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Nintendo Firmly Believes There’s A Future For Dedicated Handhelds

Paste Magazine recently had the opportunity to chat with Doug Bowser who is head of marketing over at Nintendo of America. Bowser reconfirmed that Nintendo still has a huge amount of faith in handheld systems and believes that they will continue to play a big role at Nintendo. That being said he also believes that both the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS can comfortably co-exist together saying “they can both survive together.”

“The Switch is off to a great start. We’ve seen people engaging the Switch in a number of different ways, and we’ve been given some raw data that I won’t get into, but across the spectrum, some never take it out of its cradle, others use it as a portable device, but a lot of people are right in the middle, with a balance between home and portable play. We absolutely believe there’s still a future in handheld, and so we’re investing in it. Couple things: you got an install global base of about 66 million units [for the 3DS]. We’re in the seventh year of the cycle. And we’re going to actually install another 6 million units this year. So that userbase will grow by 10% this year. We have a catalog of a thousand games. We’re launching the 2DS XL, which takes the best of the 2DS and the best of the XL, and brings it together for that user that doesn’t want a 3DS experience, but wants a sleeker clamshell based model. And it delivers that for $149. So, we’re still investing in hardware. And with the announcements you’ve seen this week, we’re obviously still investing in software too.”

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116 thoughts on “Nintendo Firmly Believes There’s A Future For Dedicated Handhelds”

      1. Well… if they “killed” it today I don’t think it would hurt them that much because of it. It’s 6 years old and have a big catalogue of games. Make it a “legacy” console, meaning they just produce the hardware and have service on the old thing, and just focus their games on Switch instead. I know that “THEY SELL SO MANY GAMES ON 3DS IT WOULD BE STUPID TO STOP DEVELOP FOR IT”, but I really do think if they focused on Switch, people would just move on to it, and those left would have plenty with games to choose from eShop and one or two reprints of physical classics.

        But they don’t give us enough Switch, so they have to resort to NES/SNES Mini Classics and 3DS to keep the sales up. It just seems so blockheaded to me.

    1. There is still a market space for handhelds like the 3DS.

      Its more portable than the Switch, despite its claims, as it’s much easier to grab and go and get out of a bag and play.
      It’s a cheap alternative.
      It’s far better for individuals, especially children. I myself and my brother both had a Gameboy, but we didn’t individually have a Snes/N64.
      Dual Screens with stylus allows a much greater variety of games. (It’s not like the 3D which was pointless almost, and very minor ways that they could incorporate it with the games

      The thing is, the handheld can still coexist. Nintendo dominate the handheld market, and would be foolish to simply kill it off.
      However the next gen of handhelds will definitely need to be innovative and find a way to hit a certain niche to keep it going in strength alongside. Personally, I think it would do well if they made it lighter and smaller, to try tap into closer to the mobile phones (whilst the switch taps closer to tablets).
      I definitely think they could advertise a handheld as THE LIGHTEST OR SMALLEST.

      This is just my opinion however, and you may be right, in them killing it off being a better move.
      But I’d argue only if they can combine their main home consoles win the handheld in a way that can fit in their old spot of handhelds whilst still maintaining the home consol. For example a Switch mini might work.
      Personally I don’t think it’s possible, without a loss in their foothold in either market.

  1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

    ||Yes fascinating, now give me Metroid Prime 4 as soon as possible…||

        1. In Linux, Ubuntu and Fedora for example, they have this “Kill task/Drep oppgave”-alternative in task manager. If feel it describes the means necessary to efficiently get the thing done in timely manner. “Phase out” or “kill”. Call it what you want, but things need to be done.

          1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

            ||High Command already stated that the Switch is their main focus, and the more it sells, the more the 3DS will be phased out by default whether they want it or not…||

              1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                ||The Switch is only 4 months old, once it apporaches 1 year you will see some signs of the 3DS fading…||

                  1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                    ||Lord Reggienator only cares about war and rage, he doesn’t concern himself with logic, that’s Lord Shibata’s function…||

                    1. I get the feeling they have this Switch-shortage just so they can keep pushing 3DS and still develop games for it, since it cheaper than Switch I presume + quite likely bigger gains on 3DS hardware compared to Switch. All tactics to get the income high and outcome low. Brilliant really, but it keeps the games back. That Nintendo say Switch is main focus doesn’t necessary mean what we want it to.

