin-offs like Ranger, Mystery Dungeon, Trozei, etc.
-HD top down Zelda game like Triforce Heroes, Minish Cap, ALBW, etc.
-Animal Crossing
-Kid Icarus: Uprising 2
-Rhythm Heaven
-Wario Land
-Mario Party
-Mario Sports series
-Luigi's Mansion
-Xenoblade Chronicles

^ Imagine all these games on ONE device. No more picking and choosing whether this franchise goes to this console or this franchise goes that console. NO all on one console, all in HD. If Nintendo has a library of games for the Switch that equals the output of software they put out on Wii U and 3DS combined. Then yes I could see the Switch being the next Wii. But if they hinder themselves again by adding a second platform then idk...

Thu Feb 02 17 12:18am
Rating: 1

Ugh. Come on, Nintendo. I'm already on the fence about Switch. I'm not getting one at launch and waiting to see if it has a future. This kind of talk makes it look like Nintendo doesn't have faith in it, so why should I?

Thu Feb 02 17 01:50am
Rating: 2 (Updated 2 times)

They've been making both consoles and handhelds for years now... how does considering a successor to the handheld side show a lack of faith in the console side when they've been doing this sort of thing since the beginning?

And yes, I get it, the Switch can function as a handheld... but it also functions as a console and even does things neither one can do--namely function as a portable console/tv hybrid... so it's not the exact same market...

They've been making both consoles and handhelds for years now...

But they have always struggled to maintain a good momentum of releases on both consoles. If they consolidated their efforts and focused on the one console they could eliminate this issue by having a larger quantity of games for the system, or increase the quality of their titles. After games like Mario Tennis Ultra Smash and Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival, I think Nintendo really needs to get the quality of their titles up.

Also I feel that Nintendo ignoring the fact that the Switch is portable will hurt the Switch's sales. The Switch looks like the best handheld ever. But it looks like a pretty mediocre home console. So it's a big mistake for them to not have faith in the Switch as a handheld.

Not just Mario Tennis and Amiibo Festival but Federation Force, Star Fox Zero, Color Splash, Chibi-Robo Zip-Lash, Mario Party 10, Mario Party: Star Rush, Twilight Princess HD, Hyrule Warriors Legends, Super Mario Maker for 3DS.

^ All of those games I wouldn't exactly consider "high quality" or up to Nintendo's usual standards. We could alleviate a lot of those if Nintendo focused on ONE device that way they wouldn't have to pad releases with rush jobs (Ultra Smash, Party 10, and Amiibo Festival) or lazy ports (Twilight Princess HD, Mario Maker 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends) just to fulfill a release schedule.

Thu Feb 02 17 01:58am
(Updated 2 times)

I would love to see it, if it is just a Switch double screen ala 3DS Switch ;p
because 3ds, you just close it and put it on your pocket unlike switch I am scared to scratch its screen lol, and if 3DS Switch uses switch games there is not a problem and it will be cheaper you don't need the dock station that cost like $90 t0 $100.

They will release Pokemon for Switch and 3DS Switch omg, why I am not working for Nintendo already ;p? lolz

I'd love to see the Switch portable sized one day. I'd love to see the Switch priced like a 2DS one day. But that will take years. Do you really expect Nintendo to let the 3DS fall into obscurity without a direct successor till they can do that with the Switch hardware?

It's good to have a back-up plan, but you won't need it Smile

Thu Feb 02 17 02:59am
(Updated 1 time)

I understand the negative reaction. I actually thought this would be the point where Nintendo's portable and console branches finally fused into its true, ultimate form where we can have the best of everything in one place. It would have been great for players.

However, at the same time, I know what this means for Nintendo. It means a ton of lost revenue because they would now only have one line of hardware. They're essentially shutting down an entire branch of the company if they don't have a separate line of consoles and portables. That is a bad sign, if you couldn't tell.

If Nintendo was planning on a 3DS successor after all, then I have to ask what Nintendo was thinking with the Switch? Switch would undoubtedly compete against the 3DS successor. I don't believe Nintendo can be that stupid. I'm guessing Kimishima made these remarks because he wanted to see how people might react to the idea.

Nintendo basically already lost that line of revenue, in the home console space not the handheld space. They went from 101 million Wiis to 13 million WiiUs. That's why it made sense to make their next "home" console a hybrid, unify their departments, and start exploring mobile games and movies to replace that lost revenue.

It can't be overstated what a big change making mobile games is for them, and one they never would have made a few years ago. They plan on starting with 4 mobile games a year, which is basically how many WiiU games they were releasing a year. And the smartphone games will probably be more profitable too.

Thu Feb 02 17 03:02am
Rating: 1

All this negative reception... really? Really?

We just think it's a business opportunity for Nintendo to have only one console now.
It seems the audience is more ready than Nintendo themselves to make this move. I'm affraid a 3ds successor might confuse people and/or send the wrong message as to whether Nintendo is 100% commited to the hybrid nature of the Switch.

I really think they should go 100% behind the Switch and eventually make Switch games of popular 3ds series to tell the audience that Switch is the replacement. As some have said, they could try another version of the Switch complete with a couple 3ds features, mainly more battery and Streetpass.

Thu Feb 02 17 05:01am
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

You want the casual market to play your simple and wacky touch/motion based games they loved on 3DS? Well, guess what, they've already got a device capable of that, it's called a phone! Hold it upright and you have your "dual" screen layout. Nintendo could even release a simple shell/clip for phones that adds a couple of buttons that connect via bluetooth.

Switch is then for what people consider core games. Plus of course the games that fall in the grey area between.

Switch and mobile together definitely covers all bases. I do not see a need, let alone a market space for a 3DS succesor once Switch and Nintendo mobile have settled in.

Thu Feb 02 17 06:06am
(Updated 1 time)

With one statement he has essentially killed a good chunk of the Switch "hype" like Iwata did when he lost drop the NX codename.

People are saying a portable only Switch would confuse the messaging of the device by getting rid of its core feature but really a separate dedicated handheld would be even more baffling. People would see ads for the Switch and see people playing it on the go, then see ads for another Nintendo console...that they're playing on the go? Completely different games? You can only buy Pokemon on the new DS? You can only get the next Zelda on the Switch? You have to carry both if you want to play everything Nintendo is making?

It'd be a clusterf***. They really have to focus on Switch as a singular platform and I don't think making a handheld only Switch would dilute the appeal, it'd just make the appeal even greater.

the way the Switch survives in the west is by becoming the indie friendly console- for those indie game loves that don't have a good pc. That being said Nintendo also has to put out their budget titles on the system, the old handheld division, $40 cheaper to make titles along with the big budget Nintendo games.

A new designated handheld would hurt 😭

"I ain't got time for that!"


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