Nintendo has discontinued the 3DS

Photo by Sam Byford / The Verge

Nintendo has discontinued every model of the 3DS, according to its Japanese website. The page listings for the New 3DS LL, New 2DS LL, and 2DS are still live, but each product lists “out of production” under its name, and a message on the main page says that the entire series has ended production. It’s not clear when the change was made; several Japanese Twitter users noticed it this afternoon.

Nintendo’s US site, meanwhile, appears to have scrubbed all mention of the 3DS sometime in the past few hours. The homepage doesn’t feature the handheld console at all other than a support link all the way at the bottom — under a similar link for the definitely-dead Wii U.

The 3DS was announced in 2010 and released the following year. It suffered a rocky launch, with low sales and little software of note, but started to pick up momentum after a dramatic price cut just a few months after its release. By way of apology to early adopters, Nintendo made 20 NES and Game Boy Advance games available for free.

The 3DS received several revisions throughout its life: the larger 3DS XL, the improved New 3DS, the cut-price 2DS, and finally the sleek 2DS XL. In total, Nintendo shipped more than 75 million 3DS consoles worldwide — fewer than half as many of its predecessor, the phenomenally popular DS. But overall, the system can be seen as a success, and helped steer the company through the rocky Wii U years with more than 384 million games sold.

Nintendo’s focus is now fully on the Switch, of course, with the console’s hybrid nature removing the need for a dedicated handheld system. The company has shipped more than 61 million Switch consoles as of the end of June — a figure that is likely to overtake the 3DS this holiday season.


End of an era

Yep. Considering it as a line that started with the original Game Boy, (which isn’t stretching IMO as GB>GBA>DS>3DS all started by offering one generation of backwards compatibility) it’s the end of an era that started over 30 years ago…

The 3DS was backwards compatible with every console that came before it which is really nice.

It could obviously play DS games, however it had the hardware inside it to run the vast majority of GBA games without emulation. This could be accessed with custom firmware.

Then it obviously had official releases of many GB / GBC games on the shop via emulation. With CFW it was possible to play any GB / GBC game on the 3DS also.

And also NES and SNES. Fantastic little handheld, especially with CFW.

Great library, extremely reliable, cool and sometimes wacky features. Anyone who hasn’t picked one up by now should really do so – the games do hold up greatly.

Not necessary. Nintendo will release the same games on the Switch.

well you’ve got Fire Emblem and Pokemon already

I’m gonna guess you’re being facetious but there are 100’s of amazing to noteworthy games that will likely never see a re-release, remake or direct follow up. Definitely worth playing many of their gems if that form of handheld gaming is something they can get into.

Nintendo has a history of re-releasing every game they can milk on every new platform they have and charging people anywhere between $30 to full price again for it.

No? There’s been a number of Wii U ports, some remasters of Zelda games but they haven’t been "re-releasing every game they can milk on every new platform". I’m struggling to think of a single 3DS game that was ported to Switch by Nintendo. The only one I can think of is Monster Hunter Generations but that’s a Capcom thing.

And it’s not like Nintendo is alone in ports/remasters. Sony and Microsoft have done their fair share too.

Captain Toad and Hyrule Warriors if you want to include those. The 3DS releases are both ports of the Wii U title however so that is a stretch.

But no, the vast majority of titles are unlikely to be ported, least of all because the Switch has de-emphasised the use of the touch screen which was pivotal to the DS line. That and the dual vertical display doesn’t overly lend itself to a single widescreen display.

If anything they’ll tap out the Wii U lineup and then look at GameCube or Wii U titles I’d say. Skyward Swords been rumoured more often nowadays for example.

Skyward Sword is the next obvious choice for a Zelda remaster anyways. Maybe since it’s Zelda’s 35th next year we’ll see a Zelda 3D All-stars too?

I wouldn’t count Captain Toad and Hyrule Warriors because those are Wii U ports that also happened to be ported to 3DS too.

Sure, but re-releasing a dual-screen game on a single-screen system like the Switch can be a fairly tall order.

For example, sure, they have re-released some Wii U games to the switch, but many of those games were designed to be playable on the single tablet screen by itself, and didn’t rely on the presence of 2 screens. While many DS games could be reworked to be consolidated onto a single screen, it would require a level of effort that we typically don’t see with NIntendo re-releases, who generally tries to simply emulate the original ROM, rather than actually re-create it.

Oops, your bad.

I mean maybe but you’ll lose some part of what makes the DS unique. The best and most clever games on DS won’t port without losing functionality.

I’m not sure you realize the scale of the DS/3DS lineup

But it only has one screen?

Damn that’s mildly gutting. So so many good memories of the 3DS! Street pass, man, what a fun feature! Loved the stereoscopic display too and how much the New 3DS improved on it. The Ambassador Programme (where you got 20 free games) was a nice move by them and I still play them on my N3DS. Never liked the larger New 3DS… the replaceable faceplates of the smaller version really got me spending more money than I should have.

What a system!

Yeah the smaller New 3DS model was the best I reckon.

I loved Street Pass too for the first few years.

What’s interesting is Nintendo could have licenced out its Streetpass tech to Google and Apple for their contact tracing system for Covid-19 and it would have saved a lot of time, effort and privacy arguements.

When I was over the road trucking, I’d leave my 3DS in the drivers side door pocket before leaving for my trip. After a 10 hour drive, I’ll have over a dozen street pass Mii’s to play with in various supported games.

Surface Duo takes its place.

O, 3DS,
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at dual-screen close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the battery light.

The 3D feature really helped you see what was going on, especially in games like Fire Emblem. Crappy screen aside, the New 3DS was just a lovely piece of hardware.

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