                      1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

                        Quick! Activate your shields & defense systems! That comment is gonna trigger one of the people, if not all of them, that want to pretend Nintendo would never do such a shady thing as intentionally limit stock. lol

                          1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

                            Interesting. What is the fine for? o.O

                              1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

                                Yikes…

                  2. I imagine they will wait still to see how well the Switch does. Give it time to settle down. As Quadraxis, I give it a year after Switch release before they stop making games.
                    2 years after Switch release until they introduce a nifty new handheld.

                    Whether it’s a Switch mini as people are suggesting, or something new to keep the handhelds going (which I suspect and think is the long term wiser option).
                    I think they could incorporate Nintendo Switch Online with it also, and connectivity with the Switch.

                1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                  ||Except your precious Laptop does not have Purity Weaponry of any kind, albeit powerful ones, still not pure…||

                  1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

                    He’s right, though. The laptop has been doing portable gaming long before the Switch was even a thought at Nintendo.

              2. I wonder if they actually do know that 66 mil console sold doesn’t mean 66 mil users… But I guess they know many people buys the different editions to collect, so they just spew out a tons of different editions and make money on the stone age-old hardware the console are made of. I hope they kill it soon, but I guess fan favourites like Metroid and stuff for the really hardcore fans will show up there a bit longer.

                1. Jaded Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4; Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch! Just need cloud storage, add external hard drive support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

                  My wife had to replace our son’s 2DS twice so that’s 3 2DS sold right there. As for me, I changed my original 3DS twice as the first one was damaged because the wife knocked alcohol all over it. :/ Then I got two n3DS’s: once when it originally released & once again when that galaxy styled one released. That’s 7 sales right there. Sadly, only my galaxy n3DS is working as the ones I gave to my brother were damaged beyond repair, too. So that’s only 2 actual users of the 3DS/2DS right there out of 7 devices.

                  1. Goddamn. I thought I was rough on MY 3DS’s xD That’s brutal, sorry you’ve had so many replacements!

                      1. fortunately I had the screen scratch problem, send a tendo had to repair an extend my warranty every 6 months. if not for the shity screens that kept scratching I would have ended up buying several 3DS’s also! D;

                      2. that said I’ve probably purchased 3 3DS’s not counting the half-dozen I’ve sent to Nintendo for free repairs and replacements. still I love my 3DS!

                        1. Always loved 3DS. It got the greatest handheld games on the marked. Kind of liked the Vita hardware better, but the games on 3DS is undeniable better and in bigger number.

                    1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

                      I also buy a new one every now & then for the sole purpose of having a working system in pristine condition. I intend to do the same with my Switch & PS4 at some point. IN the case of PS4, I’ll just upgrade to the Pro so two birds with one stone: a replacement in pristine condition AND the more powerful PS4 to boot.

                1. You can always just buy a PS4/Xbox One for that experience. For people who are busy, the novelty of being able to squeeze in a few minutes of a console quality game on the go is a pretty big bonus, besides people don’t generally stick with one platform.

                  1. If there wasnt a 2ds available and I didnt want 3d in my handheld you guys would just say turn the 3d off. Please dont talk to me. you guys are so full of shit.

                            1. You have to option…you can keep it in a dock forever and sync a pro controller. You’ve got to be a good troll or a good jackass.

                                1. ….did you not read what I said? Whatever happened to those classy trolls we were graced with in the past *sigh*

                                  1. I dont care about he portable aspect which raises the price of the switch. Just like if somebody doesnt want 3d in their handheld they have the option for a 2ds. Are you stupid?

                                    1. Did you notice the Switch part of the name? Removing the option to SWITCH between modes wouldn’t make it a Switch which unlike the 3D on the 3DS is essential to the experience. Notice the 2DS is called the 2DS. And before you say 3D is essential, take note that from day 1 Nintendo wanted all games to be playable in 2D mode. The 3D is simply to add to immersion.

                        1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                          ||It already has a PS4 despite using some of the same arguments not to buy a Switch…||

                      1. 2DS came out 2 years after the 3DS. If you want to complain about Nintendo not catering to the people who want a home-only console, and you’re gonna use the 2DS as an example, then you have to wait until 2019 to complain.

                        Also, please submit all complaints in triplicate.

