Nintendo UK has shared that the Nintendo 3DS still has “a big life ahead of it,” speaking about Yo-kai Watch and other experiences coming to the handheld this year.
Yo-kai Watch has been nothing short of a phenomenon in Japan, LEVEL-5’s creation having sold millions of copies and an accompanying movie having attracted more viewers in the first weekend than Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.
“It is difficult to say whether it will have the same impact in the West, but I definitely think that there is a lot of potential for it, especially working together with the likes of [toy company] Hasbro and [TV company] Turner,” Nintendo UK product manager Remy van Leeuwen explained to MCV.
“Everyone is going to back it to its fullest. Because of the nature of Yo-kai and their emotional abilities, it makes it quite easy for kids to relate to them. For instance, there is a Yo-kai called Cheeksqueek, which basically makes people fart. That’s been a hit with kids in our research.
“One of the other key aspects that will definitely resonate with kids in the UK is the comedy aspect to it. The characters themselves are just funny, and they’re quite deep, too. We will be trying to bring that out in our campaign.”
Nintendo are hoping that it will pique the curiosity of their more hardcore fans, but are placing more attention on once again attracting a younger demographic.
“We live in a wildly different time if you compare it to when the first Pokemon games were released,” he continued. “But there are a lot of other opportunities now to engage with kids, with the TV show starting on Cartoon Network, I think that’s a great place for kids to be introduced to the franchise, to get to know the universe and characters. And then go and explore from there.”
With the Nintendo 3DS having now been on the market for five years, anticipation swirls around what the company’s next hardware generation will bring. But, it is hoped that Yo-kai Watch can encourage new players to approach 3DS and the robust software catalogue that it now boasts.
“3DS has still got a big life ahead of it,” van Leeuwen adds. “There will be a lot of great experiences and Yo-kai Watch, particularly, will help expand it into the kids market. There’s more beyond this first title, so there’s hardware driving potential.”
Yo-kai Watch is now available exclusively for Nintendo 3DS in Japan, North America and Australia, and launches in Europe on April 29th.