Nintendo hopes to attract handheld gamers to Switch

Company expects upcoming Switch titles to appeal to 3DS market

As sales of the eight-year-old 3DS continue to decline, Nintendo has discussed the possibility of attracting more handheld gamers to Nintendo Switch.

The company expects to sell just one million 3DS units in the business year ending in March 2020, down from 2.55 million units in the previous year and 6.4 million units the year before that.

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Asked if Nintendo plans to use Switch to go after the handheld market during a recent financial results briefing, company president Shuntaro Furukawa said:

“Our plans for Nintendo 3DS sales this year are lower compared to the previous fiscal year, but the demand for Nintendo 3DS is stable and I expect steady sales as we continue to position it as an entry-level gaming system, differentiated from Nintendo Switch.

“As for Nintendo Switch,” he continued, “the line-up of software planned for release this year includes titles for series that in the past were developed for our handheld game systems.

“Since Nintendo Switch can be played in handheld mode, these titles will potentially give consumers who previously played games on handheld systems a reason to purchase Nintendo Switch.”

Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield will be the first core entries in the RPG series to be released on a home console when they hit Switch later this year

Speaking on the subject last month, Furukawa said: “Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are being developed to emphasise the fun of playing Nintendo Switch in handheld mode.

“We want these games to be played not only by long-time Pokémon fans, but also by consumers whose first encounter with the series was on a dedicated video game platform with Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!.”

Nintendo is thought to be developing a less expensive, more portable Switch console targeted at a younger audience, although Furukawa claimed last month the company won’t unveil any Switch hardware revisions at this year’s E3 in June.

The company has forecast 18 million Switch hardware sales for the current business year, up from 16.95 million in the previous year.