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

KingSnake

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And then he defaults to the standard PR response of "we're not killing the 3DS yet, don't worry!"
The question had nothing to do with 3ds. It was a nice question that would have gave him the chance to praise the Switch.
 

Skittzo0413

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The question had nothing to do with 3ds. It was a nice question that would have gave him the chance to praise the Switch.
I completely agree that it had nothing to do with the 3DS. Which is exactly why the fact that he quickly defaults to saying it still has games coming tells me this is a coached PR response.

It probably went something like "okay everybody, if an interviewer asks you anything at all in the realm of the Switch replacing handhelds or 3DS, say this:"
 

orioto

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I completely agree that it had nothing to do with the 3DS. Which is exactly why the fact that he quickly defaults to saying it still has games coming tells me this is a coached PR response.

It probably went something like "okay everybody, if an interviewer asks you anything at all in the realm of the Switch replacing handhelds or 3DS, say this:"
It's like they don't really realize Switch success depends 500% on the virtual promise that it will have all Nintendo games and not a WiiU library..

Maybe they do think presenting it as a portable WiiU is enough after all.
 

KingSnake

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I completely agree that it had nothing to do with the 3DS. Which is exactly why the fact that he quickly defaults to saying it still has games coming tells me this is a coached PR response.

It probably went something like "okay everybody, if an interviewer asks you anything at all in the realm of the Switch replacing handhelds or 3DS, say this:"
Even so, why? They already stated they will support 3ds, they announced quite a lot of the 3ds games already. It's an overdose of 3ds mentions.

We're one month before Switch's launch. You can still promote the 3ds afterwards. At this rate I'm surprised they don't show the 3ds at the end of the Super Bowl ad.
 

EDarkness

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It's like they don't really realize Switch success depends 500% on the virtual promise that it will have all Nintendo games and not a WiiU library..

Maybe they do think presenting it as a portable WiiU is enough after all.
Maybe they don't feel that's an important thing like the people on this forum do. I personally don't care. As long as the NS has games I want to play, I'm fine. If they want to make a new handheld, then so be it. If that's compelling, I'll buy that, too. I think people should get this notion that they're gonna be rolling with one piece of hardware going forward out of their heads. They'll do whatever they want to do in that space and if they see the NS as a console with a unique twist, but not as a handheld, then that's their call.
 
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Ewwww no! Bad Nintendo bad!

The whole point of the Switch was to consolidate all the first party to focus on output for a single platform.
 

KingSnake

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Maybe they don't feel that's an important thing like the people on this forum do. I personally don't care. As long as the NS has games I want to play, I'm fine. If they want to make a new handheld, then so be it. If that's compelling, I'll buy that, too. I think people should get this notion that they're gonna be rolling with one piece of hardware going forward out of their heads. They'll do whatever they want to do in that space and if they see the NS as a console with a unique twist, but not as a handheld, then that's their call.
The issue is not if they make another piece or hardware or not. I fully expect several Switch revisions, including a "handheld" in a couple of years. The issue is if that other piece of hardware means Nintendo developing again for two separate devices with all the negative effects in terms of support and exclusives.
 

Apath

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They also said the Gameboy wasn't going away when the Nintendo DS first came out.

If the Switch is a huge success and leeches into the 3DS sales substantially, I wouldn't be surprised if they do a 180 on this comment.
 

Skittzo0413

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It's like they don't really realize Switch success depends 500% on the virtual promise that it will have all Nintendo games and not a WiiU library..

Maybe they do think presenting it as a portable WiiU is enough after all.
Even so, why? They already stated they will support 3ds, they announced quite a lot of the 3ds games already. It's an overdose of 3ds mentions.

We're one month before Switch's launch. You can still promote the 3ds afterwards. At this rate I'm surprised they don't show the 3ds at the end of the Super Bowl ad.
I agree that this isn't the best messaging strategy at all. But think about how this year will play out for the Switch. It will have a very constrained launch as the core fans will buy it for Zelda, and then it will likely be sold out most places until May at the very least. Then sales will cool off over the summer, although maybe not in Japan when Splatoon 2 launches.

