A new interview with Reggie Fils-Amie suggests that Nintendo sees the Switch as a home console first, and that support for the 3DS will continue for a long time.
The Nintendo Switch has the gaming world buzzing about the potentially huge and dynamic changes the system could bring to the industry. The Switch has already sold out at GameStop, indicating a rabid demand for Nintendo’s newest device, and the Switch will feature brand new, open-world Legend of Zelda and Super Mario titles within its launch year. There are a lot of questions surrounding the Switch‘s ability to be a serious contender in a market that already features much more powerful systems in the PS4 and Xbox One, but Nintendo has made a compelling case for the Switch in the early going that should carry it to early success.
The biggest question of all, however, is just what kind of space the Switch is supposed to occupy in the way people understand console and handheld gaming devices. The Switch’s system specs don’t necessarily help clarify that either, and its battery life when away from its dock has come under fire from some who feel the Switch’s mobility may be limited by how often it will need to be recharged. In a newly released interview, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Amie shed some light on how Nintendo views the Switch:
“I think there’s a sense that Nintendo Switch is a portable device. It is portable. But at its heart, it’s a home console you can take with you on the go…in our view, the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch are going to live side-by-side.”
That viewpoint explains a lot regarding what we already know about the Switch, including the Switch’s limited battery life. Nintendo clearly believes the Switch will be primarily used within gamers’ homes, while the mobile functionality of the console will simply be an added bonus for those who want to take it on trips or to friends’ houses.
Fils-Amie’s statement, which comes from an interview with Wired, also helps quell some fears regarding the Nintendo 3DS, which some critics believed could be rendered obsolete by the Switch. It’s clear now that Nintendo believes it can manage both the 3DS and Switch in such a way that fans will be interested in both, and that could explain why there are some very different decisions being made in terms of what the Switch offers – for instance, the Switch doesn’t support Miiverse or Street Pass, which could be minor pulls toward the 3DS in the future for some gamers.
(Image courtesy of Polygon)
Regardless of where Nintendo Switch goes from here, it’s helpful that Fils-Amie has clarified the general direction Nintendo wants to take its new console. Now that gamers are aware of where the Switch stands with its parent company, it will be easier to analyze the Switch’s games and many, many accessories to figure out exactly what they mean for the console’s future.
Nintendo Switch will release worldwide on March 3, 2017.