Nintendo May Be Considering a Successor for the 3DS

Kyoto newspaper quotes Nintendo president as seeing a need for it.

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It appears that Nintendo Japan is considering a successor for the 3DS, according to the Kyoto Shimbun newspaper. We should consider this unconfirmed given the possible translation issues, but Nintendo has made comments in the past regarding the Switch as a replacement for the Wii U only.

The report, translated by Tokyo-based gaming consultant Dr. Serkan Toto on Twitter, quotes Nintendo Japan president Tatsumi Kimishima as saying that he sees an need for a new handheld and that there is a market for it. Toto said that the inference is for a completely new unit and not an update or modification of the existing 3DS. There were no other details presented in the article.

Nintendo Japan held a high-level strategy meeting yesterday about its plans, so the comments from Kimishima could be based on discussion from that meeting. The company is also ramping up production on the Nintendo Switch, which releases on March 3, Despite some lackluster comments about the upcoming console-handheld hybrid, the company increased its financial forecast because of a strong showing by mobile title Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run.

Because of the focus on the Switch, Nintendo has stopped production of its Wii U console

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  • reply
    February 2, 2017 9:00 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Nintendo May Be Considering a Successor for the 3DS

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      February 2, 2017 9:02 AM

      Not the right time for them to be saying this, but I understand it's to make sure that they have a backup plan if the Switch fails. The head honcho is out of his mind if he thinks it's going to sell Wii like numbers though.

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      February 2, 2017 9:18 AM

      I honestly really don't want this. I would be totally fine with the marriage of handheld and console going forward like the switch is shaping up to be.

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      February 2, 2017 9:19 AM

      [deleted]

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      February 2, 2017 9:32 AM

      Hypothetically, suppose this is true. What would you want from another Nintendo handheld, given that Switch will also be a thing?

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        February 2, 2017 9:45 AM

        Some kind of Switch mini type of thing. Say in 3 years, the Switch gets an upgrade, and then they shrink the current Switch to 3DS size. Games both new and old become compatible with each other. Sort of like a PS4/PS4 Pro kind of thing.

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        February 2, 2017 9:48 AM

        Best not to overthink it... Especially with logic and forward thinking. This is Nintendo: a 3DS successor will probably be called "The Even Newer 3DS" and one of the bullet-points will be what color case you can choose from.

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        February 2, 2017 3:58 PM

        GBA SP form, but with a headphone jack, and fuck loads of GameCube ports. I guess. I dunno.

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        February 2, 2017 4:17 PM

        Battery pack for the Switch

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        February 2, 2017 10:35 PM

        Here's what I want: make every new handheld game able to be played on the switch.

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      February 2, 2017 9:37 AM

      They just need to stop with the announcements. They are going out of their way to kill the Switch at this point.

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      February 2, 2017 9:40 AM

      While I still believe this is lip service so they don't kill 3DS sales, it would seriously piss me off if true.

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      February 2, 2017 10:11 AM

      Beyond it being a fairly casual remark, I would like to remind everyone that for a spell, the DS was considered to be a third pillar at Nintendo.

      In case the Switch tanks, Nintendo would be foolish not to be looking at the possibility of continuing forward with the DS line in some way shape or form.

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        February 2, 2017 10:32 AM

        They seem to be trying to tank the switch with these types of comments

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          February 2, 2017 11:05 AM

          Yep, this seems incredibly dumb. The whole reason the Switch is underpowered is because it's a portable. If they were going to update the 3DS, why even fucking bother with the Switch?

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            February 2, 2017 11:27 AM

            2004: "If they're going to maintain the Gameboy line why even bother with the DS?"

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              February 2, 2017 11:28 AM

              How is this at all the same thing? The DS was absolutely the successor to the Gameboy.

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                February 2, 2017 11:39 AM

                Because the DS was going to be the third pillar, they said they'd keep the gameboy going.

                NEWSFLASH: They did not keep the gameboy going.

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                February 2, 2017 11:40 AM

                Except, as I said, the DS was officially considered to be a third pillar in Nintendo's lineup for a good while, despite the obvious intent for it to eventually replace the Gameboy.

                The point is that it was a risk averse play that allowed them to maintain a well established name in the target segment should their lateral play fail, which is what they're doing by not fully killing the 3DS pillar the very moment they launch the Switch.

                I'm shocked anyone would even think that they would fully nuke that branch while it still makes money, even as Nintendo consolidates the software side.

