Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto has been speaking to Japanese site 4Gamer about the development of Pikmin 3, and has revealed that the game started life as a DS and 3DS prototype before moving over to the Wii U:
The truth is we were doing prototype tests of Pikmin for the DS and 3DS but it turned into unit management with only the touch pen and no matter what it just didn’t seem like Pikmin.
We concluded that Pikmin is a game that revolves around action based on its controls and the strategy sits on top that. Although there are elements that are built on the strategy, there are other overall things that have to be well considered. This complete experience is an important elements of Pikmin.
Miyamoto also said that the game was originally intended to have an additional playable hero, but they were removed when it became clear that having a quartet of space explorers simply made things too confusing:
When we were making it, we solidified a lot of things. One of which was that it was fun to have three heroes.
To tell the truth, for last year’s E3 presentation, there were actually four heroes. However, when it came to the controls of swapping between four, there were points where it got complicated and in the end, we dropped down to three.
Pikmin 3 launched in Europe last week and hits North America at the start of August.