Then, when preparing for the holiday season, Nintendo can change their message about the 3DS. They'll announce an exclusive Switch Pokemon game, maybe Monster Hunter 5, and essentially quietly kill off the 3DS by early 2018. The reason they don't want to kill off the 3DS right now is because they really have no reason to. Based on their Switch production capacity, I don't think they have any need to draw in handheld fans this Spring/Summer- they can sell the Switch just fine through those months on the backs of Zelda and Splatoon 2.

So basically, they have no reason to kill off one revenue stream just yet due to the constrained Switch supply for half of the year, and they want to spread that message to hopefully squeeze out a few more 3DS sales.

Again, as I said it doesn't sound like the best strategy, but I think I can understand it.
 

killatopak

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as if switch isn't a dedicated handheld on its own.

it has all of the things needed to be called a handheld. I doubt it's significantly bigger than an XL or a Vita and I'm sure there'll be revisions down the line.
 

KingSnake

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They also said the Gameboy wasn't going away when the Nintendo DS first came out.

If the Switch is a huge success and leeches into the 3DS sales substantially, I wouldn't be surprised if they do a 180 on this comment.
And if not?
 

Skeletos311

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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?
I think he understood the question and his answer makes sense to me. How does this confirm that there's a new handheld coming and it has its own exclusive games?
 

Air

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As far as I'm aware, iwata's idea that future consoles would be like a family of systems a la iPhone, iPad, noone should be worried. It was probably hard porting wii u games to 3ds. It probably won't be hard to port switch games to whatever future handheld they make. I wouldn't freak out until the thing is revealed
 

EDarkness

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The issue is not if they make another piece or hardware or not. I fully expect a Switch revision in a couple of years. The issue is if that other piece of hardware means Nintendo developing again for two separate devices with all the negative effects in terms of support and exclusives.
I don't know. I kinda feel like people should expect this. They've been driving that point home for weeks now. The old strategy was under Iwata and perhaps the new guys don't want to stick with that so they're open to looking at different hardware going forward specifically for their handhelds. At least that's the impression I've been getting in the past few weeks. Not that the 3DS is going to last forever, but this idea of a unified space for their games isn't necessarily going to be the way forward. There are consoles and handhelds and they're two different things.
 

Okami Haundo

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I saw this headline on Twitter this morning and my first thought was utter disgust. Software output was a problem for Nintendo with Wii-U and having two major platforms didn't help. After reading this quote, it seems more like he's just giving more justification for not discontinuing 3DS right away.

I've said this before but I really don't blame them. They just killed off Wii-U and Switch needs time to prove itself. They cannot afford to have Switch be their only piece of available hardware in its first year.
 

Griss

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It would be an incredibly 'Nintendo' move to ruin the Switch's chances with long game droughts caused by the fact that they refused to let the 3DS die, and then decide to replace the 3DS with something that isn't simply a smaller, portable Switch.

If they actually do this, they will have no business being a platform holder.

All of this talk about how great the 3DS is doing when the first year of Switch looks so weak... I hope it works out for them, I really do.
 

jonno394

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I think he understood the question and his answer makes sense to me. How does this confirm that there's a new handheld coming and it has its own exclusive games?
To me, all it means is that they have no intention of killing off the 3DS right now, that's my interpretation of it.
 

XandBosch

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It just means they're keeping their options open and they don't want 3DS fans to cry.

Why so serious?
 

Skittzo0413

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To me, all it means is that they have no intention of killing off the 3DS right now, that's my interpretation of it.
This is how I read it too. Anything else would run contrary to what Nintendo has said in the investor meetings from 2013-2015. I expect much, much more honesty coming from a company in their detailed IR presentations than I do in PR interviews.
 

KingSnake

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I think he understood the question and his answer makes sense to me. How does this confirm that there's a new handheld coming and it has its own exclusive games?
The question was about unifying console and handheld software development and the answer is "Somehow, but it doesn't mean for us that the concept of a dedicated handheld will just disappear.".

I you don't see the implication, fine. I can't explain it better than that.

Edit: 3ds is already mentioned in the answer, separately.
 

