Nintendo Discontinues the 3DS

Nintendo has officially discontinued all models of the Nintendo 3DS hardware, including 2DS models. The news comes from the company's Japanese website, where all models have now been listed as "out of production." While the writing seemed to be on the wall after the release of the Nintendo Switch, the company continued manufacturing the 3DS hardware longer than many would have assumed. In the early days of Switch, it even seemed that Nintendo was keeping the system around as a cheaper, kid-friendly alternative. It's been nearly three years since the Switch released, however, so it makes sense that Nintendo is ready to move on.

The 3DS got off to a pretty rocky start. Released in North America in March of 2011, the handheld cost a surprising $249 at launch. In an attempt to boost sales, Nintendo announced a very early price drop, making the system just $169 in August of that same year. In an effort to garner good will, Nintendo gave all existing 3DS owners 20 free digital games, 10 from the NES, and 10 from the Game Boy Advance. The tactic worked, and early impressions of the console began to turn around.

It didn't take much longer for the system to become a fan favorite. The 3DS' first party software line-up is considered by many fans to be one of the best on any Nintendo platform. Games like Super Mario 3D Land, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pokemon Sun and Moon, Metroid: Samus Returns, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and Kirby: Planet Robobot quickly became some of the most beloved Nintendo games of all-time.

Over the last nine years, Nintendo has offered the 3DS in a plethora of different models, including the 2DS, which stripped the system of its initial gimmick, in order to make a cheaper option for younger players. Between all of the various models, Nintendo shipped more than 75 million units of the 3DS hardware worldwide. While that figure is quite impressive, it should be noted that the Nintendo Switch currently sits at more than 60 million units, with demand remaining quite high. Those numbers likely played some role in Nintendo's decision to move on from the platform. However, the success of the 3DS in the first place remains an impressive accomplishment, and its library will continue delighting fans for years to come.

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