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Aonuma: Switch doesn't mean that the concept of a dedicated handheld will disappear

michaelius

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Jan 5, 2012
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Yeah I think I'll wait until they make it clear if they are going forward with one or two ecosystems. Because future third party suport from Japan is my only reason to get one.
 

KingSnake

The Birthday Skeleton
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If they did release a new dedicated handheld I would imagine they would just use the SOC and Dev tools from Switch. Could play the same games. In a year or two I would expect they could release a $149 version with only TV out and no dock.

I can't imagine they release a dedicated handheld with different archeticure, tools, games, etc... Would seem to be a strange decision after combining their Console and HH teams.
But the question is specifically about unified development. If they would use the same tool and architecture this wouldn't be pointed out as a possible exception/issue in relation to that.
 

RoadHazard

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3DS will live on for a while, sure. But please don't make another after that, Nintendo. Would be batshit insane, and ruin several of the advantages of the Switch.

EDIT: Unless it's a handheld-only version of the Switch.
 

GodfatherX

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I understand why the don't want to talk about switch being their console and handheld replacement, but I think talking about unifying their platforms is a huge selling point they should be exploiting not scared of.
 

Cuburt

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Nov 14, 2012
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Remember how Iwata said NX would be like a family of systems?

Well there we go.
Exactly.

Ideas that this is the sole device going forward are all fan theories not based any anything Nintendo themselves have ever claimed, as far as I can recall.

Iwata even said the number of form factors could possibly increase.
 

TheBigG753

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The consolidation of handheld and console development is the sole thing about the Switch that's genuinely super exciting.

If they walk back on that with making a conventional handheld that won't share the library with Switch, that'll be a huge mistake.
100% this. The fact that they've already announced some post-March 3rd 3DS games that aren't also coming to Switch is troubling.
 

Maintenance

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A handheld Switch would kill any interest in the regular Switch for me, I have zero interest in another home console from Nintendo, and if the games end up being the same...

How can they fuck up the message so close to the release?
 

Yoshi

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My guess is that the handheld will have a different name than Switch Lite/Micro/whatever, because it likely won't have Joycons and so it won't be compatible with Joycon-heavy games like 1-2 Switch.

Games made for this handheld will be compatible with Switch, but games made for the Switch aren't necessarily compatible with the handheld.

How they'll be able to communicate this effectively is beyond me.
Sell an upgrade kit that contains a dedicated stand, joycons and a TV output connector separately, then people can buy the cheap Switch Mini for portability and if they ever decide they want it to act as a console as well, they can buy the upgrade kit. If in turn one buys a Switch directly, one is a bit more flexible out the gate even in some portable scenarios, but one has less convenient portability.
 
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Well, the games for 3DS have pretty much dried up and stocks are low (least in the UK), but if the Switch is a success, they'd be nuts not to drive it to the fore.
 

Sky Walker

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The next dedicated portable will be :

either "No dock unit Switch", the same current Switch just no dock unit" or a "Switch-less Switch", Switch with implented Joycons and no dock unit and might be smaller with better battery.

Otherwise I don't see them release a full all new portable system with its unique games library.
 

takriel

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Big mistake. Nintendo should drop the 3DS as quickly as possible and introduce a Switch light with more battery life for the Holidays next year. Developing games for just one family of platforms is key for Nintendo going forward and avoiding software droughts.
 

daxgame

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Yup. A cheap portable handheld will very likely happen.
However, I'd be surprised if they didn't share the same library.

Big mistake. Nintendo should drop the 3DS as quickly as possible and introduce a Switch light with more battery life for the Holidays next year. Developing games for just one family of platforms is key for Nintendo going forward and avoiding software droughts.
I think there are no more 3DS games whose development is starting "now". What's left is stuff that was already in development.
 

UrbanRats

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I know they said that 3 pillars bullshit of the Advance too, but honestly the prospect of there NOT being a new Nintendo Handheld, is the strongest asset for the Switch, by implication of forcing all those devs to develop for it.
 

gofreak

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Jun 8, 2004
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I figured we couldn't just take it as read that Nintendo would consolidate on one platform. They didn't explicitly say they would :|

I hope they do. I hope any future 'handheld' is just a pared-down Switch running Switch software.
 

