After nine years on the market, the Nintendo 3DS has ended production. The illustrious handheld kept Nintendo afloat during the dark days of the Wii U, and its successor, the Switch, has propelled the venerable gaming company to its most profitable period yet. Fortunately, even though the 3DS is no longer being manufactured, owners don’t have to worry about losing functionality, as Nintendo has stated that online play and access to the eShop will remain possible indefinitely.
Despite being overshadowed by the Switch after its launch, games continued to be released as late as this month—the most recent being Maze Breaker 3 by nuGame on September 3. However, first-party development seems to have ended with the release of Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn on March 7, 2019. As such, demand for the system has been low, and GamesIndustry.biz confirms that the handheld actually went out of production earlier in the year. Retailers have continued to sell new units and stock 3DS games, which says a sizable surplus of handhelds and software remains.
With the end of 3DS production, Nintendo concentrates on one product line for the first time since the Game Boy’s release
The console may no longer be in production, but Nintendo plans to continue to support its online features. Nintendo’s response to GamesIndustry.biz’s inquiries was, “Nintendo and third-party games for the Nintendo 3DS family of system will continue to be available in Nintendo eShop, on Nintendo.com, and at retail.” So, you can rest assured that digital titles will continue to be available for re-download for the foreseeable future, and you can even continue to buy and play games from the eShop as normal.
The 3DS was a success for Nintendo, with 76 million handhelds and 384 million games sold. However, it couldn’t match the juggernaut that was the Nintendo DS, which ended production at 154 million units sold. The end of Nintendo 3DS production marks the first time that Nintendo has focused on a singular product line since the Game Boy debuted in 1989.
However, with the Switch’s versatility, it’s understandable that Nintendo would move its attention to the hybrid console. A second handheld would only detract from the Switch at this point, not support it.