We’ve reached the end of an era when it comes to handheld consoles. Nintendo has confirmed today that it has officially discontinued production of its popular Nintendo 3DS handheld system, closing the chapter on one of the best selling consoles of all time.
“We can confirm that the manufacturing of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems has ended,” Nintendo said in a statement. “Nintendo and third-party games for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems will continue to be available in Nintendo eShop, on Nintendo.com, and at retail. The existing library of more than 1,000 Nintendo 3Ds games contains many critically acclaimed titles and can provide years of content to explore and enjoy.”
The official Nintendo website has been updated accordingly, making note of this shift. It should also be noted that the company has no immediate plans to discontinue online capabilities for the system. They will remain fully intact, at least for the time being.
“Online play and Nintendo eShop will continue to be available and it will be possible to access and redownload all previously purchased content in the foreseeable future,” Nintendo said.
The 3DS launched in the spring of 2011, and was the follow up to the monstrously successful DS family of handheld consoles. The DS is still the second highest selling video game console of all time, falling just short of the PlayStation 2.
The 3DS was designed to incorporate 3D play without the need for 3D glasses. There were a number of hardware revisions and some redesigns throughout the years. It still holds strong as the 11th highest selling game console of all time at 75.7 million units sold.
The Nintendo Switch is hot on its heels though, having already moved 62 million units with no end in sight for its console lifespan. The Switch recently passed both the Super Nintendo, Xbox One, and original Nintendo Entertainment System in order to claim the number 12 spot.
This marks the first time since 1989 that Nintendo will be a one console company. Since the release of the original Game Boy (which is the third highest selling console of all time), Nintendo has always had a main console and a handheld device.
However, the Nintendo Switch is essentially both of those things, negating the need for another handheld system.
Nintendo also recently released the Nintendo Switch Lite, which is handheld only. Then, you have the regular Switch, which features handheld play as well as television functionality. It is also highly rumored that Nintendo will be launching a new premium upgraded version of the Switch sometime in 2021.