Spork4000

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I figured we couldn't just take it as read that Nintendo would consolidate on one platform. They didn't explicitly say they would :|

I hope they do. I hope any future 'handheld' is just a pared-down Switch running Switch software.
They'd be insane not too. If Nintendo release a separate handheld next to switch I have to assume they have no idea what they're doing.
 

Aaron

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I understand why the don't want to talk about switch being their console and handheld replacement, but I think talking about unifying their platforms is a huge selling point they should be exploiting not scared of.
They aren't talking about it because they aren't unifying their platforms. After these latest statements, I'm not sure how Nintendo could be more clear on this issue. There might be a collective want of Nintendo fans for a single platform, but all these desires aren't enough to alter the fact that the Switch is a console on the go concept, mainly meant to be shared with others in line with the Wii. It isn't a handheld even if it can occasionally be used as one. People planning to make it their primary handheld are bound to find it disappointing in this respect.
 

iKnackwurst

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They aren't talking about it because they aren't unifying their platforms.
I'll just leave this here from the other thread:
Nintendo has been planning the idea for Switch and the unified development for a long time. I'm talking like, 2012 or earlier. I have no reason to believe that Nintendo will make a new handheld that does not play Switch games. They've been working towards this Switch idea for too long to just change it now right when it's coming out. I don't think this is an "If Switch fails, then they'll release this other thing." scenario. I think they always planned to release multiple versions of the Switch to cater to all their customers.

Here's an article from when Nintendo announced they were merging their console and handheld hardware teams from January 2013. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-01-16-nintendo-merging-handheld-and-console-divisions-on-february-16
Nintendo is to amalgamate its console and handheld hardware divisions in a brand-new Kyoto facility on February 16, 2013, the manufacturer has confirmed to GamesIndustry International.

The company hopes that, by housing the two arms of the business together in the new ¥30 billion ($340m apprx) offices, they will be able to share technological research and breakthroughs more efficiently, as well as perhaps working on further integrating the 3DS and Wii U.

Here's Miyamoto talking to Kotaku about a unified development environment in June 2014. It's not something Nintendo fanboys made up. http://kotaku.com/miyamoto-can-imagine-nintendo-making-hybrid-console-han-1594989023?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Facebook&utm_source=Kotaku_Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow
What I can say is, certainly, within Nintendo the fact that our development environment for our home console is different from the development environment for our portable system is certainly an area of stress or challenge for the development teams. So as we move forward, we're going to look at what we can do to unify the two development environments.

So, particularly with digital downloads now and the idea that you're downloading the right to play a game, that opens up the ability to have multiple platform digital downloads where you can download on one and download on another. Certainly from a development standpoint there is some challenge to it, because if you have two devices that have different specs and you're being told to design in a way that the game runs on both devices, then that can be challenging for the developer—but if you have a more unified development environment and you're able to make one game that runs on both systems instead of having to make a game for each system, that's an area of opportunity for us.

Iwata talking about how Nintendo systems should have a common platform during a Q&A in May 2014. https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/140130qa/02.html
Q 5

You have explained your concern about users being divided by hardware. Currently, you have both a handheld device business and a home console business. I would like to know whether the organizational changes that took place last year are going to lead to, for example, the integration of handheld devices and home consoles into one system over the medium term, or a focus on cost saving and the improvement of resource efficiency in the medium run. Please also explain if you still have room to reduce research and development expenses.
A 5

Iwata:

Last year Nintendo reorganized its R&D divisions and integrated the handheld device and home console development teams into one division under Mr. Takeda. Previously, our handheld video game devices and home video game consoles had to be developed separately as the technological requirements of each system, whether it was battery-powered or connected to a power supply, differed greatly, leading to completely different architectures and, hence, divergent methods of software development. However, because of vast technological advances, it became possible to achieve a fair degree of architectural integration. We discussed this point, and we ultimately concluded that it was the right time to integrate the two teams.

