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

Skeletos311

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Jun 29, 2016
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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.
The question was

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?
Weirdly worded question. Obviously, the architecture of the system doesn't affect company restructuring (it's the other way around) and games won't necessarily be made quicker, because of the architecture of the system. So, his answer being

There's an element of that, but it doesn't automatically mean things wil happen more quickly or more easily.
makes sense to me. The rest of it doesn't really have anything to do with the question. It just sounds like he's saying the same PR line again, because the interviewer mentioned merging of 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.
The handheld and console teams were merged in 2013. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-01-16-nintendo-merging-handheld-and-console-divisions-on-february-16
 

KevinG

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Why would they outright say that a console (one that is still selling well) is dead and there's no future for that market?

Obvious they're waiting to see how well the market responds to the Switch before committing all of their eggs to one basket.
 

Scrawnton

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Has anyone ever realized that Switch in and of itself is a dedicated handheld? Once you remove that dock from the box, all you have left is a dedicated handheld. It's not a mind blowing concept.

He could honestly just be talking about making games for Switch that are more handheld focused and not TV focused, like a 2D Zelda. Not every Switch game is gonna be a huge console experience.
 

Solid Raiden

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For expecting the switch to sell as many units as the Wii, Nintendo sure don't show to have any confidence in their product.
The more they pull back from consolidating all of their software output to the console, the more I question my switch preorder. I don't need another damn Wii U.
 

Peltz

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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 you. But to be fair, it technically isn't a "walk back". They never actually said they are unifying development of all titles to one platform. Rather, they only admitted to unifying architecture.
 

KingSnake

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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.
They weren't talking about NX as a device. They were talking about the strategy of Nintendo in the medium term for two reasons:
  • They had so give some answers about how they will deal with the big issues they had regarding developing for two devices
  • They were at the same time re-organizing the company, so they had to point out the reason for that

Like now they are talking about the strategy and how they are still thinking about dedicated handheld business in parallel with Switch.
 

jett

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Nintendo needs to get their shit in order. For several people what's appealing about the Switch is the idea that they're getting both the future Nintendo console and the future Nintendo handheld. This kind of messaging just tells me they're not confident in the Switch. I wonder if they would be willing to drop the price 3DS style if things don't go as well as they hope at launch, or let it ride into oblivion like the Wii U.
 

EDarkness

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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.
At the time they mentioned the NX, it was clear the Wii U was having problems. Maybe it was a bad move to mention it so soon, but they wanted to get that fact out there. There's no need for this with the 3DS. It's still doing basically fine. I think if they are going to go with new handheld hardware we'll start hearing rumors and such by the end of this year. That is if they're intending to phase out the 3DS next year.

Yeah. I remember that. However, I mean, they may have merged, but then certain groups are still split between console and handheld development. If that makes any sense.
 

Skittzo0413

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They weren't talking about NX as a device. They were talking about the strategy of Nintendo in the medium term for two reasons:
  • They had so give some answers about how they will deal with the big issues they had regarding developing for two devices
  • They were at the same time re-organizing the company, so they had to point out the reason for that

Like now they are talking about the strategy and how they are still thinking about dedicated handheld business.
But when talking about the pre-NX as a strategy, they specifically talked about a family of devices sharing a common architecture. You're reading the quote in the OP to say there is a device coming outside of that common architecture.

As to the bolded, there is a huge distinction specifically about whom they are talking to. Answering interview questions is incredibly different than presenting information in front of investors.

At the time they mentioned the NX, it was clear the Wii U was having problems. Maybe it was a bad move to mention it so soon, but they wanted to get that fact out there. There's no need for this with the 3DS. It's still doing basically fine. I think if they are going to go with new handheld hardware we'll start hearing rumors and such by the end of this year. That is if they're intending to phase out the 3DS next year.
Again, this would go against their entire purpose of restructuring handheld and console teams, and it would go against everything they've said regarding their "future hardware" AKA NX AKA Switch. And I don't think we'll have to wait for rumors if this is true, as we would hear about it in investor meetings.

