With the advent of the Nintendo Switch, pundits were keen on downplaying the Nintendo 3DS and the family of models it's spawned over the last few years. The general consensus has been, even before the Switch launched, that the 3DS is going to be "killed off" to make room for the Switch as the premiere handheld console. Despite reports to the contrary from Nintendo bigwigs like Reggie Fils-Aime himself, some actions by the company continue to make that statement feel inaccurate, especially as the New Nintendo 3DS has been discontinued in Japan and Europe, as confirmed to GameSpot.
Originally, word began to spread that production of the New 3DS has officially ended in Japan by way of the official Nintendo Japan product page for the New 3DS. On a small, easy-to-miss area on the main page, a bit of text indicated that all models of the base New 3DS, including special editions, were ending production. When cross-referenced with the pages for the 2DS, New 2DS XL, and New 3DS XL, that message did not appear.
There hasn't been any word yet as to whether North American territories will see the end of the New 3DS, but anything can happen, as you know with Nintendo. The company has yet to comment to anyone about the status of the North American systems, and as of right now you can still purchase one for a decent price at retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and GameStop. You'll still be able to, even if production is halted in all territories. It's just going to get harder.
Obviously this means you might want to go ahead and start snapping up New 3DS systems if it's something you've had your eye on in the past. It never really made much of a splash here in North America with a less-than-stellar launch that happened far later than its Japanese counterpart, and with the New 3DS XL's debut, it was made everything but obsolete. While it features cover plates that you can swap out for decoration and a svelte look (with those coveted multicolored buttons) it's smaller and pales in comparison to the New 3DS XL in nearly every way. It's still a completely functional system, however, with special editions that are absolutely worth picking up.
The systems are currently unavailable via the US Nintendo Store, and it seems as though the handhelds are already becoming scant. It may be time to start shopping around for a system, especially if you never picked one up when they made their debut.
This is hardly spelling "the end" for Nintendo 3DS as a whole, however, like doomsayers like to parrot. Consider the fact that Nintendo is releasing the Nintendo 2DS XL later this month. The company has swapped in and out systems since it branched out into new handhelds, and the smaller New Nintendo 3DS simply isn't the new hotness anymore.
Nintendo's iconic handheld isn't going away because the Switch exists, but smaller models that aren't as in demand might. That's likely what we're seeing here. And even if it isn't, go ahead and pick one up just in case. You might regret it if you don't.