However, despite Nintendo having lifted the lid on its long-touted console/handheld hybrid, there’s still many a question hovering around the console and its place in the market.
Interestingly, much of the trailer is focused on the console’s portability and multiple ways to play. Its Joy-Con controller can be used any number of ways, and the device itself can be switch from home console to handheld, hence the name.
Taking to Twitter, it’s clear that most see the console as a blending of Nintendo’s home console and handheld audience, which raised questions as to the future of the Nintendo 3DS.
This led Nintendo to iterate that the Switch is a home console first and foremost: that it won’t replace the 3DS, although its launch will make the Wii U harder to find.
“Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system first and foremost,” a Nintendo spokesperson told Polygon. Nintendo insists that the Switch won’t impact 3DS sales, and that they currently don’t have any future announcements regarding the future of the handheld.
The Nintendo 3DS has sold nearly 60 million units worldwide, and demand has remained steady. Releases such as Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon attract both newcomers and Nintendo fans to the handheld, often leading to second and third-time purchases.
There’s also “many more games in the pipeline” for the handheld, according to Nintendo.
Nintendo’s comments on the 3DS are interesting, especially considering the portability of the Switch. It’s clear that the console’s games are being designed with home gaming in mind, and that its portable functionality is merely an element of convenience. We’ve seen with the likes of the PSP and PS Vita that console-like games with large scope tend to struggle to find much of an audience on portable devices.
The question remains as to just how appealing the Switch is to take on the road, and whether or not it can actually coexist with the 3DS.
There’s also that little known console called the Wii U. Nintendo plans to ship 800,000 units across the global for this current fiscal year, which the company says will make the console “harder to find”.
“We encourage anyone who wants Wii U to communicate with their preferred retail outlet to monitor availability,” Nintendo said.
What are your thoughts? Can the Switch and 3DS coexist?