[Let's Talk] The future of 3DS - Nintendo Everything

Submit a news tip



[Let’s Talk] The future of 3DS

Posted on January 28, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, Let's Talk

Much of the attention surrounding Nintendo right now is focused on Switch, and understandably so. But the big N has another system on its hands that isn’t going anywhere. Naturally, we’re talking about the 3DS.

Several titles had already been announced for the portable this year. This week, Nintendo reconfirmed some of its 3DS plans (and some new ones), as well as its committment to the platform.

Don’t forget that Nintendo just announced Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia and Fire Emblem Warriors (New 3DS). Aside from that though, Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World comes out next week in the west. Tank Troopers then follows as an eShop title on February 16. Just one week after Switch launches, Mario Sports Superstars arrives in Europe with new amiibo cards to boot – it’ll follow later in March in North America and Japan. Pikmin is still heading to 3DS this year, as is Ever Oasis. Oh, and a Pikachu New 3DS XL system is slated for February along with two new Nintendo Selects in the states.

How’s everyone feeling about 3DS right now? Even after Switch launches, will you continue to play new releases (or older games you have for that matter)? I do think we’ll be seeing at least a few more announcements, whether they’re completely new or localizations of games like Miitopia. Let us know how you feel about 3DS in the comments below.

Highlights from last week’s topic: Fire Emblem Direct reactions

TheDonRob

Honestly for me I thought the fire emblem direct was more awesome per minute than the switch presentation. Both were amazing and I loved them, but dang, two fire emblem switch games, a new fire emblem 3ds game (for some reason, that was the most unexpected to me!) And the mobile fire emblem game!? That’s a lot of awesome in just 20 minutes.

I thought the mobile game looks great in my opinion. I will actually play the mess out of it. I always thought fire emblem would be sweet on mobile.

I’m not a big fan of the warriors games like the FE warriors game for seitxh, but I bet it will do well as hyrule warriors did.

And the new 3ds entry! I mean, did NOT see that coming. I read that it is a remake or something of a FE game that never made its way west. Time to Irish up with fates and board the hype train.

So all in all, that was an AWESOME DIRECT!!!!!

PanurgeJr

I think the biggest takeaway from the Fire Emblem Direct is that the franchise had four games announced in the span of a week. Not only is that a sign of a very healthy franchise, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that had never happened before, for any franchise.

Supporter

I was (happily) surprised by Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. The amiibo look great but I’m not sure I want to get them until I know their functionality. I’m glad another Fire Emblem game is coming to 3DS and it’s a remake.

The dungeons, for example, blew me away and reminded me of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE or the Persona series. I can’t wait to meet Fire Emblem Gaiden characters like Alm and Celica (once I get through at least one version of Fire Emblem Fates).

Fire Emblem Warriors looked incredible with Chrom commanding the screen. Truly a (recent) dream come true! New 3DS owners should be happy too. I still seriously enjoy Hyrule Warriors Legends on my regular 3DS. I’m also happy to see the series will be returning to home consoles on the Switch.

Finally, Fire Emblem Heroes seems like a simple yet complex mobile game. I definitely enjoyed watching the gameplay and the huge variety of Fire Emblem characters (even though it focused on Awakening and Fates characters the most).

I don’t have a phone to play games on but I decided to join in the Choose Your Legends which is pretty fun and extensive. Some details on the Corrin amiibo or the last Fates DLC would’ve been nice, but the direct was fine without them. Yuri Lowenthal did a great job narrating this event and Nintendo did a great job surprising fans with so much Fire Emblem content.

chancetime

I really enjoyed it overall. Both new and old fans in a divided fanbase got what they wanted; old fans got a fantastic looking remake of an older game that looks to also appeal to newcomers, alongside an announcement for a Switch game returning the series to console. We also got a small glimpse of Warriors and a mobile game that looks to be pretty interesting as well. Fire Emblem on mobile just makes sense and I like how they handle the different returning characters.

Ryan Hainley

Wow was that direct full of suprises! I was little disappointed we didn’t see more of Fire Emblem Warriors, but I think that learning there’s a Fire Emblem in development for Switch, as well as getting Fire Emblem Echoes announced and having it be so close to release already makes up for it completely.