                Ramp down? Sure. Plan for the end of line? Absolutely. Plan for the worst possibility that they may need to throw together a new DS by late 2019? Probably.

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                  February 2, 2017 11:50 AM

                  Hell, nearly a full year after the release of the DS Nintendo dropped the somewhat confusingly named* Game Boy Micro in Q3 2005. They didn't fully kill off the Game Boy until it was clear the DS could fully succeed it. They put a lot of effort into the DS but they planned for the worst.

                  *Despite lacking "Advance" in the name it was not only a GBA, it was GBA only unlike all previous Game Boy Advances.

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          February 2, 2017 3:57 PM

          Who is going to know he made these comments outside of the Shack and NeoGAF? It will have zero effect on sales

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            February 2, 2017 4:14 PM

            Is this a serious question? It's pretty easy for these stories to be picked up by one, then a bunch of outlets, blowing it all up and out of proportion. That's how these things usually work.

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              February 2, 2017 8:50 PM

              Yeah, it was serious. I don't think this is going to be a major scandal like when XBO wasn't going to play used games.

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      February 2, 2017 10:31 AM

      Nooo! They need to go all-in on this idea of one system to rule them all. Obviously they will consider all options internally, but they shouldn't be letting this stuff out to discourage Switch adopters. Just say you'll support the 3DS for a while and leave it at that.

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        February 2, 2017 10:50 AM

        From the sound of things, the Switch is never going to be a 3DS replacement since the portable battery life is nowhere near that of a 3DS. I guess I could see a "Switch 2.0" have improved battery life where that's a viable option, but it'll be a while before that happens. In the meantime why not make a new dedicated handheld that all the kids are clamoring for?

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          February 2, 2017 11:08 AM

          It's actually pretty close to the original 3DS battery specs.

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            February 2, 2017 12:16 PM

            Yeah. I wonder if they'd eventually release a switch mini or switch Plus that has double the battery life. Maybe in a year or two if they can get a process shrink on the hardware.

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              February 2, 2017 12:20 PM

              I'm actually expecting it 2-3 years down the road.

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                February 2, 2017 12:51 PM

                I'd expect a switch mini. Something spec'd for travel but still compatible with big switch.

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                  February 2, 2017 12:59 PM

                  It would be cool if it had a 3DS fold-up form factor, with buttons built in instead of removable joy-cons. Plus, still have a dock of course.

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              February 2, 2017 1:21 PM

              I was thinking along those lines originally, but I don't see a Plus with more battery life. Or, at least not with a bigger battery. Weight has to be a concern with a handheld. So, I don't see them going too much more over what I assume they believe is the balance point already between weight and play time/features. Something to optimize the battery usage? Yeah, I could see that. But, not just a bigger battery that would add weight.

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          February 2, 2017 12:15 PM

          But I want them to have a single system that gets all the titles. :(

          I don't want to have a dedicated portable system steal good exclusives away from the home console, just like I'm sure others (Japan?) want to be able to play all the best stuff on the go.

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            February 2, 2017 12:58 PM

            I guess that dreams dead now. I was really hoping it was going in the direction of a unified platform as well. :(

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              February 2, 2017 1:02 PM

              I hate that we're talking about this and the system isn't even out, and I don't plan to buy one right away. Nintendo needs to focus on this thing.

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      February 2, 2017 11:06 AM

      Heck yeah they are it's the switch. Switch 29 days woooooo

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      February 2, 2017 11:19 AM

      Well, this is 3/4th hand info, so take it with a bucket of salt. If that's an accurate translation or quote, it could mean that they do see the need, but that they may already have the answer in the Switch. If it does well in Japan, why would they make a competitor for it? Put your eggs into the Switch basket and make mobile your cash cow. EOT

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      February 2, 2017 11:30 AM

      Also, Shimbun is Japanese for newspaper, so that's a bit redundant to say Shimbun newspaper.

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      February 2, 2017 11:48 AM

      I'll be disappointed if the switch isn't the eventual successor to the 3ds, just seems like a no brainer to me. I don't know if it's even possible but to have the ability to play wii, wii u, switch and ds and 3ds games all on one platform would be god damn amazing.

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      February 2, 2017 11:51 AM

      So I don't need a switch after all?

      Give it the guts of a Wii U and let me play all the games I missed in the last 10 years.