For example, currently it requires a huge amount of effort to port Wii software to Nintendo 3DS because not only their resolutions but also the methods of software development are entirely different. The same thing happens when we try to port Nintendo 3DS software to Wii U. If the transition of software from platform to platform can be made simpler, this will help solve the problem of game shortages in the launch periods of new platforms. Also, as technological advances took place at such a dramatic rate, and we were forced to choose the best technologies for video games under cost restrictions, each time we developed a new platform, we always ended up developing a system that was completely different from its predecessor. The only exception was when we went from Nintendo GameCube to Wii. Though the controller changed completely, the actual computer and graphics chips were developed very smoothly as they were very similar to those of Nintendo GameCube, but all the other systems required ground-up effort. However, I think that we no longer need this kind of effort under the current circumstances. In this perspective, while we are only going to be able to start this with the next system, it will become important for us to accurately take advantage of what we have done with the Wii U architecture. It of course does not mean that we are going to use exactly the same architecture as Wii U, but we are going to create a system that can absorb the Wii U architecture adequately. When this happens, home consoles and handheld devices will no longer be completely different, and they will become like brothers in a family of systems.

Still, I am not sure if the form factor (the size and configuration of the hardware) will be integrated. In contrast, the number of form factors might increase. Currently, we can only provide two form factors because if we had three or four different architectures, we would face serious shortages of software on every platform. To cite a specific case, Apple is able to release smart devices with various form factors one after another because there is one way of programming adopted by all platforms. Apple has a common platform called iOS. Another example is Android. Though there are various models, Android does not face software shortages because there is one common way of programming on the Android platform that works with various models. The point is, Nintendo platforms should be like those two examples. Whether we will ultimately need just one device will be determined by what consumers demand in the future, and that is not something we know at the moment. However, we are hoping to change and correct the situation in which we develop games for different platforms individually and sometimes disappoint consumers with game shortages as we attempt to move from one platform to another, and we believe that we will be able to deliver tangible results in the future.
 

EDarkness

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Sounds like it could just be the Switch in a smaller form factor. The whole point of the switch was unifying Nintendo's developers so that they didn't have to support 2 separate platforms at the same time. It seems like it would be a waste to throw that away and spread themselves thin supporting a 3DS successor and the Switch.
I'm starting to think that maybe this wasn't the point of the NS. We assume it is, but maybe it isn't. Perhaps they just wanted to try something new and this is what they came up with. Their next system would be an entirely different beast.
 

Shengar

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PR talk to make sure people to keep buying 3DS. It's preparing exit strategy in case something goes very wrong since I don't think they want another handheld to cannibalize Switch in every way possible.
 

Inuhanyou

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For those who dont get what he's saying, he means Switch can be sold separately as its own handheld with smaller, stripped down components(joycons fused onto the tablet, smaller screen and form factor ect), like "Switch GO" alternate SKU for a lower price, while allowing devs to dedicate their resources to both platforms at the same time.
 

Hermii

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I figured we couldn't just take it as read that Nintendo would consolidate on one platform. They didn't explicitly say they would :|

I hope they do. I hope any future 'handheld' is just a pared-down Switch running Switch software.
Nintendo aren't stupid enough to create a dedicated handheld and not build on the switch tech. It will run on a tegra, use identical cartridges and have native bc.
 

iKnackwurst

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Jan 18, 2015
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Why don't you have the look at the statement in the OP of the thread you're commenting in?
Just because they talk about a dedicated handheld does not mean it can't be a unified platform with a shared library (which my post is referring to btw).
 

Skeletos311

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Jun 29, 2016
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Those were all enacted under Iwata though. Nintendo has new leadership. There's no saying whether those plans have changed under Kimishima.

I just don't think Kimishima is going to tell everyone to forget about all the R&D and company restricturing that has been going on over the last 4+ years and just do the same thing that made the 3DS struggle at launch and made the Wii U fail. As far as we know, he's following Iwata's plans.


Why don't you have the look at the statement in the OP of the thread you're commenting in?

I don't think Aonuma's comment confirms anything about a future handheld coming or whether or not it will have exclusive games. That's a lot to assume from one little sentence. Dedicated handheld doesn't necessarily mean exclusive games.
 

GinoFelino

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For those who dont get what he's saying, he means Switch can be sold separately as its own handheld with smaller, stripped down components(joycons fused onto the tablet, smaller screen and form factor ect), like "Switch GO" alternate SKU for a lower price, while allowing devs to dedicate their resources to both platforms at the same time.
I mean, I like your interpretation, but it's not more than an interpretation. I hope you're right!

