Though the big selling point for Nintendo's upcoming console is its ability to be played both at home and on the go, the company isn't worried that the Switch will compete with the 3DS for control of the handheld market.
At a recent investor Q&A, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima explained that qualities of the Switch, such as its price and software offerings, make it distinctly different from the Nintendo 3DS in the eyes of its audience and that both systems ultimately fulfill different needs.
“We believe [the 3DS] can coexist with Nintendo Switch for the time being,” answered Kimishima when asked about the potential overlap between the company’s two major video game platforms.
“Nintendo 3DS is a different system from Nintendo Switch in terms of its shape, weight, price, and the types and number of available software titles. From this perspective, I believe parents will opt to choose Nintendo 3DS as their children’s first video game system.”
"We recognize that Nintendo 3DS as a portable game device meets different needs and fits different markets than Nintendo Switch, and we will keep this recognition in mind as we consider the future of our dedicated portable video game business."
Nintendo may be slowing down production of the Wii U in wake of the Switch's release, but the company seemingly has no plans to give its current handheld hardware the same treatment. Following Kimishima's statement, director and managing executive officer Shinya Takahashi said that Nintendo is still actively producing 3DS software and that a new generation of the handheld hasn't been ruled out.
"Because Nintendo never stops thinking about and researching potential future video game systems, it is not a question of whether it may make sense to release some specific product in the future," said Takahashi. "We are always engaged in researching and considering our next video game system."