A new report from VGChartz has dropped some impressive news: the 3DS family has sold an impressive 20 million units in the US since launch. According to VGChartz, sales passed the 20mil threshold in the region at the beginning of last month. The little handheld has been quite popular for most of its life, so if this figure is accurate, then it’s great news. Still, because this is not an official sales number from Nintendo, it will be labeled as a rumor. In terms of official sales, Nintendo last reported that worldwide 3DS sales are a whopping 68.98 million units as of September 30, 2017.
The Nintendo 3DS launched back in 2011 to mixed reactions. While a lot of folks were happy to have a more powerful handheld from Nintendo after the successful but limited DS, glasses-free 3D, the ‘big new feature’ that the system was sporting, was not very well received. The handheld came at a time when 3D-technology was advancing quite quickly and it seemed like it would become the next big thing with a lot of TVs also supporting the feature. But, the hype left as quickly as it came. This put Nintendo in a tough spot since the 3D-technology in the 3DS was rather expensive, which made the price of the system higher than what the market deemed appropriate. But, after low launch sales and a lot of backlash over the lack of good launch titles, Nintendo bit the bullet and gave the system a price cut just a few months later. Things have been going well ever since.
Now, the 3DS is a family of systems with a whopping six different models that have released between 2011, right up to this year. Four of those models are the variants of the ‘2DS’, which have the same innards as the 3DS models but ditch the previously ‘all-important’ 3D-screen.
With the release of the Nintendo Switch earlier this year, the 3DS’ days appear to be numbered, just as the Wii U’s were last year before being officially discontinued in January of this year. The Switch is a hybrid platform, which allows it to take on the role as not only Nintendo’s flagship home console, but even it’s flagship handheld/portable system. This is a first, and a lot of people have definitely been blown away by the concept. It was reported just a few days ago that the Switch has already sold an amazing 10 million units despite being on the market for just a little over nine months at this point.
Nintendo has gone on record stating that support for the 3DS will continue on into the coming year (2018). But, as the Switch continues to gain more and more traction worldwide, it seems more likely that Nintendo will shift attention away from the 3DS family and begin to put all of its focus on continuing to build up the Switch. Signs of this are beginning to show already with New 3DS XL production coming to an end in Europe. Still, the company could continue to offer the New 2DS XL as the ‘discount’ way to get into the world of Nintendo titles until the whole platform eventually shuts down.
In any case, the 3DS has lived a good life with the 6+ years it’s been on the market so far. We’ll see just how much more units will be sold before Nintendo closes up shop on its production for good.