It was rumored for months that Nintendo was thinking about merging its strong handheld market with its sagging console market, and with the reveal of the Switch — a console that has its own handheld detatchment — we can assume their DS line of handhelds has reached its end, correct?
Company president Tatsumi Kimishima doesn’t think so. “Thanks to our software, the 3DS hardware is still growing,” he told Bloomberg. “So that business still has momentum. And certainly rather than being cannibalized by the Switch, we think the 3DS can continue in its own form.”
“We didn’t just want a successor to the Wii U or the 3DS. So our original concept was, ‘What kind of new experience can we create?’ And what we showed this time was an object that’s both stationary and one you can take outside to play with anyone you want.”
Nintendo has made similar public statements before, usually whenever they’re about to release something risky. When the DS was unveiled in 2004, Nintendo claimed the device was a “third pillar” and that both their console and Game Boy lines would continue alongside it. After the DS sold incredible numbers, Nintendo quietly put the Game Boy brand to bed.
Whether this is to be taken seriously or not depends on the future. If the Switch does really well, this statement will be forgotten and the DS line will be discontinued. If the Switch doesn’t take off, I would bet on a new DS appearing about two years from now.