Is the Nintendo Switch the death knell of the Nintendo 3DS?


Nintendo just launched its new Switch console, the follow-up to the Nintendo Wii U which converts into a portable gaming machine so you can continue your home game session on the commute. But does the super-flexible Switch mean Nintendo’s other portable console, the Nintendo 3DS, is facing the executioner?

The Nintendo Switch looks like a wise and hopefully successful move from Nintendo. Like the Wii before it, this is another unique gaming console that stands out from its two main ‘rivals’ – the Xbox and the Playstation.

By converting from a home console into a portable gaming machine with just a quick bit of slidey-pushey action, Nintendo has given a more mobile generation of gamers exactly what we need. Something that we can take on the road for those lengthy commutes or trips away, or ’round to our mate’s house for a bit of multiplayer action.

Of course, Nintendo already has a portable gaming console in the shape of the 3DS and 2DS, which followed on from the ridiculously successful Nintendo DS. This dual-screen device allows us to play classic Nintendo titles like Zelda and Mario on the move, transforming dull journeys into frantic frag-fests.

Now that the Switch is here – or rather, will be here in March 2017 – do we really need the 3DS too? Fair enough, the 3DS is smaller and easier to stuff inside a backpack, or even a baggy pocket. But the Switch in portable mode is basically just a tablet device, which should slip nicely into most bags.

The Switch will of course boast the same killer Nintendo franchises as the 3DS, but its powerful Nvidia Tegra processor means you’ll get gorgeous, home console quality games, even on the go. Sure, the new 3DS is reasonably beefy, with recent titles like Monster Hunter Generations boasting some impressive visuals. But the Switch will still be a big step up, blurring the lines of what a portable console is capable of.

Multiplayer gaming will be even easier now too. With the 3DS, you and your mates all need to rock your own console to get gaming. But the Switch’s innovative controls mean you can slide off those end pieces and hand one to your bestie, to take them on at your favourite games.

But the Switch’s killer feature is that it can be connected to your telly back home, so the whole family can settle in for an evening Zelda session or take each other on at Mario Kart. Something you can’t do with the 3DS.

So, is the 3DS likely to be phased out in 2017 as Nintendo focuses on releasing titles for the Switch? Possibly, but the company seems to be focusing its creative talents in a number of areas now, including mobile gaming on iOS and Android. The 3DS and Switch may directly compete with each other, but the fan base will ensure that 3DS titles will still get plenty of love in a post-Switch world. And of course the Switch is more expensive than the 3DS and especially the 2DS, making it more of a ‘premium’ option.

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