                    1. I love the DS and 3DS line because I love those 2D retro feel games. I want to buy a New 2DS but am worried it is a last ditch effort at a money grab before they close the door on the 3DS for good.

                    2. Jaded Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4; Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch! Just need cloud storage, add external hard drive support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

                      Meh…

                    3. The solution should have been to make the Switch compatible with 3ds and Ds games by making it tablet sized. That would have created instant content for the system while new gen releases were coming.

                      1. I’m pretty sure that’s what everybody thought was going to happen. just like I’m pretty sure people thought Nintendo was going to phase out the 3 DS. predicting what Nintendo is going to do is like trying to predict the weather.

                        1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                          ||Impressive that you’re the only one that understood my point on Lord Reggienator…||

                          ||I sent you a reply to your mail…||

                        2. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                          ||I haven’t heard back from you in half a year now at least since my last e-mail to you, if you are still out there, message me if you want…||

                            1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                              ||When was the last time? I keep thinking maybe something happened to his best friend Sacha…||

                                1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                                  ||Looking at the final date of his last e-mail, yes, he stopped contact in middle of July too…||

                    4. They said the same thin about WiiU. Switch would co-exist with WiiU and 3DS. Look how that worked out.

                      As for those of you saying dump 3DS, that’d be suicidal. There’s not enough Switches out there to do this. Nintendo would go belly up just relying on the already existing installation base.

                      So yea, hoping 3DS users switch to Switch is nice and all, but without available Switches, it’s pointless. Try again in 2019 (3DS is beign supported through 2018), when hopefully Nintendo has it’s act together and can figure out how to mass produce things.

                        1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

                          Back when it was called NX, they did actually say Wii U would co-exist with it as I remember it being said in a article once before, too. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was that Reggie idiot who said it, too.

                            1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

                              It had to have been on here as this is the only place I really come to for my Nintendo news.

                      1. Nintendo’s major development is already focusing on Switch. I expect a dedicated portable version of the Switch in 2019 to go fully with these statements.

                      1. same here I have so many Virtual Console games on my 3DS not to mention a bunch of first and third party games as well as Indies.

                        it wouldn’t be economically feasible for me to part with my 3DS without someone buying it for a small fortune. I have a 128 gig SD card installed and it’s half full with games and probably 20 gigs of music.

                          1. I have so little time, the 3DS makes it convenient to game when and where I want, which a zillion games to chose from.

                            My schedule:
                            7am – 6pm, Work. Includes 1.5-2hr round trip drive.
                            6pm – 8pm, walk/hike/train with my dog.
                            8-9pm, cook for me and my dog.

                            at that point, I’m tired, and have to decide on what to do for fun. Hobbies, gaming or going to bed to get some rest. Its crazy, but no matter what, my trusty 3DS is ready for a quick game session!

                    5. They keep trying even though they’ve all but confirmed that the 3DS is the last dedicated handheld of theirs. It’s understandable, since they need to push those New 2DS units.

                    6. None of this says that they’re not going to release a dedicated portable Switch. It would be something that makes everyone happy.

                      1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                        ||They won’t because it would defeat the entire purpose of the machine, they will release something else…||

                          1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                            ||A true successor to the 3DS, they can say whatever they want, they are already making it…||

                            1. Because they would be splitting between two different systems. With a portable only Switch it’s the same games on both.

                              1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                                ||I don’t see a replacement until 2019 anyway so it will barely harm the Switch at all…||

                                  1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                                    ||I predict a VR capable handheld machine instead, let’s just wait 2 more years…||

                                      1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                                        ||I don’t see why they cannot both have that implemented in some way…||

                                        1. Because the regular Switch is practically made for VR but isn’t powerful enough yet. Just slide the screen in a headset and the joy-cons are your motion controls.

                                          1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                                            ||Yes but you have to remember that High Command wants to remain cost-effective, creating a true 3DS successor with VR as its main focus while keepin the Switch a separate line of machines, would give us more options as VR should not be mandatory for a home console as it currently stands…||

                                            1. Switch is the true successor. You have some very loose circuits you need to get fixed pronto.

                          1. The 3DS is like the PS2 in the PS3 era. It still sells systems. It still sells games. Why discontinue it? I think the PS2 was being pumped out until the twilight days of the PS3.

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