Skeletos311

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To me, all it means is that they have no intention of killing off the 3DS right now, that's my interpretation of it.
That's what it sounds like to me. It looks like he answered the question and then went off into the prepared "we're still supporting the 3DS" line, because the interviewer mentioned something about merging the teams.
 

J@hranimo

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It just means they're keeping their options open and they don't want 3DS fans to cry.

Why so serious?
Yeah basically this. They don't want to get rid of one guaranteed revenue stream (3DS software sales) immediately until the Switch hits it's stride.
 

KingSnake

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Yeah basically this. They don't want to get rid of one guaranteed revenue stream (3DS software sales) immediately until the Switch hits it's stride.
To me, all it means is that they have no intention of killing off the 3DS right now, that's my interpretation of it.
It just means they're keeping their options open and they don't want 3DS fans to cry.

Why so serious?

The question wasn't about 3ds. Wasn't even about what Switch replaces. The question was simply about if it will be easier to develop for Switch and if they will make games faster.
 

randomengine

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Trifurcating their development and workflow across Switch, ??? and Mobile would be the worst mistake Nintendo could ever make.
 

EDarkness

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That's what it sounds like to me. It looks like he answered the question and then went off into the prepared "we're still supporting the 3DS" line, because the interviewer mentioned something about merging the teams.
But that implies that they're not merging teams. There are the console teams and the handheld teams and with the 3DS space not going anywhere, nothing is being merged. Be prepared for the same Wii U situation and we can see that with Fire Emblem Warriors already. There's no indication that the next Fire Emblem game or Pokemon game will be ONLY NS. It could be both...much like Smash Bros.
 

iKnackwurst

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Don't forget that less than a year ago they said the same "switch will not replace the 3DS" pr talk about Switch replacing the WiiU, because there were still games coming out for the system. The situation is so similar to now. The thing I'm looking out for is Pokemon Stars, if they really pull through with it on Switch then I have no doubt that they want the Switch platform to replace the 3DS.
 

Aaron

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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.
If this is clear, why doesn't Nintendo have any 3DS or more traditionally handheld games for the Switch in their launch window? Why aren't they porting enhanced versions of 3DS titles to the Switch, especially their bigger franchises like Pokemon?
 

Veitsev

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This could just as easily mean a handheld only version of the Switch will be released at some point. Also Nintendo said the DS was a third pillar and insisted that they were going to keep the GBA around. How did that work out? Keep freaking out though cause Nintendo isn't publicly telling everyone they are going to abandon the 3DS after a record quarter.
 

etking

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There is absolutely no room for a 2nd Nintendo mobile device other than a 100% compatible but smaller Switch light.
 

Skittzo0413

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The question was about unifying console and handheld software development and the answer is "Somehow, but it doesn't mean for us that the concept of a dedicated handheld will just disappear.".

I you don't see the implication, fine. I can't explain it better than that.

Edit: 3ds is already mentioned in the answer, separately.
But the 3DS is their current "dedicated handheld" so it just appears to be a way of referring to the 3DS again when he says that. Nothing Nintendo has said to their investors has indicated a dedicated handheld with completely different architecture will be coming, while the opposite (a family of devices sharing a common architecture) has been explicitly mentioned many, many times.

I choose to believe that over PR-like answers to interview questions.

If this is clear, why doesn't Nintendo have any 3DS or more traditionally handheld games for the Switch in their launch window? Why aren't they porting enhanced versions of 3DS titles to the Switch, especially their bigger franchises like Pokemon?
I answered that above on this page. I fully expect Pokemon Stars to be Switch exclusive this holiday.
 

XandBosch

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The question wasn't about 3ds. Wasn't even about what Switch replaces. The question was simply about if it will be easier to develop for Switch and if they will make games faster.
Yeah, but maybe he knew where the question was going so he got there first.

I could see them doing a Switch "Lite", a little smaller and JUST the tablet with buttons/joysticks attached (no joy-cons - so like a Vita basically) and it running the same hardware but being like 149.99 or something, and PR-spinning that to be their new "dedicated handheld".

It would sell.
 

d00d3n

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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.
Compatibility doesn't have to go both ways, I guess. Switch would have access to console type experiences like Zelda and handheld experiences like Pokemon (great to avoid software droughts), but there may be an additional cheap handheld device that only does handheld experiences.
 

