Last March, the Nintendo Switch launched. Since then, it’s been lighting up sales charts everywhere. The launch of the Switch caused Nintendo’s business to change in two ways: it officially phased out the Wii U, but it also cast a bit of a shadow on the company’s previous breadwinner, the 3DS. After a rocky start, the 3DS has been able to perform very well over the past few years. Its success has been bolstered by several hardware revisions, creating a family of six different models. The latest one, the New 2DS XL, just launched last summer. With the Switch being a hybrid system (a cross between a home console and handheld), the future of the 3DS has been uncertain. Many Nintendo fans think it’s time for the company to put the 3DS to bed and focus solely on the Switch. What are Nintendo’s plans? It looks like the 3DS is here to stay a for a while.
In a recent interview with Kyoto Shimbun, Nintendo’s President Tatsumi Kimishima reiterated the company’s previously announced plans to continue 3DS support throughout 2018 and beyond. The system will also continue to remain on store shelves. Why? Kimishima mentioned that the system is currently selling at a rate that matches Nintendo’s own projections.
So, there you have it. Nintendo still sees the 3DS as a benefit to its business, so until that changes, the little handheld will continue to stand alongside the Switch. But, as the Switch becomes more popular, more and more developers (both indie and third-party) will likely increase their support on Switch, gradually leaving the 3DS behind. Things haven’t changed too drastically just yet, but this will likely become more and more apparent as 2018 continues on. Will the 3DS survive into 2019? Only time will tell. As of March 31st, 2017, the 3DS family of systems have sold 66.12 million units worldwide.