The Mobile game was actually VERY surprising to me. It looks really good and quite faithful to the series as well! I’ve been really excited about Nintendo’s mobile endeavor, and I think I’ll probably end up very easily addicted to FE:Heroes once it comes out. Might send a bit of money their way too if I find myself enjoying it, which is pretty much a guarantee after seeing the gameplay of it.

Overall, an incredibly solid Direct, even more so when you consider how short it was. We’ve got a lot of Fire Emblem headed our way, and I honestly can’t complain about that at all.

More: ,

Leave a Reply

  • Exy

    I still have Dawn of Justice to catch up on and around a half dozen other games that I mean to finish that I haven’t yet, so mine will still be around for as long as it can.

  • Locky Mavo

    Of course Nintendo will continue to support 3DS, the Switch isn’t here yet and more importantly, the 3DS still has a large user base to make games for. Will 3DS support die off? Of course it will, eventually, but that won’t happen until the Switch really takes off and over shadows it, and the user base drops it.
    Till then, though I’m excited for the Switch, I can’t wait to play the games yet to be released on 3DS, Ever Oasis in particular and Fire Emblem Echoes, though I still need to get myself a N3DS, but not before I get my Switch I think.

    • ForeVision

      They may decide to make a dedicated successor to the 3DS, and maintain the message that the Switch is a “home-console with handheld capabilities”.

      • Locky Mavo

        Possible, though I find it highly unlikely. Though I am interested in what comes next after the Switch, Switch 2? A more “traditional” console? Or something else entirely?

        • ForeVision

          I think they’d maintain the hybrid if it is truly successful for them, as with it, they can avoid the race to the top that is fueled by specs and power, and not have to be compared, inevitably, to PC when the other 2 consoles reach that point.

          That said, I’m curious what they’d do with their 3DS line if they were to find a successor for that one. What more can you apply to something like a double-screen portable gaming device?

          • Locky Mavo

            Power is the only thing I can think of adding, if they really were to succeed the 3DS, but I do think the point of a hybrid console defeats the purpose of making a successor to the 3DS. If they want to still be in the handheld market, continuing with a hybrid is the way to go I think.

            As for the console race to be like PC, it seems MS intends to close that gap with their Project Scorpio, though I do see it as a cheaper way, in the long run, for them to get out of console making, but still be there, if you can understand my meaning. With it being said to be an up-gradable console (basically a PC).

          • ForeVision

            Aye, but at this point with Scorpio, being power-focused and upgradeable, it’s interesting to think: What defines a console? One of those features, I would say, is the ability to play every game made for it. On PC, you’re able to play the games, only as well as your hardware allows, and if you’re a couple of years in, your PC won’t be able to handle the games anymore, which isn’t the case with consoles. It’s, I feel, one of the strongest arguments for their existence (next to availability through price and exclusive games).

            Then you can look to things like being more portable (you’ve got a laptop on PC’s side, but a good one is rather expensive, and they are infamous for overheating rather quickly when high-end games are played).

            Anyway, back to the hybrid part, as we know quite well, Nintendo likes exploring things like HD Rumble and what they’re doing with the Joy-Cons (gyro etc) and they’ll probably continue on until they discover the next big thing to go with. In this regard, Sony/Microsoft aren’t doing much (VR, but that’s it) and are power-racing each other instead. It’s a stingy, subject really, and I hope we’ll have consoles in the future as much as we do today.

      • Jimmy Boy

        then what’s the point of taking it with you when you have another one? The market can’t handle that many devices on the market as it is (PSP/DS sold 235+ million compare to 3DS/Vita’s 75+ million).

  • ««H3©TöR»»

    3DS support is still fairly strong, but it IS showing signs of slowing down, which is why I predict it will largely die off this year. It’s ending off with a bang with the new Fire Emblem remake in May and FE Warriors on New 3DS. There’s still a few games coming to it, but I don’t think we’ll see anything major for 3DS after this year. I’m betting that online support for it (and possibly Wii U) will die off somewhere between late 2018 to early 2019.

