RIP Nintendo 3DS

A photo of a Nintendo 3DS, which replaced the audio guides at the Louvre Museum, taken on April 12, 2012, in Paris.

A photo of a Nintendo 3DS, which replaced the audio guides at the Louvre Museum, taken on April 12, 2012, in Paris.
Photo: Frank Fife/AFP (Getty Images)

One of Nintendo’s most beloved handheld consoles, the 3DS, has been discontinued. Nintendo confirmed in a statement today Polygon that “the manufacturing of the Nintendo 3DS family of consoles is complete”. The announcement comes just over a year after Nintendo said that Switch Lite was not going to replace the 3DS.

“We will continue to support our family of 3DS systems as long as there is demand,” Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser said at the time.

It seems that there is no longer enough demand.

It’s no surprise that the end has come for the 3DS, and to some extent it’s not that surprising that it lasted so long – almost 10 years! Its predecessor, the DS, was around just as long and remains Nintendo’s best-selling console with 154 million units sold.

When the nintendo switch was released in 2017, it quickly overtook the popularity of the 3DS. As of June 30, Nintendo had sold over 61 million Switches. The company has sold nearly 76 million units of the 3DS as of the same date, according to nintendo, making it Nintendo’s fourth best-selling handheld console behind the DS, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance. But the Switch has caught up quickly, which isn’t a surprise either.

The 3DS was first released in Japan on February 26, 2011, then debuted in North America, Europe and Australia the following month. It was the successor to the DS handheld console, featuring 3D effects on the screen without the use of 3D glasses. Users could access Virtual Console to download and play games originally released on older video game systems, and watch movies or videos on Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube. The 3DS also featured an Internet browser.

In all, Nintendo offered six models as part of the 3DS lineup: the 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, New 3DS, New 3DS XL, and New 2DS XL. All were released 1-2 years apart. The 2DS models removed the 3D display and the XL models featured larger screens, as the XL moniker suggests. The 2DS XL also featured a clamshell design instead of the slate style of the 2D.

the Top 10 bestselling games on 3DS included Mario Kart 7, Animal Crossing: New Leafand Pokemon X/Pokemon Y. These, along with the existing library of over 1,000 Nintendo and third-party 3DS games, will still be available, according to Nintendo. At least there’s good news for those who still regularly play games on their 3DS.

The 3DS wasn’t just used for gaming either. The Louvre Museum in Paris had a five-year partnership with Nintendo at one point, in which it used hundreds of 3D consoles to replace its old audio guides with something more interactive.

Nintendo has obviously been hugely successful in the handheld market, and each console generation has struck a chord with the generation that grew up with it. Was the 3DS your absolute favourite, or have you long since moved on? Let’s remember in the comments.

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