KingSnake

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But the 3DS is their current "dedicated handheld" so it just appears to be a way of referring to the 3DS again when he says that. Nothing Nintendo has said to their investors has indicated a dedicated handheld with completely different architecture will be coming, while the opposite (a family of devices sharing a common architecture) has been explicitly mentioned many, many times.

I choose to believe that over PR-like answers to interview questions.
I would like to believe this too. But it's not easy to believe in it. There is too much emphasis into another direction lately.
 

Red Fire

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But then they would have to change the name because a "switch lite" can't be... switched. So they would have to give it another name which could confuse the market 🤔
 

TwistedFreeze

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If this is clear, why doesn't Nintendo have any 3DS or more traditionally handheld games for the Switch in their launch window? Why aren't they porting enhanced versions of 3DS titles to the Switch, especially their bigger franchises like Pokemon?
Might be because they don't wanna kill off the 3DS right now. After all, they wouldn't wanna kill off their more successful line of products in case the Switch does poorly. If the Switch proves successful, then the 3DS will be dropped like a rock. Even now, it's not getting much support from Nintendo themselves

It's not much different than what Nintendo did with the DS and GBA. Once the DS took off in 2006, GBA support dropped very quickly. Had it not, they'd have likely released a GB 3 and quietly shoved the DS under the rug
 

jonno394

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But the 3DS is their current "dedicated handheld" so it just appears to be a way of referring to the 3DS again when he says that. Nothing Nintendo has said to their investors has indicated a dedicated handheld with completely different architecture will be coming, while the opposite (a family of devices sharing a common architecture) has been explicitly mentioned many, many times.

I choose to believe that over PR-like answers to interview questions.

This is how I read it too. He was asked "will it speed up things?" he answers "It can, but we're still making 3DS titles (so won't speed things up straight away). Just because the Switch is a Home/portable hybrid doesn't mean the concept of a dedicated handheld (I read this as the 3DS) will disappear"
 

Skittzo0413

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I would like to believe this too. But it's not easy to believe in it. There is too much emphasis into another direction lately.
Have you noticed any discussion about a separate handheld that isn't the 3DS (or the Switch) in their IR meetings? They talked about the NX (not by name) for years before it was revealed, so if there is a new dedicated handheld device coming within 3 years why haven't they told there investors about it?

The company is saying one thing to their investors and another thing to the press. Which statement would you believe is more accurate?
 

BumRush

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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.
Perfectly said
 

EDarkness

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Have you noticed any discussion about a separate handheld that isn't the 3DS in their IR meetings? They talked about the NX (not by name) for years before it was revealed, so if there is a new dedicated handheld device coming within 3 years why haven't they told there investors about it?

The company is saying one thing to their investors and another thing to the press. Which statement would you believe is more accurate?
Of course they talked about the NS. The Wii U was dead in the water and they needed to let folks know that they were ready with something else. This isn't the case with the 3DS. It's still going fairly strong so there's no need to "poison the well". Once the 3DS starts dying down, we'll start getting wind of a successor for that hardware. No point in it now.
 

KingSnake

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Have you noticed any discussion about a separate handheld that isn't the 3DS in their IR meetings? They talked about the NX (not by name) for years before it was revealed, so if there is a new dedicated handheld device coming within 3 years why haven't they told there investors about it?

The company is saying one thing to their investors and another thing to the press. Which statement would you believe is more accurate?
I thought NX name was dropped so early because of the mobile games deal with DeNA. Wasn't this the usual excuse for announcing NX and then not talking anything about it for 1 1/2 years? :p
 

iKnackwurst

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If this is clear, why doesn't Nintendo have any 3DS or more traditionally handheld games for the Switch in their launch window? Why aren't they porting enhanced versions of 3DS titles to the Switch, especially their bigger franchises like Pokemon?
If just porting games from handheld to console is a sign that Switch will replace 3DS than Nintendo porting games like Super Mario Maker or Yoshi's Wooly World from WiiU to 3DS would be a sign of 3DS replacing WiiU, which is definitely not the case. Pokemon is just a gamble at this point, the sparse use of the dual screens on the 3DS and the Eurogamer leak all point to Pokemon coming to Switch but in the end it's all just a rumor until Nintendo confirms it, which wont be until late spring/early summer because Nintendo wants you to buy Sun/Moon and not wait around for the definitive edition.
 

