Nintendo scrapped a handheld before DSi

Things that don’t and will never exist are so much fun to talk about. For instance, during an interview with CNBC Nintendo President Saturo Iwata admitted that the company had scrapped a new handheld that they had not just been working on, but had actually completed. It appears that this handheld was going in a different direction than the DSLite and DSi as Iwata said that “when we are launching new hardware, the most important thing is to sustain the momentum. If introducing new hardware won’t do anything to do that, well…”

So it looks like they went with the DSi because it kept with the DS and thus would maintain the popularity of the system. Not too bad a choice considering the DSi’s astronomical sales. One can’t help but wonder what this other handheld was though. If you remember way back to when the DS first launched Nintendo claimed that they weren’t abandoning the GBA platform, and that the DS was simply another way to game. Maybe this handheld fell more in line with the GBA or something. 

Iwata also speculates in the interview about Nintendo’s next console, and whether they will continue on with the Wii or try to revolutionize the industry again. He spoke about the blue ocean where there are plenty of consumers instead of a red ocean where a feeding frenzy occurs over a small few. “We have the greater potential to create the blue ocean market when people are skeptical,” he said. “So when we realize that other people are coming into [this] market … there are two things we [can] do. One is trying to intensify the fun nature of something we are already doing. The other is try to create a new blue ocean.”

Also, don’t be looking for a price cut on the Wii anytime soon as Nintendo thinks that their upcoming game line-up will spark new sales far better than a price cut would.

Matthew Razak