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3DS will continue living on alongside Switch

Nintendo isn't ready to retire the 3DS handheld just yet
By: Derek Strickland | Gaming News | Posted: Oct 31, 2018 7:40 pm

Despite the Switch's success and combination console and handeheld form factor, Nintendo won't be killing off the 3DS handheld family of systems any time soon.

 

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The Switch arguably makes the 3DS obsolete--not only is it more powerful, its games library is rapidly expanding. But with a huge 70 million strong install base and over 300 million software copies sold, scrapping the 3DS altogether would be a mistake. Instead Nintendo plans to use the 3DS as a point of entry to its budding hardware and gaming ecosystem. Think of the lower-cost 3DS as a more accessible gateway to Nintendo's products that could ultimately lead to a Switch purchase, or continued 3DS game sales.

 

In Nintendo's recent financial earnings, current company president Shuntaro Furukawa outlined how the 3DS folds into the company's existing and future plans: "Nintendo 3DS is set apart from Nintendo Switch by its characteristics as a handheld game system that is lightweight, price-friendly, and highly portable. Affordability is the strong point that positions Nintendo 3DS in a niche clearly separate from Nintendo Switch."

 

"In the grand scheme of things, Nintendo 3DS has a prominent position as the product that can be served as the first contact between Nintendo and many of its consumers, and for this reason we will keep the business going."

 

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It's true 3DS sales have been declining year-over-year (Nintendo sold about 630,000 units last quarter, down 67% YoY), but it's still an asset in Nintendo's expanding arsenal of cross-media and gaming engagement strategies.

 

New 3DS software development has also cooled off in favor of the rallying Switch hybrid but the handheld still has a wealth of games to buy and download on the eShop (including old-school Virtual Console games).

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