Skittzo0413

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I thought NX name was dropped so early because of the mobile games deal with DeNA. Wasn't this the usual excuse for announcing NX and then not talking anything about it for 1 1/2 years? :p
I'm specifically talking about when they described the NX before the name NX existed, like in 2013-2014. We knew there was future hardware coming and we knew some tidbits about the idea behind it.

After the Switch was announced, we have heard absolutely nothing about more future hardware in those meetings.

Of course they talked about the NS. The Wii U was dead in the water and they needed to let folks know that they were ready with something else. This isn't the case with the 3DS. It's still going fairly strong so there's no need to "poison the well". Once the 3DS starts dying down, we'll start getting wind of a successor for that hardware. No point in it now.
They talked about the NX/Switch (again, not by name- it was about future hardware) starting in 2013, which was only months after the Wii U launched. The fact that there is still not a peep about anything replacing the 3DS in these investor meetings clearly signals to me that there is nothing separate coming. It's the Switch line and the 3DS line now.
 

EDarkness

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If just porting games from handheld to console is a sign that Switch will replace 3DS than Nintendo porting games like Super Mario Maker or Yoshi's Wooly World from WiiU to 3DS would be a sign of 3DS replacing WiiU, which is definitely not the case. Pokemon is just a gamble at this point, the sparse use of the dual screens on the 3DS and the Eurogamer leak all point to Pokemon coming to Switch but in the end it's all just a rumor until Nintendo confirms it, which wont be until late spring/early summer because Nintendo wants you to buy Sun/Moon and not wait around for the definitive edition.
And it's quite possible there will be two versions of the next Pokemon game. Same game, but one for the NS and one for the 3DS. I doubt they'll go all in on the NS so soon.
 

wazoo

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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.
They will put everything on the Switch if it sells a lot. Putting all eggs in the same bag, this is a mistake.

Solution : buy the switch, all of you.
 

omgwtfbentime

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Guys, in 2004 Nintendo released a system called the Nintendo DS and claimed it wasn't a successor to the GBA, and that the GameBoy line would continue. This is despite the fact the DS could play GBA games natively, was a very similar form factor, and contained a library that early on, was a lot of enhanced GBA ports. We even got two new GBA revisions nearly a year after the DS launched.

Nintendo CANNOT say "3DS is over, Switch is our future" before launch. They still have units to sell and 3rd parties are still actively making titles for the platform. In addition to that, having a Nintendo experience that costs less than $100 is vital to Nintendo's success, they can't really afford to just cut that off and expect everyone to go to one $300 system that may be out of many peoples price range.

3DS will be phased out in due time, and Nintendo has two options. The one that's more appealing to me is a smaller, cheaper switch that doesn't come with a dock and perhaps instead of joycons has an integrated control solution, though still has 100% compatibility with Switch accessories and games. The second option would be a separate handheld system running on a similar Nvidia architecture, just weaker specs across the board and not dockable, but still allows for easy porting of Switch titles and some exclusive software as well. Would likely come out at a very budget price ($150 seems like a sweet spot, maybe $180). Though I personally like the first option more (I like the idea of being able to play all Nintendo titles on a TV if I want to), I think the second option is more true to what Iwata said about the NX concept and I can't really see Nintendo wanting to miss the chance of people buying what is very close to the same game twice. We shall see though!
 

Mohonky

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At this point in time, with what Switch is, I would say Nintendo is on a one hardware platform (not including mobile phone / tablet gaming) target. It wouldn't make sense to break up development between Switch and another piece of hardware given the portability and functionality of the Switch being able to be used as a home console or portable. They would be best to consolidate their development houses into focussing on that single platform imo.
 
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I've just thought, if they built something like a large version of the psp go/Vita prototype, they could keep the 'Switch' theme and repurpose it to switching between tablet mode and handheld mode. Would probably have to be quite chunky though.