Looks like the Switch is officially Nintendo’s only active platform on the market, as the company has confirmed it’s discontinuing production of all models of the Nintendo 3DS.
News of this came somewhat unceremoniously, as it was first discovered through an update to the company’s Japanese webpage dedicated to the handheld. The site now says that all versions of the Nintendo 3DS are no longer being manufactured, including the standard version, the larger XL model, and the 2DS lines.
In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t that surprising, as most of Nintendo’s output has been dedicated to the Switch these days, which fills both the console and handheld market and is also a significantly more powerful device that relieves technical limitations found in creating games for the 3DS. But over the course of its ten years, Nintendo brought a wealth of great games to the system. Including major standouts like Mario Kart 7 and New Super Mario Bros. 2, four new mainline entries to the Pokemon franchise, and even Super Smash Bros. first foray into the handheld space before the most recent Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, the last major release for the system from Nintendo was Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn, which launched in March of last year.
While Nintendo’s own games are widely considered the draw of the company’s devices, third party developers found some success on the 3DS, as well. Major successes like the Yo-Kai Watch and the Monster Hunter series thrived on the system beyond Nintendo’s output.
As of last year, the Nintendo 3DS line of handhelds sold over 75 million units since 2010.
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Even without the 3DS, Nintendo’s doing pretty well for itself just supporting the Switch, which has shipped over 61 million units as of this June. The console/handheld hybrid has seen so much success over the course of the past year that Nintendo decided to manufacture more of them to meet unanticipated demand, likely facilitated by the coronavirus pandemic and people’s need for anything to help them kill time while in quarantine. Big games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons have also helped move units, with that game selling over 22 million copies since its launch in March, giving it a roughly 1/3 attach rate.
Not unlike the 3DS and most of the company’s handheld devices in general, Nintendo reportedly has plans to expand the Switch line of handhelds in 2021 with a 4K-compatible version of the system. This would be alongside the already released standard version of the console, as well as the handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite that doesn’t have the HDMI output of the standard system. Hopefully the 4K system will come out after Nintendo has finally found a way to avoid the Joy-Con drift, as the company probably doesn’t need more added to the ongoing lawsuit it’s been dealing with on the issue.