    • JJ

      What are you talking about? Nintendo just had their biggest quarter ever of 3DS family sales..Don’t know what you’re smokin.

      • Supporter

        That’s true and I think the 3DS will still have a solid year in 2017, but in 2018, it could be reduced to just a few more titles.

        • JJ

          But you don’t know that it’s just speculation, I for one think they’ll eventually make a new system backward compatible with both DS/3DS (but that’s just speculation on my part as well).

          • Supporter

            Yes, we don’t know. I’m just saying that’s how it seems. I love my 3DS so I’d be happy to see it continue for three more years even. But I don’t expect to see it. We’ll see Nintendo’s plans for the future in terms of handheld only gaming.

        • Jimmy Boy

          so localized games already released in Japan, a game also on Switch, games ported from Wii U, remakes, and a single new game? Yeah, huge amount of development was really put into it, wasn’t it?

          • Supporter

            We are only three months into the year. At the end of the year, it would be fair to analyze Nintendo’s 3DS games this year.

      • ««H3©TöR»»

        There weren’t that many new games for 3DS last year. And this year, all it really seems to be getting are those new Fire Emblem game and Forever Oasis from E3. Aside from that, it’s just ports to make a quick buck.

        • JJ

          We’ve already had Dragon Quest 8 (I highly recommend this by the way), as others have said there are definitely quite a few other games coming (that we know about) as well.

        • Supporter

          2016 was one of the 3DS’ biggest years in terms of games. Games like Pokemon Sun and Moon, Kirby Planet Robobot, Mario Party: Star Rush, Pocket Card Jockey, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, and Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse were all new games for example.

          As for 2017, games like Lady Layton, Pikmin, Tank Troopers, and Mario Sports Superstars proves there are more than ports coming to the 3DS. Especially since we don’t know what’s coming out in the rest of the year.

          • Jimmy Boy

            so, indies, spinoffs, and a quickly thrown together sports game, yeah those are going to just make the 3DS fly off shelves!

          • Supporter

            I was stating games that are not ports coming to the 3DS this year. I wasn’t implying any of those games would make the 3DS ‘fly off shelves’.

      • Jimmy Boy

        LOL and if Reggie said pink elephants were flying around, you’d believe that too, wouldn’t you? Their financial report says the truth about the state of the 3DS, check it out, it’s not increasing around the world (ie Japan is shrinking).

  • atarixe

    I do think the future of the 3DS will be bright if Nintendo wants it to be, after all, they are marketing the Switch as more of a console rather than a handheld. They’re probably doing that so it doesn’t infringe on 3DS sales

    Nintendo should make the 3DS’s successor (AKA the 4DS) a companion to the Switch. Give it a name that compliments the Switch brand, like “Switch Mini”. The 4DS will have a better battery life and be smaller so you can play it in a long car ride. The 4DS can play 3DS, DS, and Switch games, so there will be 2 different cartridge slots. Let the two go hand-in-hand with all the same configurations that can be shared, like online play and a cloud service.

    So if I want a more immersive experience, I’ll dock my Switch. If I want a more social experience, I’ll undock my Switch, put it in tabletop mode and take it to work, family gatherings, parties, etc. If I want a more intimate experience, I can use that same cartridge and play my game.

    • ««H3©TöR»»

      IMO, making a dedicated handheld along with a hybrid is kinda shooting yourself in the foot. I still strongly believe that the Switch IS replacing BOTH the Wii U and 3DS.

      • atarixe

        Yeah I agree. I’m just disappointed that the Switch’s battery life for BotW is 3 hours.

        • ««H3©TöR»»

          You gotta remember how much this thing is running. I’m actually SURPRISED that it can go up to 6 hours. I was expecting 3-4 hours, tops. Besides, it DOES use USB C, so I’d say it can get away with that battery life.

        • 3 hours to play a game as big as zelda on the go is pretty good. i think people are obsessing with this too much.. you guys do know you get up to 6 hours playing smaller 2-D games or indie games stuff right?

        • Jimmy Boy

          don’t play a regular 3DS or small New 3DS then, you’re going to only get 3 hours minimum as well!

