After the positive critical reception to Metroid: Samus Returns, many fans are sure to be delighted by seeing the beloved bounty hunter return to the limelight. While the Nintendo 3DS title has landed to positive reviews, many are still wondering why the game arrived on the older handheld in lieu of Nintendo’s newer and significantly more powerful Switch console. Fortunately, Game Rant was provided with the opportunity to speak with the producer of Samus Returns, Yoshio Sakamoto, about this decision.

Interacting via email, Sakamoto explained the reasoning behind bringing Metroid: Samus Returns to the 3DS, claiming that the dual-screened portable allowed the developer to make better use of the game’s map without taking away from the experience. As a result of this second-screen design, as well as 3D-enabled technology featured within the top screen, the decision to revisit the original Game Boy venture ultimately landed the software on 3DS over Switch.

“One of the themes we chose to stick with this time was utilizing both 3D visuals and a dual screen setup. In fact, I’d been interested in creating a Metroid title that allowed you display the map constantly on a second screen and interact with the elements of the UI by touching them since the time of the original DS. The 3DS made the 3D visuals possible of course, and the more powerful hardware allows for a higher fidelity experience—both are reasons we felt this was the right choice.”


Following the announcement that Metroid Prime 4 was indeed in development for Nintendo Switch, it makes sense that gamers would finger Samus Returns as an odd (albeit welcomed) choice for 3DS. Still, Sakamoto’s reasoning for this decision seems very rational, at least from a design standpoint – and the larger install base of the 3DS handheld was no doubt an appealing prospect for the higher-ups at Nintendo as well.

Stay tuned to Game Rant for more details on our interview with Metroid‘s Yoshio Sakamoto.

Metroid: Samus Returns is currently available exclusively on Nintendo 2DS and Nintendo 3DS handhelds.