When Nintendo launched the Switch and sales were much better than anyone expected, it looked as thought the 3DS was on life support. Surely sales would drop off quickly for the seven-year-old handheld now a portable console was available, right? Well, they didn’t, and Nintendo is considering a new handheld to replace it.
Confirmation of that comes from Shuntaro Furukawa, Nintendo’s new president. Furukawa has been an employee of Nintendo since 1994, starting out as an accountant before moving into global marketing, then working as a director with The Pokemon Company, and being involved in Switch development. He took on the role of president last month.
As Nintendo Everything reports, Furukawa explained that “the 3DS has certain advantages over the Switch such as ease of purchase and the like” and that Nintendo is “considering various possibilities” for a successor. The 3DS is certainly cheaper than the Switch, which makes it more desirable to those gaming on a budget or to parents with young children. It’s also much easier to slide in a pocket and has battery life Switch owners can only dream of. In terms of sales, the 3DS went past 72 million units in April and new games are planned for 2019.
Although there’s clearly no firm commitment from Nintendo yet, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, the company creates to replace the 3DS. I’d bet money on it retaining backwards compatibility with the 3DS and keeping the two screen format to differentiate it from the Switch. The internals and displays are well overdue a major update, though. Could we get a couple of 720p displays? And what will Nintendo call this new handheld?
For now, the 3DS is still a worthwhile purchase in its latest form, the New Nintendo 2DS XL . Or for younger kids the indestructible 2DS is ideal. With over 1,200 games released, just about every gaming taste is catered for.