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Friday, June 23, 2017

The 3DS Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon

The Nintendo Switch, which released on March 3rd worldwide this year has been killing it. Nearly 3 million units have already been sold since launch day. So yeah, the Switch is indeed the new Nintendo hotness. And yet with it selling like crazy, we've got some gamers that are wondering why Nintendo still continues to support the 3DS.

For Nintendo to drop the 3DS like a brick just because the Switch has been highly successful would be foolhardy. Yes, the company has made a  plethora of dumb decisions in their many years in the game industry but kicking the 3DS to the curb would be almost as face palming as partnering with Philips to bring us those horrid CDi Zelda games that Nintendo does not even acknowledge as part of the series. The reason the 3DS isn't going the way of the Dodo bird is simple: it still prints money.

The install base of the Switch at nearly 3 million is highly impressive, especially this early in the system's life. With the portable functionality of the Switch, I guess you could see why some would think there's no reason to keep the 3DS around, but here's the thing: there are far, far more 3DS units in the wind than there are Switch consoles. We're talking near 3 million versus over 66 million. And Nintendo should just forget about the 3DS because the Switch is a home and portable system even though the 3DS is at 66 million plus? Get outta here with that noise.

One system Nintendo did drop like a hot plate was the Wii U. The last first party release for the system was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Nobody really has to question why the Wii U was so quickly disposed of. The thing barely reached over 13 million over the span of four years. Meanwhile, it is already looking like the Switch is going to outsell the Wii U by miles. The 3DS, which launched more than a year ahead of the Wii U absolutely destroyed it.

The Switch is still a hard console to find.

Despite the old hardware, the 3DS is still a viable system so it continues to get support from Nintendo, third parties and indie developers through physical and digital releases. The Switch is a system that is much harder to get your hands on, where as 3DS systems are plentiful. Nintendo said availability of the Switch wouldn't be like the NES Classic Edition but the console/handheld hybrid continues to be elusive. Doesn't make much sense to please one portion of your audience while neglecting the other just because shinny, new tech is the bees knee, especially when that old tech still gets you the money.

Samus Aran is coming to the 3DS in September in
Metroid: Samus Returns, a remake of the GB
Metroid II: Return of Samus.

Nintendo has games planned throughout this year and 2018 for the 3DS. Will the handheld be phased out? Oh yeah, of course it will. Eventually. However, anyone thinking that the 3DS is going to ride off in the sunset just because the Switch is also a handheld isn't seeing the bigger picture. The 3DS may not be anywhere near as powerful as the Switch but it still makes mad money and for that reason, it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

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