Three years after launching the Switch, Nintendo is putting the 3DS out to pasture. Back in July, the gaming giant shut down the Wii U and 3DS eshops in dozens of regions. Now, it has officially discontinued the family of handheld devices, which used to be wildly popular until the Switch took over as the company’s main console. As The Verge reports, Nintendo has posted a notice on the 3DS’ UK and Japanese pages that says “The manufacturing of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems has ended.”
You can still click through the individual models’ pages — the 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS and 2DS XL — but they all have the same notice. Nintendo’s US website has pulled the 3DS page down completely, though, and visiting it only redirects you to its homepage. You can, however, still access the 3DS games list on the website’s Games Store.
The first 3DS model was launched in 2011 as a follow—up to Nintendo’s DS console with 3D-capable displays. An XL model with bigger screens came out a year later and was then followed by refreshed versions of the two in 2014. Nintendo also released the 2DS, a cheaper 3D-less and non-clamshell version of the handheld, in 2013. Eventually, it designed a 3D-less clamshell console called the 2DS XL, which became available in 2017.
As you can see, the company didn’t abandon the 3DS family as soon as the Switch came out, but it most likely decided that it’s the right time to retire the console because it’s no longer selling like it used to. In a recent earnings report, Nintendo revealed (PDF) that 3DS hardware sales showed a 73 percent decrease on a year-on-year basis for the fiscal year ending on March 31st, 2020. Meanwhile, both Switch and Switch Lite performed very well even in the midst of (or perhaps partly due to) the coronavirus pandemic. Nintendo sold 5.68 million Switch consoles in the three-month period leading up to June 30th, which is more than double the number of devices it sold within the same period in 2019.