      • ForeVision

        May be PR talk, but what if they actually CAN successfully keep Switch next to 3DS and get a dedicated 3DS follow-up? The merging of the handheld/console division could be for Switch yes, but that doesn’t bind the handheld division to solely Switch.

        “Fils-Aime: 3DS has a long life in front of it. We’ve already announced
        games that will be launching in the first couple quarters of this year.
        There are a number of big games coming. And in our view, the Nintendo
        3DS and the Nintendo Switch are going to live side-by-side. You’re going
        to be meeting different price points, you’re going to be meeting
        different types of consumers, you’re going to have the newest, freshest
        content available on Nintendo Switch, you’ve got a thousand-game library
        available on Nintendo 3DS, plus some key new ones coming. They’re going
        to coexist just fine. We’ve done this before, managing two different
        systems.”

        • ««H3©TöR»»

          I’m just saying, it’d be more practical to just focus on one system rather than 2. Besides, they said something similar regarding the DS and GBA.

          • JJ

            60+million user base and they’re going to abandon that for unknown waters..(Switch only)..just doesn’t make good business’s sense.

          • Jimmy Boy

            user base is skewed, the small attach rate (total games sold divided by total systems sold) means many owners bought multiple systems, so if you lose a person who bought 3 3DS systems, you haven’t lost 1 user, you lost 3! The 3DS market will degrade quickly

          • ForeVision

            Only time can tell. I think we’ll be knowing a lot more, a while after Switch exists, and if it’s proven to be good.

  • Velen (Not WoW)

    Considering how strong the 3DS still is in the market, I don’t really see it going anywhere for a while. Besides. The 3DS and the Switch offer two very different gameplay experiences.

    • 3DS is done next year :v

      • lol than why are there still games coming to it level 5 is bringing new IP’s to the platform and more games are getting localized try harder next time.

        • randominternetperson

          Because games take years to develop? Companies got Switch dev kit late? Fire Emblem Echos for example was just announced but it’s coming out in a few months meaning it’s been worked on for awhile already.

          • I’m pretty sure that does not answer anything since (it should be common sense that games take years to develop from making the concept to getting the team and pitching the idea just to get it green lit and once that happen development can start) plus even if they got a switch Dev kit late wont mean that they have a plan for a game at that moment or ideas yet(but I am sure you know that which is usually why ports of certain games don’t happen early on) So the answer is the 3ds is not HD so they don’t need to spend a lot of resources so they can make new Ip’s on it (well sometimes on consoles too) and if it does well than they can decide if they should make it on the home console just to get two different demographics which would explain why fire emblem warriors is on Switch and “New” Nintendo 3ds and why there is a new fire game coming to both switch and 3ds (just a guess from me sorry if this is long)

  • JasonBall

    It will absolutely be supported through the end of 2017, I’ve been saying that since the 3DS Direct on September 1st. They’ve only ramped up the marketing in recent months. A dense release schedule through summer guarantees games through the holiday. Which means it will at least match the original DS! That was what, late 04 release with games through 2012? This will be early 2011 to at least end of 2017. Both those are about seven years. But remember, original game boy was like 9 years. So this isn’t unprecedented. The darn thing is so popular and well-loved (unlike Wii U) any game release is a guaranteed profit.

    Yes, I’ll keep playing it. I have a few VC games to finish, a few non-VC games to finish, and some new releases I’ll be getting. BoxBoy 3 day one because omg I love BoxBoy, Ever Oasis if it gets good reviews since that one looks hard to judge with just gameplay, Pikmin if the gameplay looks fun since that one is hard to judge with reviews, Tank Troopers no matter what because a game where I shoot my friends in a tank is good no matter what, and Miitopia if it comes west day one because I adore the Mii characters. Also if either SNES Kirby gets released I’ll buy them. I refuse to play sprite games on Wii U because of that awful dpad that looks like it’s carrying over to switch oh god wait I’ll have to play Mother 3 with an analog stick because 70 dollars is too much for a dpad that sucks and there’s no way I’m playing it with c-buttons.

    • ««H3©TöR»»

      Agreed. Personally, I plan to get a pro controller for that D-pad, because I can’t fully rely on an analogue stick for accurate 2D platforming. And I sure as hell won’t be using C-buttons for VC games either.

