Western Nintendo 3DS Support To Be Revealed Around E3, Says Iwata

By Ishaan . May 2, 2012 . 1:30pm

Western game developers aren’t really known for their stellar support of portable game devices such as the Nintendo 3DS. Developers in the west choose to put their flagship games on home consoles and smaller games on mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. High-profile western games on traditional portables are a rarity.


However, Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, says that, while there may appear to be fewer commitments to the 3DS from western publishers, there will be a noticeable change in this situation, come this E3.


“There may appear to be fewer commitments from the U.S. and the European software publishers than those of their Japanese counterparts,” Iwata admitted to investors during a Q&A. He explained: “This is due to the different timing (between Japan and overseas) when they noticed that the Nintendo 3DS would surely expand widely into their markets and, thus, the different timing when they started the actual development of the Nintendo 3DS software.”


Iwata continued: “You will also notice a change in this situation when a richer Nintendo 3DS software lineup in the overseas markets is announced around the time of the E3 show. In Japan, we have this solid feeling that the Japanese publishers will continuously support the Nintendo 3DS. Accordingly, I have no pessimistic view on the Nintendo 3DS software lineup.”


One such game has already been announced. Disney announced Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion (above) for the Nintendo 3DS earlier this year. The side-scrolling game is slated for release on the 3DS this fall. Additionally, Square Enix and n-Space’s Heroes of Ruin could also be considered a high-profile, western-developed 3DS game.

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  • cj_iwakura

    Soul Hackers!

    Oh, Western developed.

    Uh… Contra 5?

    • James Beatty

      Contra was said to be in development for the 3DS, maybe it was delayed until the 3DS got a bigger audience (which it has now). I do expect a lot more 3rd party support from the west for the 3DS. The 3DS practically owns japan, but the west has been more hesitant to support it other than the e-shop and a couple of not so great games. 

    • Tom_Phoenix

      Do I really need to point out that Contra belongs to Konami….you know…a JAPANESE company? XD

  • malek86

    I really want to see what they have in store. Even the uber-successful DS didn’t have too much support from western developers. And now that smartphones have entered the arena, I wonder what will be Nintendo’s ace in the sleeve for getting western publishers to back them up.

    • I don’t know that they have an ace up their sleeve for western-specific devs. Maybe they’ll surprise us. We do know that Iwata is very interested in Nintendo helping out with Japanese third-party games that they feel could be a good fit for the west. I’m sure they’re well aware that’s where the majority of support will come from, too.

      But as far as western-developed stuff goes, I’m looking forward to Amazing Spider-Man, which sounds like it’ll be based off the console versions. Aside from that… Black Ops 2 would be nice, I guess? The near-futuristic setting made me more interested in it.

      • malek86

        I have the Ultimate Spider-Man game for the DS, it was ok I guess, a bit too short. I don’t expect the 3DS game to be a big hit though. COD also probably wouldn’t move huge numbers, like it didn’t on the DS, and like it won’t on the PSV either.

        I’m sure the majority of support will come from Japan, but the point is whether they can get any sort of meaningful western support.

        I wonder, with Nintendo seemingly so willing to publish games for japanese developers, if they couldn’t do the same with some western developers. I’m certain a few smaller studios wouldn’t mind that (or perhaps they would, considering that everyone says Nintendo is terribly annoying and restrictive to work with).

        • Actually, I suspect ASM will do pretty well. It’s Spider-Man, and enough kids will own a 3DS for it to do decent numbers. If we get Black Ops, I have no clue how that will do. I do recall seeing some of the DS ones doing decently for what they were, but of course, nowhere near the console numbers. 

          But yeah, aside from Epic Mickey, right now I’m having a hard time envisioning what western-developed games could be breakout 3DS hits. 

    • XYZ_JolteonZ980

      LEGO games. Im going to also guess some WRPG franchise. I feel if it was anything surprising we would have rumors or leaks by now. 

      • malek86

        We have essentially never had a WRPG on a portable console. I don’t think they’ll start making them now.

        • XYZ_JolteonZ980

          I thought a Dungeon Seige, baldur’s gate, lord of the rings, and dungeons and dragons made it on handhelds?

