Coming from a Paste interview with Nintendo’s Doug Bowser…
Paste: What will the future of handheld look like as the Nintendo Switch gains momentum as a combination handheld and home console? Nintendo has been more or less single-handedly sustained what’s left of the handheld market in the past few years but with the portability of the Switch, will there even be a 3DS in the future?
Bowser: The Switch is off to a great start. 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. And with the announcements you’ve seen this week, we’re obviously still investing in software too.
Paste: Is development for the 3DS continuing at the same rate as in years past or has it slowed down in response to the Nintendo Switch?
Bowser: 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.
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