Nintendo has announced on its official website that it’s ending production of the New 3DS console in Japan, first released back in 2015.
Before we start reaching for our wearable chalkboards and doomsday bells to cry betrayal and herald the end of the 3DS line, it’s worth saying that this announcement isn’t entirely surprising.
It certainly doesn’t mark the beginning of the end for the 3DS, though it does highlight the steady phasing out of stereoscopic 3D that wasn’t exactly the runaway success Nintendo hoped it would be. Some games don’t even support it anymore and no one appears distraught.
Not the end
In recent years the standard New 3DS has been somewhat sidelined as players have been drawn to the XL version of the console, which is very much still in production. The 3DS XL offers a larger screen which is more suited to showcasing 3D visuals, and anyone looking for a smaller console could be more inclined to pick up the smaller and cheaper New Nintendo 2DS.
Despite the release of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo has released an XL version of the Nintendo 2DS for those still not interested in the dying 3D capabilities but looking for a larger screen and more portable foldable design than the standard 2DS offers.
With three consoles still in production (one of which is brand new), an install base of more than 65 million, and a myriad of games still scheduled for release it’s safe to say we should take this as a sign that Nintendo is not going back on its promise of continued support.
At the moment production ending has only been confirmed in Japan but it's likely other territories will follow in time. One thing we will say is we'll miss the great cover plates the console had. Hopefully the New 2DS XL takes its place in that area.