The Nintendo 3DS is being put to rest by Nintendo, with the company marking all models of the 3DS as “out of production” on their Japanese website and removing the handheld’s front page of their US site. It still has a place on the UK site, but it’s no longer for sale from Nintendo’s direct store.
It’s a quiet end for a console that played a major role in helping Nintendo survive the last decade, and brings and end to the era of dual screen gaming from the Japanese manufacturer, an era that lasted 16 years.
Announced in 2010 and released in 2011, the Nintendo 3DS was nowhere near as big a hit as the Nintendo DS that preceded it, but it still sold tens of millions of units that propped up the company as it floundered in the home console market with the Wii U. In both cases, the console naming and lack of clarity over how much it would improve the gaming experience dampened excitement and sales, but the 3DS and its many variants and upgrades still sold 75 million units worldwide and more than 384 million games.
Nintendo supported the handheld well through its life, even extending support into its twilight years of 2018 and 2019 with games like Luigi’s Mansion remake, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and WarioWare Gold all lifting games from Nintendo’s back catalogue and massaging them onto the console.
Of course, it’s been clear ever since 2017 that Nintendo would shift their focus to the Nintendo Switch – all those above games came as a bit of a surprise, truth be told – with Nintendo’s hybrid console selling like hotcakes right from the off. The Switch has been such a success, with over 61 million consoles shipped by this summer. If it continues at the pace Nintendo expect it to, it will surpass the 3DS’ lifetime sales sometime in 2021.
The company now has a true handheld console to fully replace the 3DS in the form of the Nintendo Switch Lite, its lower price point and smaller form factor potentially appealing to families looking for a console for children.
via The Verge