          • malek86

            Very few titles did. Mostly licensed stuff (like you said, LOTR, some D&D). But overall, they’re very rare occurrences. And it’s been a while since they have actually made one.

            There was supposed to be a port (?) of Oblivion on the PSP, but it got canned. Other big titles haven’t so much as looked at portable consoles.

  • kylehyde

    If we are talking about quality western support then theres is going to be to few to view. Of course you can always count with Renegade Kid, Wayforward Technologies.

    I will be more than happy if they expand the support for more localizations.

  • SirRichard

    The 3DS kind of blew it with its slow start on this front; I remember THQ and Ubisoft champing at the bit to get Saints Row and Assassin’s Creed out for it, and very early slow sales and that grim drought period led to cancellations all round.

    Waiting to see what we’ve got in store, maybe Ubisoft haven’t fully shelved AC3D yet.

    • Hraesvelgr

      As far as software goes, both Nintendo and Sony really blew it with their launches. The 3DS has gotten much better, and the Vita may end up the same way, but they really dropped the ball at launch.

      • SirRichard

        The difference is, at least with the 3DS, there was always the promise of Mario, Kid Icarus or Luigi’s Mansion on the horizon. The PSV hasn’t got that distant spark of hope yet. Here’s hoping E3/TGS reveal something for it.

        • Hraesvelgr

          To be honest, I wouldn’t say I have high hopes for the Vita, but I felt the same way about the PSP when it came out (to a lesser extent, though) and they managed to turn that around, so I’ll reserve judgment for now.

          • malek86

            The PSP managed to ride on the success of Monster Hunter, a series that eventually went off to have the highest selling third-party game ever (something I always thought would have been on the DS, which sold much more… but I guess the series was just that popular).

            The PSV will need a breakout hit like that to turn its fortunes around, but can Sony find it? Nintendo is more careful now, after what happened to the PSP and DS, they now seem unwilling to even let them have a chance at anything.

  • Just give me the rest of the 1st Party games you’ve already announced already!

    I want Luigi’s Mansion and Paper Mario! :(

  • Herok

    Good to here I really like how the 3ds has been getting more and more games now.

  • there is no western companies on 3DS bacuase they mostly make 1st person shooters and want Nintendo to make a 3DS XL with a bigger screen, a “built in” second analog and 4  shoulder buttons to support Western games wich use 2 sticks and 4 shoulders.and they think the  2nd analog stick add on sucks cause not everybody has it and is sold only at Gamestop.

    • Solomon_Kano

      > there is no western companies on 3DS bacuase they mostly make 1st person shooters

      Lord, this is about as fictitious as it gets.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        What’s funny is that the DS received a suprising number of FPS games, including a number of Call of Duty spinoffs.

  • noober suckston

    Still waiting for Rockstar to make a GTA 3DS, since the 3DS’s graphics are better than the PSP, and PSP has Vice/Liberty City Stories, a 3D GTA game.

    • malek86

      And the Stories on PSP sold very well, on the multiple millions level, so I think a proper GTA game for the 3DS (when I say proper, I mean not like Chinatown Wars) might do quite well indeed. But that will be for Rockstar to decide. After all, the audiences for PSP and 3DS were different. The PSP was meant to be a portable console-like experience, so maybe that’s why the GTA games were so successful.

      We don’t know how well a GTA game on the 3DS would be received, but I think it would be worth at least a shot.

      • Sniff. Chinatown Wars sales were unfortunate. I love that game so much. You’d never expect it, but a friend of mine at the time that wasn’t really into games got super-addicted to it. She’d spend hours just managing her drug trade alone.

        • malek86

          I’m not a fan of GTA, therefore I wasn’t a fan of Chinatown Wars. In the case of that particular title, I think the touchscreen minigames kinda killed it for me. GTA games are made to be immediate, like “jump on the car and wreak havoc”. Having to deal with the alarm system via touchpen? Not so immediate anymore. Also, being mostly unable to see where you were going with the car was not so cool.

