It’ll replace the Wii U. But will it also replace the 3DS? Uh, maybe.
You can play it at home. You can play it on the go. You can play it just about anywhere, but what is the Nintendo Switch at its core? According to Nintendo, it’s a home games console first, and a portable one second.
“Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system first and foremost,” a Nintendo representative told Polygon.
The Switch’s ability to be played both at home on a TV and on the go as a portable is a divergence from, well, literally every games console that has ever come before. Nintendo is currently the only manufacturer with skin in both the portable and home console market with its 3DS and Wii U systems. So what happens to them when this singular new machine does everything both of them do and does it all seemingly better?
“Obviously with sales of almost 60 million 3DS portables worldwide, there’s still a huge hunger for new games, such as Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. There are many more games in the pipeline,” said the Nintendo rep who declined to offer any details on the company’s plans for the 3DS moving forward.
As for the underperforming Wii U, things are a bit clearer. Though Nintendo similarly had “nothing to announce” about the console, it now seems clearer than ever before that the Wii U will soon become very difficult to come by. Nintendo previously announced back in April that it had plans to ship a scant 800,000 Wii U units to retailers by the end of its fiscal year.
Nintendo itself has now stated that the Switch is its new home console, and the company has historically ceased production of older hardware quickly in favor of going all in on new platforms once they’ve launched. The company’s statements to Polygon today made it sound like that would again be the case with the Wii U once the Switch launches in March 2017.
“We encourage anyone who wants Wii U to communicate with their preferred retail outlet to monitor availability.”