      • JasonBall

        Yay, someone who understands! I’d go a step further and say I can only tolerably play 2d sprite games with a ‘hard’ dpad. The GBA, DS, and 3DS. The gcn, Wii and Wii U dpads are soft and I can’t platform or move around worth crap with them.

  • Addy

    I’m thinking 3DS support has about two years left, three years tops. By around late 2018 to early 2019 there will be no more physical games and eShop games get released for another year or so.

    • i was thinking the same thing, it will probably only be supported into 2018 and that’s it. i got this thought that maybe Nintendo might put out a Switch mini handheld only version to replace the 3DS. it would play the same Switch games just smaller and no dock and better battery life and cheaper. idk just thought :v

      • Jimmy Boy

        Switch Mini would be in 2018 if Nintendo followed the same pattern they gave the 3DS. Look at the trend:

        2011- 3DS
        2012-3DS XL
        2013-2DS
        2014-New 3DS/XL (limited)
        2015-New 3DS/XL
        2016-nothing
        2017-nothing but Switch

        • ibo

          ya I know… I kinda agree with you that a switch mini would be 2018 but I got a feeling something like that might come out much later. tho I would not be surprised if Nintendo came out with a new model next year. something simple like a Switch with 64 GB memory and some new color joy cons with a pack in game by next march

  • GameFace

    I dont play my new 3ds xl much.

  • hi v3.0

    I believe that this is the final year for supporting the 3DS. By early/mid 2018 first party support for 3DS will stop. Nintendo is going to focus on Switch 100% next year. 3DS will live for 7 years by then and that’s a great time to end the console’s lifetime ! C’mon we all know that Switch is going to be super successful in Japan with the 3DS and Vita market combined !

    • Lorettasferrer

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !so121c:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !so121c:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash411ShopProfessionalGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!so121c:….,…..

    • Jimmy Boy

      and the fact that both those in Japan are slowing down in sales. The Switch in its first week already outsold the 3DS for the entire calendar year already! WOW!

  • JJ

    Advance Wars and a new 2Dish Metroid, that’s what I want!

    • Supporter

      I know, right! Just give me those, please Nintendo.

      (A 25th anniversary Kirby game from Hal and a really good 3D Sonic game from Sega would be amazing too!)

      • JJ

        Along with even MORE Virtual Console games!

  • Supporter

    I think the 3DS will have a decent amount of support in 2017, followed by a lighter amount of games in 2018 and a quiet end.

    If the Switch replaces the 3DS, I’m totally fine with that. I just don’t think the 3DS needs to be abandoned the second the Switch launches. I love the 3DS and I’ve had so much happiness with it. I understand it’s getting old so I’m going to enjoy these last few years with my baby. 😛

    I’m not financially in a good place to buy the Switch anyway (plus I live in Canada where the price of the Switch is even higher). So I’d be disappointed if Nintendo dropped the Wii U AND the 3DS since I have both. By keeping one system around, at least I can still enjoy Nintendo’s products while they are transitioning.

  • Superfast Jellyfish

    Its time to die for 3DS. Its too weak to handle modern games.

    • ForeVision

      Which is what Switch would be for.

  • ForeVision

    To me the Switch is the successor to my poorly fated Wii-U, and shall be used as such. As much as I see the potential of handheld console games, I like my 3DS and I have a good amount of games on it, and an even bigger amount still to purchase.

    People who love handheld gaming, can look at both Switch and 3DS as potential buys, but those seeking a system that can put Nintendo right after Wii-U, a next-in-line home-console, will have no choice but to “Switch” and I will be seeing if that Switch puts me on the same boat that sent Wii-U to it’s end, or a different one that sails it to glory.

    I’d lying if I wouldn’t have rather had Nintendo put another dedicated home-console out instead of the Switch, but I can see potential in the current system, namely in the amount of games that, having both handheld and console enthusiasts on the same system can bring.

    TL:DR: My 3DS is for handheld gaming, when I obtain a Switch it will take the spot of the Wii-U.

