July 04, 2018
Nintendo underwent a change of leadership earlier this year that may signal a different strategy for the company going progressing. Tatsumi Kimishima took over the reigns of the Japanese video game company after the unexpected death of Satoru Iwata, who had directed the company for 13 years and oversaw many of the company's console launches, starting with the GameCube.
Kimishima famously stated that his company did not see a future where the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Switch would exist side-by-side. The idea was that support for the Nintendo 3DS would be phased out in favor of the Nintendo Switch as it gained more traction as both a portable and handheld console.
However, Nintendo's new president Shuntaro Furukawa has hinted that this may not be the direction the company is planning on taking any longer. Furukawa said his company is considering various possibilities when it comes to deciding on the future of the Nintendo 3DS because he believes it serves a different purpose than the Nintendo Switch.
Furukawa cited the 3DS as having certain advantages of the Nintendo Switch, mainly in its price point and form factor that make it easier to carry around than the larger Nintendo Switch. While this statement alone isn't enough to confirm that Nintendo will be producing a successor to the Nintendo 3DS, it does seem like it's a possibility. Perhaps a clamshell device running Android that is capable of playing Nintendo's stable of mobile games would do well in the market at a lower price point.
For now, Nintendo remains committed to the Nintendo Switch even though the Nintendo 3DS is continually getting new games. Detective Pikachu arrived earlier this year to much-lauded fanfare despite it shipping on the aging Nintendo 3DS system.
Nintendo continues to support the Nintendo 3DS system despite its age with new eShop sales and games designed exclusively for the system. Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon debuted at the end of last year, while Kirby Battle Royale and Sushi Striker arrived alongside Detective Pikachu this year.
The Nintendo 3DS was introduced in 2011, and despite growing a bit long in the tooth, Nintendo continues to support the device with well-crafted games and continued hardware revisions. The latest hardware revision is the New Nintendo 2DS XL, which entirely removed the 3D gimmick and replaced it with a small nub that serves as a joystick for games that work better with a joystick-controlled camera.