Even before the 3DS came out, people were predicting that the system would get redesigned within a year. Cynical assumption or not, it made sense, given Nintendo’s history: the original Game Boy was redesigned into the smaller and lighter Game Boy Pocket. The Game Boy Advance was succeeded by the GBA SP and the GBA Micro. The original clunky “brick” DS was replaced by the sleeker DS Lite, which itself was replaced by the camera equipped DSi and DSi XL. For the last year, every time Nintendo announced that they were holding a press conference, everyone assumed they were going to announce a new version of the 3DS. It hasn’t happened yet, and according to Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario and Zelda,) it may never happen.
In an interview with IGN, Miyamoto states why Nintendo has yet to deliver on the expected 3DS redesign: “I really feel like I’m satisfied with the 3DS hardware as it is. I feel like it’s the best for this generation.” Miyamoto then goes on to state than rather than figuring out how to repackage the 3DS, Nintendo’s hardware designers will probably just save any new ideas they have for Nintendo’s next generation handheld, which Miyamoto says they’ve already begun planning.
According to IGN, despite acknowledging that Nintendo is already tossing around ideas for their next system, Miyamoto wanted to reiterate that he feels that there’s still plenty more he wants to do with the current 3DS, and he thinks that features like the system’s gyroscope can compensate for the current model’s lack of a second analog stick. It’s not really surprising to hear that Nintendo is already working on a next-gen successor to the 3DS, given how long it takes to design a system, so it’s not like the 3DS is going anywhere soon — the system is only a little more than a year old, and has seemingly finally hit it’s stride, both in terms of sales and software output. Still, it’s a bit surprising to hear from Miyamoto himself that Nintendo has no plans to redesign the hardware, given Nintendo’s penchant for getting people to re-buy the same system over and over again.