Nintendo may be making a push into the mobile video game market, but that does not mean that the death of the 3DS handheld gaming console is on the cards.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Nintendo Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Scott Moffitt said that the 3DS and smartphone games businesses of the company will be able to co-exist.
"Nintendo 3DS is here to stay," Moffitt said, adding that the handheld gaming console has actually outsold Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One combined.
According to Moffitt, the statement is found to be shocking to most people. The 3DS has sold over 50.4 million units worldwide, as of the end of September, compared to the 30 million units that the PlayStation 4 has sold. Microsoft no longer reveals the sales numbers for its Xbox consoles, but estimates peg sales of the Xbox One at 17.1 million units.
Nintendo has decided to enter the mobile video game industry due to its popularity, but gamers should expect to receive continuous support for the 3DS. In fact, despite the growth of the mobile video game market, sales of the 3DS are actually increasing. Moffitt stated that so far in the year, the current sales of the 3DS in the United States is actually outpacing that of last year.
Moffitt explains that the 3DS and mobile gaming are two very different platforms, leading to very different methods of gameplay. While mobile games focus primarily on touchscreen inputs, the multiple buttons of the 3DS leads to a more sophisticated and much deeper level of play.
For the holiday season, Nintendo is focused on three headline titles for the 3DS, namely Tri Force Heroes, a multiplayer game based on Legend of Zelda, Happy Home Designer, the latest addition to the well-loved Animal Crossing series, and Yo-Kai Watch, a ghost-catching game that follows in the footsteps of Pokemon.
The first smartphone title for Nintendo, Miitomo, will not be arriving until March of next year. The game is expected to be followed by five more smartphone titles in 2017.
The delve into the mobile video game market is a big change for the company, as Nintendo has previously said that it will only be developing games for the company's own platforms. Whether the decision to break that stance and enter a new industry is a good one for Nintendo remains to be seen.