What is dead may never die.
The 3DS is now seven years old and into its eighth year. It’s had a hell of a lifetime, with a poor launch, a premature pricecut, and then slowly rising sales thanks to a slew of great content. In a post smartphone world, the 3DS managed to carve a niche for itself, with over 72 million units sold worldwide, as of last month.
And even now, the console isn’t necessarily dead– Nintendo still has games like Luigi’s Mansion, Bowser’s Inside Story, and Sushi Strikers coming out for it, while third parties like Atlus are putting out games such as Persona Q2 and Etrian Odyssey X for it. But if you thought- or hoped- that the console may finally be retired next year, well, you may want to think again. In a presentation to investors, Nintendo recently confirmed their intent to keep supporting the 3DS in 2019 and beyond.
“We will continue the Nintendo 3DS business by leveraging its installed base and rich software library,” Nintendo said. “We believe it is important to leverage the rich library of Nintendo 3DS series titles to drive sales with existing Nintendo 3DS owners as well as with consumers who recently purchased the Nintendo 3DS hardware, and are investigating strategies for doing so.”
Given that sales of new 3DS games have been poor all around, I feel like this is a bad idea- games on 3DS are no longer selling, beyond legacy content. At the very least, Nintendo would be best served to have a Switch version for every 3DS game it puts out from now on. I have no issues with 3DS also continuing to get support- it has a massive install base, and it’s a cheap system for kids, compared to the more expensive and fragile Switch- but I think they need to stop sending games out to die on the system.