Nintendo 3DS

No Short-Term Plans For Nintendo 3DS Lite, Say Nintendo Management


The original Nintendo DS was a bit of a brick, aesthetically. An adorable brick with two screens and fun games like Feel the Magic XY/XX, but a brick all the same. To rectify this, Nintendo released the DS Lite, a little over a year later, with a slimmer, more elegant design, brighter screens, and improved battery life.


The DS Lite was followed up by the DSi, which added new features such as increased RAM and cameras. For more than one reason, people began to compare Nintendo’s portable console iterations to those of Apple’s iPod and iPhone refinements. This was further cemented after the release of the DSi XL, which was essentially a DSi with bigger screens.


Naturally, some are concerned about what this means for the Nintendo 3DS. Will there be a new iteration of that, too, a year after release, that makes the original 3DS look outdated by comparison? According to Nintendo, no.


In an “Iwata Asks” interview with Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, design manager of the company’s Research & Engineering group, Kenichi Sugino, revealed that the 3DS already capitalizes upon the experience gained during the design of the DS Lite. You can read the exchange below:


Sugino: When you changed your approach and got rid of all gaps, Nintendo DS Lite was born. I think that experience can be seen in Nintendo 3DS.

Iwata: The first thing (Nobuo) Nagai-san, who’s in charge at the Uji plant, said to me when he looked over the designs for Nintendo 3DS before mass production began was "This time it’s fully packed right from the start."

Sugino: Oh, really? (laughs) But he was right. That’s why we don’t have any short-term plans for creating a more compact version of Nintendo 3DS like we did with Nintendo DS Lite. (laughs)

Iwata: Yeah. (laughs) When making Nintendo 3DS, we used all our tricks for Nintendo DS Lite—and more—for cutting down on size right from the start.


Obviously, we’d recommend taking this conversation with a grain of salt. That said, Iwata has stated in the past that he dislikes the concept of decreasing the price of Nintendo hardware, as it feels like a punishment of sorts, from the point of view of early adopters. Since the only thing that could conceivably cause a 3DS price drop in the short term is a new system…well…

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.