In an interview with Paste, Nintendo Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Doug Bowser explained the 3DS consoles’ presence next to the fast growing Nintendo powerhouse, the Nintendo Switch.
He explained that after studying the data gathered on how people play the Switch, they believe that there is still a place for something like the 3DS. In fact, Nintendo hopes to sell another 6 million units this year, increasing the 3DS user base to 72 million.
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.
It’s continuing. Here’s the thing. The 3DS provides a different form of gameplay. We still have a two-screen model that the developers are building for. For example, with the Samus game, they’ll have the map on the bottom and the beautiful gameplay up top, so it’s a really neat opportunity to engage in a different style of gameplay, it can be in parallel with the Switch. They can both survive together.
This was also in line with the huge lineup of 3DS games that are coming up this year like Miitopia, Metroid: Samus Returns, and Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon to name a few. We previously reported that the 3DS represents more than half of Nintendo’s revenue for the past fiscal year. It would seem like Nintendo still has a few years before they are willing to let the ageing handheld retire. When asked if Nintendo is working on a 3DS successor, Bowser had this to say:
Nothing I can share with you.
So fear not and continue purchasing the 3DS if you wish. You can read the full interview here.