A recent Bloomberg article has suggested that Nintendo appears to be set to end its handheld and home-console side-by-side combo, with the Switch replacing the Wii U and 3DS in the years to come.
“For more than two decades, Nintendo Co.’s twin product lines were the envy of its rivals: a home console and a handheld gaming device. But signs are emerging its new hybrid Switch may upend all of that.”
The article writer does acknowledge that Nintendo hasn’t explicitly said that it will be abandoning the two-gadget strategy, but believes that the signs are there. The article advises that the home and handheld development teams within Nintendo were merged in 2013, and they began work on the Switch the following year:
“While Nintendo hasn’t said it’s abandoning the two-gadget strategy, the signs are there. The home and handheld development teams were merged in 2013, with the company beginning work on the Switch the following year. Last quarter, Nintendo stopped reporting separate revenue for handheld and home systems. Then last month, it said a new Pokemon title for the Switch is in development, the first time a main game in the series will debut outside of a dedicated handheld system such as the Game Boy or 3DS.”
“The 3DS will hang around for a few years because of the big install base, but ultimately the goal is for the Switch to become their one and only platform for hardware,” said David Gibson, a Tokyo-based analyst at Macquarie. “It’s part of the biggest evolution to the company in three decades.”
Only time will tell if Nintendo’s ultimate goal is to phase out the Nintendo 3DS, and continue with a single console. It could even turn out that the Nintendo 3DS will continue on and be succeeded by a new Nintendo handheld console in the future, it’s too early to say at this point. Either way, it will be interesting to see how it unfolds.