Within the past few months, we’ve seen countless articles talking about how a new iteration of Nintendo’s popular Nintendo Switch console could be on the horizon. Despite Nintendo showing nothing at E3, the rumors are still going strong and a recent leak by console accessory maker, Honson, has further added fuel to the fire by adding a whole section of accessories dedicated to the unannounced console on its website. Judging by this alone, it’s pretty easy to see the truth behind the rumors and I would be expecting some official announcement from Nintendo themselves sometime soon.
When the Nintendo Switch was first released in 2017, people expected it to be a replacement console for the 3DS, but like the little trooper it was, the 3DS carried on going for a bit longer despite the better option being available. Now it finally looks like Nintendo is ready to pass the flame on with the new rumored Nintendo Switch Mini.
As the name implies the 3DS made use of 3D technology to provide gamers with portable games featuring true 3D effects. The feature, while being the main naming point of the console never really took off, with children getting headaches and people just generally not using it. However, this didn’t stop the little console being hugely successful and very popular amongst its audience, as of 2018 Nintendo had sold over 69 million 3DS units worldwide and in the period from its original release until now, it has spawned many iterations including a none 3D variant known as the 2DS, which was basically a 3DS minus the 3D feature.
The Switch made waves when first announced and continues to do so to this day, mainly because of the fact it allows you to seamlessly switch between a home T.V connected console and an on the go handheld. Due to its power, the games it plays work just as well in portable mode as they do when connected to a T.V, although the resolution is dropped from 1080p in T.V mode to 720p in handheld mode. Of course, this brings into question, just how well the Switch mini will do if the rumors are true.
The interesting thing about the Nintendo Switch Mini is that it’s rumored to be a handheld only system, unlike the original Switch which could be connected to a T.V or used portably. This possible lack of T.V connectivity has led some people, including myself, to believe that this is Nintendo’s replacement system for their 3DS handheld family of consoles. Nintendo itself couldn’t have been more obvious about the fate of the 3DS, when they failed to announce any games for it at their Nintendo Direct conference earlier in the year, instead choosing to focus on the Switch. Another thing that ultimately points to the demise of the 3DS is the fact that Pokemon Sword and Shield are both being developed for the Switch, making Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon the last main games in the series on the 3DS consoles.
When thinking of a T.V-less Switch, I ask myself, would it still be called the ”Switch”? After all, the reasoning for this name in the first place was the console’s capability of switching between T.V mode and portable mode. When Nintendo announced the 2DS, they were easily able to give it a new name by changing a single number, but with the Switch Mini, it just wouldn’t make sense to keep any part of the Switch name.
Since the 3DS was first released it’s had many great games and been home to some fantastic handheld gaming experiences, the Switch has also featured many great games which look good on a T.V but play just as well on the go. There’s no doubt in my mind, that all current Switch games will work on the new console, there’s no reason for them not to, although judging by the design leaks, I do wonder how or if at all, Nintendo has managed to squeeze the motion sensing controls into this unit, my guess would be yes since the 3DS itself had some level of motion sensing. I also hope to see that Nintendo has at least made it possible to connect the existing Joy-Cons to the system wirelessly.
A really big selling point of the 3DS, which was first introduced in the previous DS console line up is its use of dual screens, something the current Switch doesn’t have. While the Switch itself does feature a touch-screen it doesn’t feel as well used as the bottom display on the 3DS, which was used for things like menus, gameplay options and so much more. This could be a bump in the road or just a change that 3DS lovers will have to get to used to as they transition over to a Switch Mini.
Some people will probably be thinking, well why not just get a Normal Switch and use it for both? Well, quite simple really, the price. The current Switch still costs £279.99 for just the main system setup with no games here in the U.K. Just like the 2DS, the Switch Mini will most likely be priced in a way that attracts more buyers to the system and its games. I would guess the price for this console could be between £130 to £150 given that there’s also a rumored Switch Pro on the horizon, which will either replace the current Switch or sit above it at a higher price point.
So, to answer the question of if the Nintendo Switch Mini will replace the 3DS? I’d say yes. On its release, it will already have a vast library of games and will most likely be priced cheaply to attract more buyers. There’s also no signs of anything else replacing the 3DS lineup and given its age, we’d have heard something by now.