          It was a brave experiment on Rockstar’s part, I’ll give them that. Nowadays most companies would just play it safe, so it’s good to see someone having the guts to stray away from the tried and true path. However, it’s obvious it didn’t pay. Looks like people prefer their typical third-person style GTA. I don’t think we’ll see a game like CW again anytime soon.

          • Sadly, you’re probably right, but perhaps there is a ray of hope. CTW was on DS for a while, sold as much as it could there, then moved to iOS at a lower price. I think if they prepare for such a model in advance, we could get another game along the same lines as CTW. But again, it depends on whether Rockstar would be willing to put in that sort of effort or not…

          • Solomon_Kano

            Mind you, the poor sales were actually across 3 platforms since the game ended up on PSP as well. That’s not exactly encouraging.

            With the recent porting of GTA3 to iOS, I’d imagine any future experiments in CTW’s vein would be relegated to iOS. Past that, it looks like Rockstar’s much too invested in their console dealings at present to give another of its sort a try anyway. Let’s hope they do though.

          • @Solomon_Kano:disqus Yeah, I can’t imagine they’re keen to try again… I imagine they’d much rather just port other GTAs to iOS first, rather than assign a team to working on a dedicated portable game.

          • Tom_Phoenix

            Chinatown Wars was meant to be a throwback to the first two GTA games (as in the games BEFORE the massively selling GTA 3 trilogy). The problem with that, though, is that GTA was one of the games that actually became a lot better once it switched over to 3D. 

            While the bird’s-eye view works well with a lot of games, it’s not a suitable camera angle for a game that combines driving and shooting on foot. For a driving game, the bird’s-eye camera needs to be more zoomed out so you have a good view of your surroundings and for a shooting game, it needs to be zoomed in so you don’t have a lot of issues trying to shoot at enemies. If you try to use such a camera with a game that involves both, you just end up with a view that is unsuitable for either activity. 

            The third-person view is suitable for both driving and shooting, so it’s ultimately a much better fit for GTA. As a result, the GTA 3 trilogy games were better than the first two games….and I say this as a fan of the series, having played the very first GTA on PC long before GTA 3 made the series really popular.

        • SirRichard

          Getting addicted to the drug trade? That’s a new one.

          • She really sunk her teeth into that feature, haha. I have to admit, I was kind of letting it slide by me until I watched her play, and then I got into it, too. I’d actually be TOTALLY cool with a simple enhanced port of Chinatown Wars on the eShop. Same top-down view, just higher-res assets and widescreen.

      • XYZ_JolteonZ980

        I think they should get LA Noire over on to it. For GTA they need to just focus and have been focusing on getting GTA5 out the door. A GTA on handheld will be overlooked extensively.

        • Solomon_Kano

          I was going to disagree, but with GTAV on the horizon you could be right. A portable GTA afterwards is essential though.

  • VenerableSage

    Even though I don’t have the money for it right now, there had better be Fire Emblem. I will be extremely disappointed if there isn’t.

    • Hraesvelgr

      Fire Emblem was one of the main reasons I even bought a 3DS, so it’ll be pretty disappointing if they don’t do something with it.

  • konsama

    Monster Hunter 3G o muerte

  • That picture of the new Mickey game for the 3DS made me crave that game some moar. Bring it on, western developers. All of my money belongs to you (if you work on some great games for the 3DS that is :3)

  • Pichi

    Would love for more Western support to do more 2D like Epic Mickey. Interested overall in what they do for 3DS.

  • Vyrus

    It would be awesome if Renegade Kid releases a sequel/prequel to the Dementium series, or even Moon. They were able to create one of the best looking game on the DS, so I’m interested to see how they do Dementium or Moon on the 3DS.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Yea, right now the 3DS is sorely lacking in western support. I don’t necessarily have a problem like that, but it’d be better for the system in the long run if Nintendo can start drawing some segment of western publishers/developers to the 3DS.

    EA seems to have ignored handhelds in general over the last several… forever. Seriously, apart from ports, did they ever do anything on DS or PSP? If so, I honestly don’t recall. Activision on the other hand… well, they kinda killed off their more handheld friendly franchises in Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero. Which leaves the 3DS, like the DS before it, stuck with their licensed games and companion titles to console games.

