Why Pikmin hasn't made the jump to handheld

By Andrew Yoon, Jun 18, 2013 12:30pm PDT

There are two certainties when dealing with Nintendo: a) Princess Peach will get kidnapped again and b) their franchises will always make the jump to handheld. One Nintendo series has managed to escape the grasp of their portable empire, however: Pikmin.

Apparently, Nintendo has been keen on bringing its strategy series to handheld, with series creator Shigeru Miyamoto admitting that the company "experimented" with both DS and Game Boy Advance prototypes. However, "we really felt that the portable machine simply didn't have the capabilities to create the Pikmin gameplay in a way that we felt like it needed to be represented," Miyamoto said.

With 3DS being a far more capable system than its predecessors, it seems like it would be powerful enough to handle a proper Pikmin game. However, Miyamoto argues that it still couldn't do the franchise justice. "There's actually one particular facet of this game that we were very focused in on, which was building bridges in Pikmin 3," Miyamoto explained to Polygon. "If you look at it, the bridges are made out of these little tile pieces, and each tile piece is shaped kind of differently, and each individual Pikmin might pick it up and hold the piece in a different way.

"We could be able to take something like that element of the Pikmin gameplay and try to do it on a portable, probably what would end up happening is you would have to make all the pieces the same size and shape, and they'd have to carry them the same way," Miyamoto said. Unfortunately, without being able to appreciate these subtle differences, Miyamoto says that "it really doesn't feel like Pikmin."

Pikmin 3 will be available on Wii U in August. And look, here's a new video showcasing that version of the game:

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