Nintendo isn't replacing 3DS with Switch

Nintendo’s newly revealed console, the Nintendo Switch, is both a home console and a portable console, which raises some questions about what will happen to the 3DS come March 2017 and Switch’s release. Will Nintendo still need the 3DS or will Switch become, as Chesney Hawkes would say, the one and only?

Tatsumi Kimishima, the man who succeeded the late Satoru Iwata as Nintendo’s President, gave an answer of sorts in an interview with Bloomberg.

“Thanks to our software, the 3DS hardware is still growing. So that business still has momentum. And certainly rather than being cannibalised by the Switch, we think the 3DS can continue in its own form,” Kimishima said.

Nintendo revealed Switch in a three-minute video aired 20th October. The video showed twenty-somethings using the console in a variety of ways: playing Skyrim on a plane, playing Mario Kart in the back of a van, playing Zelda at home, playing NBA 2K-whatever at an actual basketball court… But what the video didn’t show was any children, or families, which was unusual for Nintendo, and it prompted questions about who the Switch is aimed at. Kimishima talked a bit about this, too.

“Our core philosophy is that we want to increase the number of gamers at all ages and there’s no change to that,” he said. “So we have no intention to lean just towards core gamers. But to communicate our new idea, when you think about who will understand it first, naturally it will be people who really understand games. To communicate that as quickly as possible, we focused on those folks who really understand games.”

In other words: the early adopters.



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Digital Foundry on the GPUs that can match or exceed console visuals.


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On 13th January 2017, Nintendo will hold a Nintendo Switch media briefing for a much deeper dive on what the console is and what it can do. “By no means was that everything,” reiterated Kimishima, referring to what was shown in the Switch reveal video.

“What we haven’t shown you yet is the software line-up,” he added. “We also haven’t shown all of our first-party software. When we make new hardware, how it works with our software is critical. This is what we weren’t able to show. We want people to touch the device in January and experience the software for themselves.”

Tom recently discovered that the Nintendo Switch actually has a multi-touch screen, though it isn’t demonstrated or alluded to in the reveal video at all.

We know Nintendo Switch will be released some time in March, but exactly when, and how much it will cost, will be announced at the January event.

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