  • Killey

    I actually want the 3DS to outlive the Switch, or at least for it to stay around long enough for a true replacement to become available on the market. There are still so many games released or announced for it in Japan that I want localized, that even if only half of them actually get released in America the 3DS will remain as my main gaming platform at least until 2018.

    • Jimmy Boy

      won’t happen, it’s 6 years older than Switch. Where have you been since 2011? System is dated as hell now compared to a high def portable!

  • jbmindtrick

    Personally, it has been very difficult financially to support 2 systems. As I imagine it would be difficult for Nintendo to maintain 3 teams-Switch, 3DS, Mobile (I know DeNa is taking most of this on) I would love to see the 3DS stick around in ’17/18 and by then Switch should have enough user base to sustain the transition to Switch and mobile. In late ’18 or 19 I think you would see an upgraded Switch 2/+ etc.. which would be like they did with all of their systems to date. I also think that by the end of ’17 they will give Switch owners access to their mobile games-easy as it has a touch screen.

    • Jimmy Boy

      DeNA doesn’t have all of it though, Nintendo still sends their developers to work with them, think of them more as a 2nd party company since Nintendo owns 10% of them, meaning they can’t work on other projects while working on them, so yeah, 3 different platforms to develop for also means one thing- DELAYS! They already showed they couldn’t handle 2 with Wii U and 3DS, so now mobile added to it, it’s a death sentence for games trying to do three platforms now! That’s why Iwata did the merger of the 2 development areas (handheld/home), and also why he did the agreement with DeNA.

  • R.Z.

    My personal opinion is that the 3DS NEEDS to die if the Switch is ever to be succesful.

    The past few years have proven that Nintendo isn’t capable of making enough quality software to support two widely different hardware propositions.
    Another aspect is that I don’t think Nintendo can make a succesful dedicated home console anymore. Western third parties are too big on that market and getting their full support (partial support is of no use) doesn’t seem to be possible.
    So long story short, if the Switch doesn’t take over Nintendo’s portable segment, I don’t see it working.

    • Supporter

      “Plus let’s face it, the Switch isn’t attractive at all as a home console only.”

      Really? I think it’s pretty interesting as a home console because of its general simplicity, but I understand what you mean.

    • awng781

      To be fair, I think Nintendo is transitioning all of their developers to the 3DS as we speak. Most of the first party 3DS games coming out this year are ports (Yoshi’s Woolly World), remakes (FE Echoes), or low budget spin-offs (Mario Sports, Pikmin for 3DS). The only arguably notable new 3DS title from Nintendo coming out this year is Ever Oasis, which is developed by Grezzo, a 2nd party studio.

      I agree with your last paragraph. Assuming the Switch doesn’t pull a Wii U and completely bomb this year, I fully expect Nintendo to release a portable $199 Switch configuration, without the dock or controller grip, sometime in the next 18-24 months. That should be able to convince the more casual portion of the current 3DS audience to migrate over to the Switch. Those who buy the portable Switch configuration can then choose to buy the dock and/or controller grip separately to get the “full” Switch experience.

  • Bart

    All I know is the 3DS will still keep me busy for years to come, its RPG library is legendary, and it’s the best console ever basically… 😉

  • nemo37

    I see 3DS like the Gameboy Advance was in 2004. Nintendo committed to the continued development of both platforms, despite a successor that had the key qualities of both systems (Switch and DS respectively). I imagine there are a few reason why Nintendo is doing this, and there is a scenario where the 3DS and a successor may come out.

    Nintendo kept the Gameboy around because they were unsure about how well the DS would do in the marketplace. Much like the Switch, the DS was more expensive than the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo did not know if the second touchscreen would draw people in. On the other hand the GBA was well established with regards to an active install base and partner support. Nintendo did not want to risk losing all of that with a new and untested platform. A similar pattern can be seen 3DS. This also allows time for Nintendo to make marketing adjustments to its new platform (with DS Nintendo dropped the price by its first summer, with the 3DS the price was dropped by Fall and the advertising strategy around the system was significantly changed), while having a less expensive and supported albeit older platform for users that are not quite ready to upgrade until the marketing and support for the new platform stabilize.

