When the Nintendo Switch first launched in March, many were left wondering about the fate of the Nintendo 3DS. After all, the 3DS had been Nintendo’s main money maker for a few years at that point, but being a portable console, the Switch seemed to accomplish much the same thing. Nintendo ended up supporting the 3DS throughout the rest of 2017, but what’s going to happen moving forward?
For the time being, at least, Nintendo will keep producing the 3DS. Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima indicated as much in a new interview with Japanese paper Kyoto Shimbun (as discovered by Japanese Nintendo). He tells the paper that the 3DS has been performing in line with expectations, so Nintendo will continue to support it as we move deeper into 2018.
Nintendo’s strategy of continuing 3DS production until sales slow obviously makes sense. Though the 3DS is getting up there in years, it still offers a stellar library and a fairly inexpensive price tag relative to other consoles on the market. It may not be as impressive as the Switch in terms of power, but then again, it doesn’t really need to be.
However, Nintendo may soon see demand for the 3DS drop somewhat rapidly. The company has already indicated that some of its big franchises, such as Fire Emblem and Pokemon, won’t have any future 3DS installments. In the case of Pokemon, we know the franchise is headed to the Switch, and it seems safe to assume that Fire Emblem is going to make the jump as well.
As Nintendo continues to move its major franchises to the Switch, interest in the 3DS will naturally begin to wane. When that happens, Nintendo can discontinue the 3DS and begin to focus all of its attention on the Switch. It’ll doesn’t sound like that’ll be happening for at least a little while yet, but we’ll keep an ear to the ground for more details in any case. Stay tuned.