Nintendo Switch could have a brand new baby sister (or brother) soon, in the form of a brand new style of Nintendo Game Boy for classic titles and brand new indie games. This surprising turn of events is made possible by Nintendo’s announcement that they’ll be creating a 3DS successor.
Many had assumed that Nintendo Switch would be the only Nintendo hardware going forward, following its huge success after a big gamble was taken on developing it. It appears that Nintendo is confident enough to launch something else as well, and we might already have an idea what it would be like conceptually.
First things first, it likely won’t be 4DS, or a DS of any kind. That trademark has been very useful and successful, but could use a break now. What brand does Nintendo know still has a strong resonance with gamers? Game Boy.
New leaks and rumors suggest that such a device could be aimed at a whole new approach and strategy from Nintendo. While co-existing side by side with the Nintendo Switch, there would likely be slightly less powerful hardware used on this alternative handheld. Users who already have a Switch won’t miss out on anything, there will be no exclusives for this new Game Boy. Instead, a combination of classic Nintendo titles and hand-picked indie games that will run on the more affordable machine would make up its library.
If this happens this new Game Boy, which could end up called a Game Boy Classic Mini or not, would be Nintendo’s answer to emulation gone wild and too many unofficial replicants on the market to track down (such as BittBoy which is a pretty cool DIY type project being sold already assembled, but features no save system and is seemingly selling Nintendo’s copyrighted content without their permission). In addition to this, it would also present a cheaper model for those who don’t want to invest in a full-featured hybrid home console and state of the art dedicated handheld (Nintendo Switch).
Think of this as a possibility and not a guarantee. We are still shocked that Nintendo has announced a 3DS successor at all, instead of just focusing on Switch exclusively. But it all makes sense. Game Boy is such a powerful brand name to bring back, there is demand and a successful business model for “classic mini” type consoles, but many Game Boy titles haven’t aged so well. Selling indie games alongside the roms would be a great way to provide more value and long-term revenue for the unit rather than just having everyone buy it and hack it with the games they want themselves with no income generated for Nintendo. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.