    I imagine four scenarios with regards to the 3DS’s future. Either the Switch releases and does well at $300 (which I doubt), at which point Nintendo will lean back on 3DS software support with the last bits of support trickling in early 2018. A second scenario, and I suspect this will be most likely scenario if Nintendo plays their cards correctly, the Switch will come out strongly in its first month but then sales will substantially slow (much like what happened to Wii U and 3DS and to a lesser extent DS initially) prompting Nintendo to (hopefully) instate a major price reduction (ideally by about $80-$100) and bring out some compelling bundles; in this case, I expect them to keep the 3DS around a bit longer (with software support and active marketing continuing until late 2018 early 2019) because it will still be profitable for them (3DS hardware sells for a profit at this point; whereas a Switch system that has undergone a major price reduction will most likely sell at a loss for a time). One other scenario is that the Switch will come, have a strong start initially but then go through a sales decline starting the month following release and Nintendo will be unable to substantially improve the system’s fortune by dropping the price (much like the Wii U; although I would argue that fortunes could have changed if the price reduction was bigger), at this point Nintendo will keep 3DS around and continue actively developing and may even introduce a successor at the same price range that is backwards compatible. The final scenario, and this I argue is the worst case scenario, is that the Switch will fail and Nintendo will decide (or be forced by a shareholder revolt, much like Sega was) to abandon hardware development and instead focus on software, in this case I imagine that Nintendo will continue to support the 3DS for a year or two until they complete the transition to a software company, after which the 3DS will be discontinued without a successor.

    I imagine that Nintendo (although this applies to Sony and MS as well and their respective hardware products during a transition; I recall MS stating initially that the Xbox One was not a successor to the 360, even though that is what it ultimately was intended for and ended up being) themselves are keeping the 3DS around with all of the above scenarios in mind. I personally hope that either scenario one or two occur (scenario one being most preferable but also least likely; with scenario two being slightly less preferable especially from a short-term financial perspective but also most likely if Nintendo adjusts Switch’s marketing properly by the first post-launch holiday season).

  • ShadowDragoon

    My thoughts on the 3DS haven’t changed, i still love it and i will still play it even long after it’s production is over. The release of the Switch is irrelevant, even in the event of actually getting said console, i will still use the 3DS rather than the handheld function of the Switch.

  • awng781

    The 3DS will continue to receive some support, albeit lightly, for a few reasons:

    1) It has a big install base of 65 million. Much of that install base will not migrate to the Switch immediately. Many will continue to play 3DS games for much of this year.

    2) Despite the anticipation, the Switch is still an uncertainty, much like the DS back in 2004-2005. If the Switch struggles or outright bombs, Nintendo will need something to fall back on to keep themselves financially stable.

    3) Much of the 3DS’s lineup this year consists of remakes (Yoshi’s Woolly World, DQ VIII, FE Echoes) and low budget spinoffs (Mario Sports, Pikmin for 3DS). The biggest new 3DS that has been announced as of right now is Ever Oasis. These games are all nice, but none of them are particularly substantial titles, which are currently in developemnt for the Switch.

    • Jimmy Boy

      Install base is skewed, the low attach rate (games sold divided by systems sold) shows that most owners own multiple ones. Why does that matter? If you lose someone who bought say 3 or 4, 5 or 6 even, systems, you didn’t lose 1 3DS owner, you lost potentially 6! With so many repeat buyers the 3DS’s market will dwindle fast.

      • awng781

        Handhelds naturally have a lower attach rate than home consoles. The 3DS’s attach rate is higher attach rate than that of the GB, GBA, and PSP. The DS is the only successful handheld with a higher attach rate than the 3DS.

        While the 3DS’s active install base isn’t as high as its actual hardware sales, the platform still has an active player base, especially with the record breaking release of Pokémon Sun/Moon last November.

        As the Switch gets more of entries of Nintendo’s core franchises (Zelda, Mario Odyssey, Pokémon, Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Smash Bros, Mario Kart, Kirby, Xenoblade etc), the 3DS market will naturally begin to fade as people migrate over to the Switch. But all of these franchises will not hit the Switch overnight. It will take a few years.