Guys, this is not the first time Nintendo (or any company) has said something completely different to their investors than they say to the press. Guess which one is the accurate version.
 

KingSnake

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But when talking about the pre-NX as a strategy, they specifically talked about a family of devices sharing a common architecture. You're reading the quote in the OP to say there is a device coming outside of that common architecture.
Exactly, because otherwise the concept of a handheld wouldn't be a "but" in regards to unifying the console and handheld software teams.
 

Nibel

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All I get from this is that they'll do a portable-Switch only in the near future for people that don't care about consoles/Japan
 

ElFly

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this is basically telling japan to not buy the switch

they love their handhelds

:/
 

tsab

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mostly at work :(
Vita like switch with non removable joy-cons, with a classic d-pad, smaller cheaper LCD. Special dock for tv out as an extra. 179.99, nov 2018 just in time for Pokemon.


:p
 

EDarkness

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Again, this would go against their entire purpose of restructuring handheld and console teams, and it would go against everything they've said regarding their "future hardware" AKA NX AKA Switch. And I don't think we'll have to wait for rumors if this is true, as we would hear about it in investor meetings.

Guys, this is not the first time Nintendo (or any company) has said something completely different to their investors than they say to the press. Guess which one is the accurate version.
Things change. Maybe looking at the current state they decided not to throw all of their eggs into one basket. Ultimately, we'll find out in the coming months. Right now, the main focus is on launching the NS. Let's see what they say at their next Investors Meeting.
 

Okami Haundo

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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.
I think it's all just a matter of perspective. If you take these statements literally, it's very easy to feel like they're logically heading towards keeping a dedicated handheld around for quite some time.

If you treat these comments like "PR" talk, it's easy to think that they just doesn't want potential customers to worry about the future of 3DS right now. If 3DS is truly being discontinued in favor of Switch come 2018 or later, they're never going to say that ahead of time.

Neither point of view is wrong, as we're talking about an experienced executive who knows how to word his statements. Time will tell which approach they ultimately take.
 

Skittzo0413

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Things change. Maybe looking at the current state they decided not to throw all of their eggs into one basket. Ultimately, we'll find out in the coming months. Right now, the main focus is on launching the NS. Let's see what they say at their next Investors Meeting.
I guess it's certainly possible, but I really, really doubt it. A one-off answer in a single interview about a potential new dedicated handheld doesn't come close to the amount of evidence we have to the contrary.
 

Scrawnton

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Vita like switch with non removable joy-cons, with a classic d-pad, smaller cheaper LCD. Special dock for tv out as an extra. 179.99, nov 2018 just in time for Pokemon.


:p
Seriously. They have a streamlined handheld device on the Switch. They aren't going to release a handheld that throws all this tech or architecture out the window. Do people seriously think Nintendo is going to release a next gen dual screen clam shell designed handheld?
 

Skeletos311

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Yeah. I remember that. However, I mean, they may have merged, but then certain groups are still split between console and handheld development. If that makes any sense.
They could be working on multiple projects. They were working on both N3DS and Switch at the same time at some point. I don't see how that says anything about what games are coming to what system, though.
 
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They need to stop saying stuff like this. Let the 3DS die and support the hell out the Switch. All the teams working on one machine is perfect, Nintendo what are you doing???
 

Chill Penguin

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I've been on board with everything nintendo is doing with the switch. I think they've killed it so far and the messaging has been on point. That said, it seems really dumb to talk about this now, right before your hybrid console launches. You want all the prospective handheld buyers to buy switch, not wait for some 3ds followup that may not even exist yet.
 

Skittzo0413

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They need to stop saying stuff like this. Let the 3DS die and support the hell out the Switch. All the teams working on one machine is perfect, Nintendo what are you doing???
They have no need to do this when the Switch will sell out at launch and likely for the next 2-3 months after that.
 

