So, rumours existed that the NX (now Switch) would be both a home console and a portable, essentially letting Nintendo focus development on a single platform instead of two. While the home console + portability factor has certainly been confirmed, it isn't quite as clear whether this is going to be Nintendo's sole platform moving forward, or if we will see another new handheld as well. The 3DS is certainly on its last legs, so if a handheld is coming, I imagine it wouldn't be too far off... a year or two at most. But maybe the Switch is it?
Personally, I kind of think another new handheld is also on the way. The Switch is a neat idea, but it's not particularly easily portable... it's almost more like an iPad than a handheld. Especially in Japan, where commuting with Nintendo handhelds is a pretty big thing, it'd be kind of unfeasible to expect everyone to carry around the Switch every day. Also, this will probably be a fair bit more expensive than Nintendo handhelds tend to be, and there really isn't much evidence that people want expensive handhelds... Sony's have struggled, and the 3DS struggled with a $250 price tag at launch. Nintendo handhelds are Nintendo's bread and butter, and I'm not sure they would be willing to risk that on the Switch as a replacement.
HOWEVER, I also think they're probably going to give Switch a small bit of time and see if it could potentially take the place of both. Sort of like how the DS was introduced as something else, so that if it bombed they could always do a new Game Boy. If it's not quite living up to Nintendo's standards for its handheld, they can go ahead with a new handheld.
Still, it brings up the question of... if I'm right, how will they present and market and develop for this thing moving forward? Will they openly claim it is a replacement for both a console and a handheld, and go all in on that idea for a bit? Or leave it a bit more vague so they can fall back on a new handheld if needed?
I absolutely do think that there will be a new handheld device down the road a bit because it seems abundantly clear to me that the Switch is in no way a handheld but a console that can be portable, which is language that I believe Nintendo has clarified a few times. It's only been the rumors and wishful thinking that has claimed that the NX would replace both the console and handheld lines, never Nintendo. As several other people have mentioned, I fully expect there to be a Switch-capable handheld in the next year or two.
If we get a successor it will most likely use a similar design philosophy and infrastructure that the Switch does. Look at Apple and Samsung, who have a similar setup for their tablets and phones. I can see Nintendo doing that sort of thing with this. I wouldn't expect a handheld option though to be announced til the Switch has had time to cement it's place in the market.
But then the question comes, does it need to happen? A Switch Mini could work, but they could also sell the Switch pad by itself from the looks of things. There's a lot of different avenues they can take with this setup, just gotta hope they pick the right one.
I'm still not sure why nobody has put a D-Pad on a smartphone, yet.
Or why Apple has never made an official gaming shell for their iPhone. Slip it in and your iPhone now has real buttons, d-pads, and analog sticks for excellent mobile gaming... and developers would all support it if it was an Apple first party accessory.
By far the most enticing thing about the Switch is a consolidated Nintendo library.
I know Nintendo has made some moves that point in this direction but did they ever openly say this is what they're trying to do? I wonder if it isn't something a bunch of people read into Nintendo's motives because this thing can technically be used on the go...
I still think they should produce a Gameboy Phone, though. I'm still not sure why nobody has put a D-Pad on a smartphone, yet.
I'd buy a thinner DS that was also a phone, hands down. Also as far as why no D-pad on phones, I think if they could get away with zero buttons they would. People don't want buttons on phones anymore, it seems...
Emphasis on 'It seems'.
Look, there are people who want to spend 50 bucks on a the NES throwback console or whatever it is. You can't convince me that the market wouldn't absolutely devour a Nintendo Gameboy phone that had a D-pad on it and came with Mario, Castlevania, Super Metroid, Bubble Bobble and whatever. It'd be huge.
It would also put me out of a job. I hope Nintendo never does this.
@Secret_Tunnel Yeah but I mean as far as the specific games too. Every handheld has had unique games to play on it, it'd be weird if Nintendo released one where you could play every single game and more on the home console version.
I can't see Nintendo committing to two completely separate handheld and console software libraries at this point. Not after the multiple extended droughts that both 3DS and Wii U have been through. And especially now that they're pushing forward on mobile platforms as well.
If Switch doesn't bomb, there won't be a new handheld, just a Switch Pocket, or at the very least a cheaper SKU that doesn't include the dock. If Switch bombs, there will be a new handheld, but not for a few years. Maybe only a new handheld, if Switch bombs spectacularly.
Maybe there will be something called the DSwitch (DS-Switch) where it's still dual screens, can play old DS games, but also Switch carts. Instead of the controller clipping to the sides, it could clip to the top/bottom of the thing. It could come out in a few years so the tech would be cheaper/smaller, and everyone would be happy!
I live in the rural Midwest! There's no such thing as public transportation here! The benefits of portability are lost on me. If I had a 30-minute commute to get to work, I'd totally carry my 3DS with me everywhere!
Of course, he also says that the team that developed the Switch "didn't just want a successor to the Wii U or the 3DS" but it's pretty clear this thing is gonna replace Wii U. So yeah. Grain of salt and all that.