Danny Bilson, vice-president for core games at THQ, told IndustryGamers that both Saints Row 3DS and the upcoming Saints Row 3 will feature in-game "hooks" which will allow the two titles to swap data.
He explained: "If you play [Saints Row 3DS], it unlocks things in Saints Row 3. If you play Saints Row 3, it will unlock things in the 3DS game."
Mr Bilson also promised that fans of the series will not see its famous excesses toned down for its Nintendo console debut, saying that the release of the game is part of Nintendo's efforts to appeal to an older and more mature crowd.
He said: "It's a killer game. It's got all the weird humour of Saints Row."
The news will be welcomed by long-time aficionados of the over-the-top series, which has not seen a new instalment since Saints Row 2 hit Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2008.