EDarkness

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I guess it's certainly possible, but I really, really doubt it. A one-off answer in a single interview about a potential new dedicated handheld doesn't come close to the amount of evidence we have to the contrary.
We're not talking about a single interview. Nintendo as a whole and Kimishima have be pretty much saying this. Not to mention the new Fire Emblem Warriors announcement for the 3DS. There's no guarantee going forward that NS games will stay exclusive to that system. They may keep this two pillar system going on. People keep trying to change up the narrative (that the NS is not a console but a handheld), but they've seemed pretty clear in what they're trying to say. In my opinion....
 

Okami Haundo

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They need to stop saying stuff like this. Let the 3DS die and support the hell out the Switch. All the teams working on one machine is perfect, Nintendo what are you doing???
The 3DS is a valuable revenue stream for them in a year where Switch needs to find its footing. Killing the 3DS right now means that Switch will make or break their financials for the year. For comparison, both Sony and Microsoft kept the PS3 and Xbox 360 alive for years after the Xbox One/PS4 came out.

That's exactly what it will be: a Switch with built in controls, a smaller form factor and a lower price.
I just don't see how they can do that under the "Switch" branding. Making the 2DS wasn't that big of a jump because 3DS already supported games with or without 3D. Making a smaller Switch that's portable only sounds like a single player/form factor device.
 

Skittzo0413

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We're not talking about a single interview. Nintendo as a whole and Kimishima have be pretty much saying this. Not to mention the new Fire Emblem Warriors announcement for the 3DS. There's no guarantee going forward that NS games will stay exclusive to that system. They may keep this two pillar system going on. People keep trying to change up the narrative (that the NS is not a console but a handheld), but they've seemed pretty clear in what they're trying to say.
Wait, I thought we weren't talking about the 3DS but about a hypothetical new dedicated handheld with different architecture than the Switch. I've given my reasons on the last couple pages about why it makes sense to keep the 3DS alive for this year.

Regarding this hypothetical new dedicated handheld, this is the only interview answer I've seen which could be read to suggest that.
 

mrklaw

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Nintendo really need to figure out a clear message that says

'yes we want to move to a common architectural platform that allows us to gain maximum benefit from our development resources and can cover multiple hardware configurations.'

without making it sound like they're fragmenting things. I know they don't want people to stop buying 3DSes, and switch is expensive, so they're pushing it as a home console first and foremost. But I'd be perfectly happy for them to talk up the portability - the cost differential will keep your markets from not cannibalising each other too much. If you're in the market for a 3DS for your child you're unlikely to be buying a switch until the price comes down. But if you do, Nintendo should be happy because you're still giving them your money.
 

EDarkness

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Wait, I thought we weren't talking about the 3DS but about a hypothetical new dedicated handheld with different architecture than the Switch. I've given my reasons on the last couple pages about why it makes sense to keep the 3DS alive for this year.
We are. I'm just generalizing by using the 3DS as an analog for dedicated handheld. Sorry for the confusion.
 
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The 3DS is a valuable revenue stream for them in a year where Switch needs to find its footing. Killing the 3DS right now means that Switch will make or break their financials for the year. For comparison, both Sony and Microsoft kept the PS3 and Xbox 360 alive for years after the Xbox One/PS4 came out.
They have no need to do this when the Switch will sell out at launch and likely for the next 2-3 months after that.
I suppose I should be more clear. When I say let it die I mean so in the context of releasing the projects currently in the pipeline and refraining from green-lighting any new games for the machine. Let this year be the end of it.
 

KingSnake

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The 3DS is a valuable revenue stream for them in a year where Switch needs to find its footing. Killing the 3DS right now means that Switch will make or break their financials for the year. For comparison, both Sony and Microsoft kept the PS3 and Xbox 360 alive for years after the Xbox One/PS4 came out.
Not talking about 3ds for 1 month and focusing on your upcoming new console won't kill the 3ds revenue stream.

They already said that they will suport 3ds longer and announced a lot of 3ds exclusive games, there's no need for more 3ds PR at this point really.

You didn't see Sony talking about PS3 everytime they talked about PS4.

With one month before launch Switch should be the only focus.
 

