The news came in the form of two responses from Bowser in an interview with The Verge. The first question put to Bowser asked why the company has continued to support the 3DS for the past couple of years, with the Nintendo Switch taking the market by storm.
Bowser responded by explaining that Nintendo still sees consumer demand for the 3DS, both in terms of hardware and software. He went on to say that whilst there is consumer demand, Nintendo will continue to support the console and the games available for it.
The interviewer then asked Bowser if the 3DS was dead. Supporting the console is one thing, but there will continue to be a decline in interest for it if Nintendo doesn’t invest in new games, or a new hardware version as they have in the past.
In his response, Bowser described Nintendo’s intentions to wait and see with the console. He added that the company won’t be dropping the 3DS today, but they will be supporting it throughout the holiday period of 2019, and into 2020.
2020 will see the launch of Microsoft’s Project Scarlett, and Sony’s PlayStation 5. The only console Nintendo has on offer that can compete with these behemoths is the Nintendo Switch, which offers superior visuals and gaming experience to the 3DS.
Nintendo is marketing the Switch as a secondary console, something for consumers to own outside of their core home console, which will most likely be a PlayStation 5 or Project Scarlett. As such, the company needs to do very little outside of offering core Nintendo titles in order to entice new consumers into investing in the product.
The 3DS however, is an older handheld model. The console relies on the strength of its back catalog, which is getting weaker with every new release on Nintendo Switch. Bowser’s comments show that Nintendo wants to keep the 3DS relevant for as long as possible, but it doesn’t indicate that any sort of new investment in terms of games is on the way.