The Nintendo 3DS will soon be turning six years old. For most consoles, once it reaches that age it’s expected to be replaced soon, but Nintendo is planning to keep the 3DS family of handhelds around for a little longer.
Nintendo’s President Kimishima presented a lot of information during the company’s recent financial briefing. One of the topics that were highlighted as business surrounding the 3DS. A graph was presented (shown above) that displays the sales data for 3DS hardware in 2017 compared to that of 2016 and 2015. The 2017 performance is lower than that of the previous years, but Kimishima noted that sales continue to remain steady without a significant reduction, even after the release of the Switch. As a result, Nintendo will continue to support the system.
Kimishima summed up Nintendo’s future plans for 3DS by saying that it will continue business surrounding the handheld by supporting the large install base and ample software lineup. He noted that Switch and 3DS are on separate paths, which also explains why the company is continuing to keep the handheld around. Here’s his full statement:
The Nintendo 3DS characteristics, price points, and play styles differ from Nintendo Switch, and we intend to continue the Nintendo 3DS business separately and in parallel. We will continue to use its installed base and rich software library in our business.
Kimishima highlighted what consumers the 3DS is being targetted at—young children and budget-conscious gamers.
The affordability of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems places it in a critical position as the first dedicated video game platform for children who have no prior experience with dedicated video game systems. It is also positioned as an affordable product for budget-conscious consumers. We will continue working to promote Nintendo 3DS to these consumers.
Since the Switch launched last year, a lot of Nintendo fans have wanted the company to put the 3DS to bed and focus exclusively on the new system. Even so, the 3DS is still making money, as Mr. Kimishima noted. With that being the case, Nintendo will continue to support it until the revenue stops flowing. When will that be? It’s impossible to know for sure, so we’ll just have to wait and see. There are 71.99 million 3DS units out in the wild, so there’s a good chance that user base may stay active for a while longer.