Despite the recent launch of its new Nintendo Switch console, Nintendo itself has seemingly reaffirmed its commitment to its popular 3DS handheld system, with the upcoming release of new games and a new 3DS XL system design. Since its launch in 2011, the Nintendo 3DS has proven popular with younger children, who have found it easy to operate, and with parents, who have found it an easily portable device for their children to play games on. In 2015, the console received an upgrade in the form of the Nintendo 3DS XL and the new Nintendo 3DS, which essentially possessed better 3D graphics and better controls than its predecessor.
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch is intended to be a multi-use device; enabling the user to play at home and also on a handheld console. The user emphasis thus far seems to be on the young professional rather than children or families, which is possibly why Nintendo have chosen to launch a new range of games for the DS system.
Part of Nintendo’s 3DS resurgence has come due to the success of the games, Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, which in turn have come about owing to the phenomenal success of Pokemon Go. Therefore it’s little surprise that Nintendo are cashing in on everything Pokemon as far as they can, including the launch of a Pikachu themed 3DS XL. The new DS will be yellow, with a drawing of Pikachu on the cover, and will be available from February 24. Expect it to be wildly popular with young Pokemon fans.
The new games being launched are definitely aimed at the younger generation, too. Poochy and Yoshi’s Wooly World is a 3DS version of the Wii U game of the same name, but it also features new levels, too. It coincides with the launch of the new yarn Poochy amiibo figure. Mario Sports Superstars features Soccer, Tennis, Golf, Baseball and, for the first time in a Mario sports game, Horse Racing. Each sport stars Mario and his friends from the Mushroom Kingdom and can be played solo or in online multiplayer mode. To coincide with the Mario Sports Superstars game, comes Mario Sports Amiibo Character Cards. By tapping one of the cards while playing Mario Sports Superstars, players will get a variety of fun bonuses. The Mario Sports Superstars amiibo cards will be avaliable to purchase in packs of 5, and for a limited time, the Mario Sports Superstars game will include one amiibo card.
Pimkin (name to be finalized), introduces a new character to the Nintendo family, who’s described as “adorable.” Players play as Captain Olimar and tap the screen to throw Pikmin at enemies and objects, using the unique abilities of the Pikmin to solve puzzles, fend off aggressive wildlife and find objects as they navigate the world’s tiny harsh environment. This game will be exclusively for the 3DS systems. Finally, Tank Troopers will be available exclusively in the Nintendo e shop, and allows users to drive one of 36 customizable tanks in a new warfare game. The game supports up to six players playing against each other in teams, or in a free-for-all.
While the Switch launch might be seen as Nintendo trying to compete with the more adult side of the gaming world, it seems as though the company have been mindful of the fact that they are a family brand, and very popular with children. Their choice of game launches and Pikachu system design reflects this.
The new Pikachu 3DS XL will be available starting February 24. Mario Sports Superstars and the Mario Sports Superstars Amiibo cards will be available beginning on March 24th; Poochy and Yoshi’s Wooly World launches on February 3rd; Tank Troopers arrives on February 16; and there is no launch date set for Pimkin.