Why Is 'Metroid: Samus Returns' Coming To The Nintendo 3DS And Not The Nintendo Switch? Reggie Fils-Aime Explains

Fans of Samus Aran have much to be excited about after the E3 2017 announcements of Metroid Prime 4 for the Nintendo Switch and Metroid: Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS. However, many gamers are wondering why the second game is coming only to the handheld system and not to the hybrid console.

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime explained why, while Metroid producer Yoshio Sakamoto and developer MercurySteam's Jose Luis Márquez share more details about Metroid: Samus Returns.

Why Is 'Metroid: Samus Returns' Not Coming To The Nintendo Switch?

Metroid: Samus Returns is a reimagining of Metroid II: Return of Samus, which was originally released on the Nintendo Game Boy. In addition to upgrading the game's graphics, players will gain access to new abilities for Samus, including shooting at any direction and powerful Aeion skills.

Nintendo Switch owners, however, hoped that Metroid: Samus Returns will also come to the hybrid console to play it while waiting for Metroid Prime 4.

Fils-Aime clarified that Metroid remains "an important franchise" for Nintendo, and that the company needed to let gamers know that there was "a great console experience coming" with Metroid Prime 4.

He then explained that Nintendo wanted to support both the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Switch with "a great new Metroid experience," with one title each for the two video game systems.

"There's over 66 million of these devices out in the hands of consumers," Fils-Aime said, referring to the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo believes that releasing Metroid: Samus Returns on the handheld console is a great way to re-engage gamers with the Metroid franchise and then eventually following that up with Metroid Prime 4 for the Nintendo Switch.

Metroid Prime 4 will likely not be coming out soon, though. Nintendo only revealed the logo of the game, and Fils-Aime said that it will be released when the install base for the Nintendo Switch is significantly higher than current levels.

More Details On 'Metroid: Samus Returns'

In an interview with Sakamoto and Márquez, GameSpot was able to find out more details about the upcoming Metroid: Samus Returns.

According to Sakamoto, the game has been in development for two years and was kickstarted into production after his team met with MercurySteam in Spain.

Sakamoto confirmed that there were new elements in Metroid: Samus Returns compared to Metroid II: Return of Samus, made possible with the collaboration with MercurySteam. He did not reveal any more details on what exactly those additions are but claimed that the game is a "really wonderful installment" in the Metroid franchise.

"I have a lot of confidence in saying that we've come out with something that will go above and beyond their expectations," Sakamoto said, talking to Samus fans who have long waited for another 2D Metroid game. There is still much left to be done for the title, but the development team is hoping that it will surprise gamers once it comes out.

Metroid: Samus Returns is set to launch on Sept. 15 for the Nintendo 3DS. Metroid Prime 4, meanwhile, has no release date yet.

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