The system that just won’t die.
The Nintendo 3DS is one of the most enduring systems of our time. The dedicated handheld system has continued to survive and thrive in a post handheld world, and indeed, it continues to grow stronger, with its performance last year showing year on year growth over its performance the year previously. With over 65 million units sold, the 3DS is Nintendo’s main pillar, and the highest selling system of the generation- and it looks like Nintendo has no intention of retiring the system just yet.
Speaking to investors at Nintendo’s financial briefing yesterday, President Tatsumi Kimishima pointed out that Nintendo were not intending to have the 3DS be replaced by the Switch, noting that being a cheaper entry into the Nintendo ecosystem, it occupies an important place in Nintendo’s product line.
“We will continue to introduce new titles that players can enjoy for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems,” Kimishima said. “We have heard speculation that Nintendo Switch will replace the Nintendo 3DS, as both are game systems that can be played outside the home, but Nintendo 3DS has unique characteristics that differ from those of Nintendo Switch. Furthermore, the price points and play experiences offered by the two systems are different and we do not see them as being in direct competition. We plan to continue both businesses separately and in parallel.”
We are already seeing Nintendo’s intent to continue supporting the 3DS bear out- just this year, Nintendo and their third party partners are launching Dragon Quest 8, Dragon Quest 11, Pikmin, Poochy and Yoshi’s Wooly World, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valencia, Fire Emblem Warriors, Shin Megami Tensei, Monster Hunter XX, Etrian Odyssey V, and Yokai Watch 3, among other games. Nintendo claims there are many more, unannounced games in development for the system, too.
“We will have several follow-up titles from popular franchises on Nintendo 3DS and we are developing many other unannounced titles to continue to enrich the software lineup going forward,” Kimishima said.
The 3DS is obviously entering the twilight years of its life, but it’s not near the end yet- Nintendo clearly intends to keep it around for a while, at least until it is clear that the Switch can shoulder the load of the 3DS and Wii U combined. That’s a smart business decision, and for customers, it also means their 3DS will continue to be supported for a while to come, now.