Time to flip the dual-screen of life closed on Nintendo’s portable console that could. As of now, all versions of Nintendo 3DS have seemingly stopped production. Sometime yesterday Nintendo’s Japanese website listed the current models of the 3DS — New 3DS XL, New 2DS XL, and 2DS — as out of production. At the same time, the U.S. website was completely scrubbed of the 3DS at all, and the U.K. website has subsequently done the same it seems, though there was a period where the 3DS family page was still live in the U.K. and contained the statement: “Please note: The manufacturing of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems has ended.” The handheld’s slow death is essentially final.
Nintendo 3DS was launched nearly a decade ago in 2011. Its start was a bit rocky as the console was seen more gimmicky than groundbreaking with its 3D adjustable screen and fears from parents that the stereoscopic 3D would burn holes in their children’s eyes allowing Satan to enter their soul (or something like that). Plus, the initial game selection was just weak. However, Nintendo slashed the price for the system dramatically only a few months after it launched and offered the Ambassador Program to early adopters, and developers started getting creative with both the dual-screen functionality and the 3D itself.
While nowhere near as successful as its predecessor, the Nintendo DS, the Nintendo 3DS can definitely be considered a success for Nintendo. The company released multiple versions of the platform, eventually totaling over 75 million in sales. The system played host to some of Nintendo’s most popular games during the time, especially with the Wii U struggling in sales. With games like Super Mario 3D Land, Pokémon, Smash Bros., the return of Luigi’s Mansion, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds coming from Nintendo, the 3DS often felt like the Nintendo’s main console, not its handheld. Third-party support was also strong for the system, with Nintendo supporting indies in a new way and the console being the dominant portable system on the market, though there wasn’t really much competition.
For a while, Nintendo insisted that the release of its home/portable console hybrid, the Switch, did not mean the 3DS was coming to an end. However, as fewer and fewer 3DS games were presented on Nintendo Directs, the writing was clearly on the wall. So maybe put the Switch down for today, flip open your 3DS, crank that 3D slider up to 11, and dive into that one game you hadn’t finished yet.