Skittzo0413

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We are. I'm just generalizing by using the 3DS as an analog for dedicated handheld. Sorry for the confusion.
Well then like I said in my edit, this is the only thing I've seen so far which could suggest a new dedicated handheld that isn't the 3DS.

I suppose I should be more clear. When I say let it die I mean so in the context of releasing the projects currently in the pipeline and refraining from green-lighting any new games for the machine. Let this year be the end of it.
I am pretty sure that will be the case. Pokemon should come to Switch this holiday, and we'll see many less titles announced for 2018.
 

Okami Haundo

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I suppose I should be more clear. When I say let it die I mean so in the context of releasing the projects currently in the pipeline and refraining from green-lighting any new games for the machine. Let this year be the end of it.
Ah, that definitely makes sense! My apologies for mis-understanding. I'd say that time will tell on that one. They've pre-pledged support for 3DS until 2018, but that could just mean FY 2018 for all we know. I know they've also said they have "unannounced" projects, but that could pertain to smaller titles like Goodbye Box Boy. I'm not convinced that they'll support 3DS after this year. It's almost 7 years old...

Not talking about 3ds for 1 month and focusing on your upcoming new console won't kill the 3ds revenue stream.

They already said that they will suport 3ds longer and announced a lot of 3ds exclusive games, there's no need for more 3ds PR at this point really.

You didn't see Sony talking about PS3 everytime they talked about PS4.

With one month before launch Switch should be the only focus.
But they just released Poochy & Yoshi, and have other games coming out... They should absolutely focus on selling games to people who already own a 3DS and they can handle both at the same time. Sony didn't stop talking about The Last of Us just because PS4 was announced. You don't just pretend your other hardware doesn't exist for a month because the new one is on the way. (Unless you just killed it like the Wii-U)
 

EDarkness

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Not talking about 3ds for 1 month and focusing on your upcoming new console won't kill the 3ds revenue stream.

They already said that they will suport 3ds longer and announced a lot of 3ds exclusive games, there's no need for more 3ds PR at this point really.

You didn't see Sony talking about PS3 everytime they talked about PS4.

With one month before launch Switch should be the only focus.
I honestly believe they keep mentioning it because people keep implying that they're getting out of either the handheld business or console business. They just want to drive home the point that they aren't doing that. Obviously people don't believe them since it keeps coming up....
 

LordOfChaos

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Am I reading into it to think he does mean the concept of a dedicated stationary console will disappear though?
 

haimon

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Gonna be hard to get people to double dip on games if there are not 2 or more platforms to sell them on.

Given how Nintendo have enjoyed having fans buy the same games multiple times, seems like they don't want to loose that revenue stream.
 

Skittzo0413

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Isn't there another thread on the front page that is almost about this very thing, except it's about Kimishima talking instead of Aonuma?
Okay now I'm confused again... I think there are two separate discussions being had:

1) Nintendo is claiming they plan to support the 3DS with new unannounced titles, why have they not yet switched to Switch (heh)?

2) Nintendo is claiming they will have new dedicated handhelds coming which do not share architecture with the Switch and therefore will not have the benefit of faster development times.

If you're talking about #1, then yes, we have seen these messages from Nintendo quite a bit, and I've explained why I think it makes sense to actually keep the 3DS around for Switch's first year (because the Switch will sell out due to constrained supply).

If you're talking about #2, then this is the first time I've seen any quote which could possible suggest that claim.
 

haimon

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Pretty much.

A "Switch Micro" without removable Joy-Cons will happen, I'm sure of it.
A lot of people were absolutely sure that MS couldn't remove Kinect from xbone, and it was done.

Lots of people were also sure that Nintendo could make a wiiu without the gamepad and lower costs, and they never did that.
 

KingSnake

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Okay now I'm confused again... I think there are two separate discussions being had:

1) Nintendo is claiming they plan to support the 3DS with new unannounced titles, why have they not yet switched to Switch (heh)?

2) Nintendo is claiming they will have new dedicated handhelds coming which do not share architecture with the Switch and therefore will not have the benefit of faster development times.