    So, hopefully Nintendo goes right to the source rather than publishers and gets more devs on board. The ever-incredible WayForward will deliver, but we really need more western devs to give the handhelds a look. It’s sure to be an uphill battle with many smaller devs having shifted to iOS and other digital distribution platforms, but I’d like to see how they manage.

    • XYZ_JolteonZ980

      EA did numerous sports games and had Madden bundles and chassis colors for PSP. EA also did Need for Speed ports on the PSP as well, Need for Speed also appeared on DS.  For their franchises in the sports extreme type realm they did a good job with support on the platform. I wouldnt consider it an ignorance type situation.  

      If we look to some western publishers developers, didnt the GTA series make it onto the handhelds? Bioware made it over as well.  

      I think really for a western company going to a handheld with the userbase at least in year one or two just seems really odd to choose to develop and put resources towards versus the high cost they are spending on developing just console games, that they can monetize as well through DLC.  Though I guess with a system in place now for both handhelds this may make these platforms more appealing. 

      But I think Sony at least has an upper leg on being visible with western support for vita of high profile games, like CoD vita and they had that huge E3 to show us or tell us that Bioshock is coming, while Nintendo had Lego City Heroes.

      • Solomon_Kano

        I’m aware of the various NFS and sports games they released, that’s why I said apart from ports. I definitely commend them for keeping up with the bigger franchises on the PSP, but I was trying to remember if they ever did anything beyond them.

        Yea, I potentially see the Vita having a bigger appeal to western publishers myself. There’s the potential for simpler porting without needing to change the game too drastically, as well as hitting the same audience they hit at home as opposed to the 3DS’ broader one. Though, I suppose, that was expected of the PSP too. We’ll see how that goes.

        I agree, Sony certainly does have the upper leg for now. While the 3DS reveal had announcements like eventual Persona, FF, KH, and similar games, the Vita was positioned to be a bit more appealing in the west with promises of COD, Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed, and such.

        • XYZ_JolteonZ980

          Ah forgot about the Assassin’s Creed. I remember 3DS had one on its list of developers and games list but then was cancelled later on yet the Vita is still getting one. I wonder what happened there and if Nintendo convinced them to bring the franchise back on the 3DS.

          • Solomon_Kano

            I remember them explaining in Game Informer’s reveal of Revelations that the story planned for AC 3DS was folded into that game. So I guess they no longer had any real reason to make it.

            Well, on the flipside they now have a promised AC game for Wii U.

  • When I heard “Niche” I thought Code of Princess.  Nintendo, bring COP and more “Niche” titles from Japan over and then I’ll get excited. Not really too excited about more games from “western developers”.

  • Western support for the 3DS means more AAA games for the 3DS, and I’m ok with that. 

  • Phlo

    More than this, I’m hoping for localization announcements.

  • Just give me Monster Hunter and Senran Kagura…

  • KuroiKen

    Don’t care about the west, just release more epics in Japan, since I’m buying them and my 3DS is japanese.

    • aoihana

      Well, you may not care, but this website’s core readers are overseas, people who love Japanese gaming, yet, want to see games for their territories, too.

      Personally, I’m also hoping for more amazing games for Japan, because I, too, have a Japanese 3DS, but I’m not going to be oblivious to the rest of the world either. 

      America, Europe, and other regions need some more epics, too, you know! (◕‿◕✿)

    • ShawnOtakuSomething

      That’s a bit mean 

  • boundries_san

    After seeing Mickey on the screen………….

    Pliz revive “Quackshot Starring Donald Duck” game. T_T that is probably one of the best game in my Genesis.^^

    or maybe “Donald in Maui Mallard” which is also another great Donald game in Genesis…….. Hell just bring back the good donald game here.^^


  • SetzerGabbiani

    Being honest, western development doesn’t really interest me beyond Mass Effect and Retro Studios’ games; that sentiment is amplified on handhelds.  However, I realize it’s important for the overall success of the 3DS and Wii U, so of course it’s welcome.

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