I just don't think Kimishima is going to tell everyone to forget about all the R&D and company restricturing that has been going on over the last 4+ years and just do the same thing that made the 3DS strugle at launch and made the Wii U fail. As far as we know, he's following Iwata's plans.

I don't think Aonuma's comment confirms anything about a future handheld coming or whether or not it will have exclusive games. That's a lot to assume from one little sentence. Dedicated handheld doesn't necessarily mean exclusive games.
Then why not just come out and say it? Be clear about it? There's plenty they can say while still leaving an opening for when the Switch fails.
 

Skittzo0413

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Honestly, I think NCL has coached everyone there to speak about handhelds like this in all interviews.

Everything Nintendo said before the Switch was announced clearly pointed to a combined output for the console and handheld software teams, and I don't expect any of that to have changed since 2015. The only thing that's changed is the 3DS surging in hardware and software sales this past fall, which is why Nintendo should not be talking about replacing it anytime soon.

However, by March 2018 I fully expect the 3DS to be dead and the Switch to be getting all of the handheld games like Monster Hunter and Pokemon. It would be beyond inane to continue with a 2 platform ecosystem going forward when they've spoken so much, so many times about the problems involved in that.

So basically, I think Aonuma and everyone at Nintendo has been coached not to hint that the 3DS will eventually be replaced by the Switch, even though that is the plan, though not this year.
 

Trago

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So, a slim down, portable only version of the Switch? I think that could happen down the line.
 

orioto

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They continue to create doubt in mind of Switch buyers or potential buyers from that point of view. You can reassure people as much as you want, but the fact is that the way they talk vaguely about what is the Switch and if yes or no it'll be their main console next is not helping their communication at all.

At least maybe we can agree that being shy or hesitant about the future of a new product publicly doesn't help at all.
 
Aug 19, 2006
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The consolidation of handheld and console development is the sole thing about the Switch that's genuinely super exciting.

If they walk back on that with making a conventional handheld that won't share the library with Switch, that'll be a huge mistake.
I agree with that, however the original comments back in 2013 were about creating an environment where porting between platforms becomes simpler when multiple devices are based on the same architecture, which is not a stage we're at yet.
Hopefully they don't try and spin an entirely new platform using the same tech with duplicate software and instead go for the iOS model Iwata referenced later on.
 

Stiflers Mom

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I though that was the primary "shtick" of the Switch, and what Iwata hat in mind back then?

Unifiying development efforts into one device, since they cannot possibly support a handheld and a home console at once with their first party efforts.

We are back to square one, it seems.
 

KingSnake

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Just because they talk about a dedicated handheld does not mean it can't be a unified platform with a shared library (which my post is referring to btw).
I don't think Aonuma's comment confirms anything about a future handheld coming or whether or not it will have exclusive games. That's a lot to assume from one little sentence. Dedicated handheld doesn't necessarily mean exclusive games.
The question Aonuma is answering is this:

"How about speeding up development processes? Does the Switch architecture mean you can unify your handheld and console software teams, enabling you to get games out more quickly?"

Or are you saying he didn't understand the question?
 

Trago

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Well i'm saying, if they're smart that's what they mean!
lol

What, are they gonna do, build an entirely separate handheld platform? That's counterproductive. A Switch Lite is more likely I think, unless Nintendo are as boneheaded as we all think.
 

GinoFelino

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Well i'm saying, if they're smart that's what they mean!
:D

The question Aonuma is answering is this:

"How about speeding up development processes? Does the Switch architecture mean you can unify your handheld and console software teams, enabling you to get games out more quickly?"

Or are you saying he didn't understand the question?
Yeah that's what worries me too. But the fact that he starts to answer that question by talking about the remaining 3DS games gives me hope he might just be referring to that.
 

Skittzo0413

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Jan 8, 2016
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The question Aonuma is answering is this:

"How about speeding up development processes? Does the Switch architecture mean you can unify your handheld and console software teams, enabling you to get games out more quickly?"

Or are you saying he didn't understand the question?
He outright says "yes, there's an element of that" which suggests that yes- the Switch architecture could help both teams get software out quicker in some cases.

And then he defaults to the standard PR response of "we're not killing the 3DS yet, don't worry!"