If you're talking about #1, then yes, we have seen these messages from Nintendo quite a bit, and I've explained why I think it makes sense to actually keep the 3DS around for Switch's first year (because the Switch will sell out due to constrained supply).

If you're talking about #2, then this is the first time I've seen any quote which could possible suggest that claim.
http://neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1340093

Do you believe in coincidences?
 

EDarkness

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Okay now I'm confused again... I think there are two separate discussions being had:

1) Nintendo is claiming they plan to support the 3DS with new unannounced titles, why have they not yet switched to Switch (heh)?

2) Nintendo is claiming they will have new dedicated handhelds coming which do not share architecture with the Switch and therefore will not have the benefit of faster development times.

If you're talking about #1, then yes, we have seen these messages from Nintendo quite a bit, and I've explained why I think it makes sense to actually keep the 3DS around for Switch's first year (because the Switch will sell out due to constrained supply).

If you're talking about #2, then this is the first time I've seen any quote which could possible suggest that claim.
I kinda group them together because they're really a system of the same issue in my mind. Not wanting to give up the handheld space and have two separate areas to work in. People ask about either point that you mentioned and their response is that they're not merging stuff...3DS is still alive and there's a place for handhelds and consoles to co-exist.
 

Falchion

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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.
Seriously, I want to see what a few years of Switch only development looks like before they confuse things with another platform.
 

Skittzo0413

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Oh wow, I hadn't seen that yet.

Anyway, according to Mochizuki that's not at all what Kimishima said. And considering Serkan Toto got the Kimishima "expecting" Wii sales tweet disastrously wrong too I'm willing to go with Mochizuki at this point. From that thread:

Just based on the article, Serkan Toto's translation is accurate. Kimishima was asked whether the Switch wouldn't render a successor to the 3DS meaningless, and he responded saying that the Switch would be bigger, heavier, and pricier than a theoretical 3DS successor, and they will keep considering it since there is a market base for it.
That sounds like a Switch lite is being planned honestly.

I kinda group them together because they're really a system of the same issue in my mind. Not wanting to give up the handheld space and have two separate areas to work in. People ask about either point that you mentioned and their response is that they're not merging stuff...3DS is still alive and there's a place for handhelds and consoles to co-exist.
I really think it's as simple as them not wanting to needlessly kill off one revenue stream so soon. They get no immediate benefit by saying the Switch will take over handheld development, since the Switch is likely to sell out regardless of that information.

It's really similar to the "third pillar" DS situation honestly.
 

Gai Murakumo

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I was hoping with the Switch the 3DS teams would join up with the console teams and focus on one stream of game development so we can get a constant output of games. I know the 3DS is still a good revenue stream for Nintendo but I feel still splitting your development teams is hurting them.
 

NimbusD

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If this isn't a dedicated handheld, then I'm sorry, but literally what's the point?

I don't want another console that you wind up ignoring the main gimmick behind it a year into its life span. Meanwhile the gimmick prevents price drops as it's expensive to implement and also caused the console to be underpowered.

And yeah maybe they're just saying this, but even if they are it's a mistake, show some fucking confidence and dedication to your own ideas Nintendo, I'm not getting a console that you guys can't publicly put your full weight behind for whatever reason.
 

EDarkness

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I really think it's as simple as them not wanting to needlessly kill off one revenue stream so soon. They get no immediate benefit by saying the Switch will take over handheld development, since the Switch is likely to sell out regardless of that information.

It's really similar to the "third pillar" DS situation honestly.
I thought so originally, but they've been pretty serious about driving this point home and when they announced Fire Emblem Warriors was coming the 3DS this just convinced me. I really think they're trying to keep people's expectations in check, but folks aren't listening. I fully expect there to be another handheld device in the future that is priced accordingly and may not be a subset of the Tegra line.
 

jroc74

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When de says "dedicated handheld" I hope he's talking about a Switch lite without the dock or something like that.
I think with all the news lately about another handheld and whatnot this is the likely scenario.

Some that guessed this might happen could be right.