    • Zek legacy 10 years
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      February 2, 2017 12:52 PM

      Calling it, handheld-only version of the Switch will be released for holiday 2018.

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        February 2, 2017 1:02 PM

        I speculated about this above. Do you think it would still support its own smaller dock (or just AV cable) and pro controllers, or would it be portable-only?

        Seems like if they made a purpose-built handheld version, it wouldn't be that big of a deal for it to retain an AV connector and the same wireless connections, for the benefit of it still being full-featured for home use.

        • Zek legacy 10 years
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          February 2, 2017 1:04 PM

          Depends on a few decisions they would have to make, e.g. whether the size will be the same, are the joycons detachable, can it support wireless controllers, etc. Certainly killing all that functionality would make it cheaper to produce and more of a distinct product line.

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          February 2, 2017 1:17 PM

          First one will be the same as the regular SKU without the home dock that they're selling for $90, bringing it down to $200ish. If they release a mini I would expect it to work in the same dock as the larger one, just might go further down. Could be a problem if the controllers don't fit in with it though. I expect that might release around the same time as a Switch+ that's got better hardware inside a similar form factor.

          • Zek legacy 10 years
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            February 2, 2017 1:29 PM

            I imagine the dock doesn't cost even half that much to produce so I think doing that would be selling at a loss. I envision this as being a model targeted towards parents buying something for their kids at maybe $150 tops. The 2DS sells for $80 now. I think the only way a Switch Mini can ever hit that price would be from casting off all that excess functionality.

            I think it's directly analogous to the 3DS - at launch, the 3D was the marquee feature. As time went on, it turned out to be not actually that important to the core experience, and so they put out the 2DS as a super low cost entry. Parents want something cheap and durable for their 5 year olds to play with, the Switch as it stands can never satisfy that use case.

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              February 2, 2017 1:47 PM

              By the time it'd be down to $200 I'm expecting the current SKU's will be about $250 but yeah, a small SKU would be nice.

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                February 2, 2017 3:42 PM

                $50 for losing the dock (and joy-con grip maybe) is still a lot. That thing is just a chunk of plastic with a couple of connectors. But if they get their costs down, maybe they could still do the versions and prices you're talking about, just with the $250 version with the dock having higher margins.

                I think it all depends on the success of the system, or lack thereof. If it sells well I could see them never offering a sans-dock version. I've argued before that the multi-mode operation of the system is literally what it's named after, so I don't think they'll abandon it unless things are very dire.

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                  February 2, 2017 4:01 PM

                  It depends on how badly Nintendo wants to hire that price point.

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                    February 2, 2017 4:08 PM

                    Yeah, and I think how well the system does will determine how badly they feel the need to hit certain lower price points.

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                  February 2, 2017 4:06 PM

                  They'd never offer one without the TV functionality, but I could definitely see them releasing one without the dock in time, well after launch, to target a mobile market more specifically.

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              February 2, 2017 3:58 PM

              The dock is literally a plastic shell over a USB-C hub. It costs at most something like $20.

              (Note I'm not saying it's overpriced or anything, just that it's got some real margin built into that $90 price)

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        February 2, 2017 3:57 PM

        There's no way they don't release one that can play on TV (especially since it just requires a USB-C breakout) but given the normal die shrinks and SOC improvements, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they released an updated model that shipped with no dock, but which could get full functionality via a $45 breakout later on - that would be entirely consistent with basically everyone's late-console-generation updates.

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      February 2, 2017 1:26 PM

      I dont think it's that surprising. Nintendo will continue to release different more affordable versions of the switch as time goes on.

      This time next year we'll see a switch much like the one arriving shortly, except it will have an improved battery and lower cost. We'll probably see a budget switch, purely portable that renders all the same games but at SD, for a much lower price.

      Think of the switch much like the iphone, there will be new versions that are compatible with the same games, but with different features and prices.

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      February 2, 2017 2:11 PM

      Nintendo 4DS, with 4 screens!

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        February 2, 2017 2:12 PM

        Gaming on one screen, netflix on another, shack and discord on other screens. The master of multitasking gaming handhelds!

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      February 2, 2017 3:16 PM

      Why can't Nintendo do like a play anywhere but with 3DS games to the switch

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      February 2, 2017 5:51 PM

      I think they should focus on the Switch and mobile phones.

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      February 2, 2017 8:16 PM

      They didn't name it The Switch for nothing man!

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