The Nintendo 3DS has been lurking in the shadows since the launch of the Nintendo Switch, a far superior handheld console hybrid. However, Nintendo has recently recommitted themselves to the support of the 3DS as their dedicated handheld offering.
In their recent financial briefing Nintendo explained why they will continue to support the now eight year old 3DS with sales and software support alongside the Nintendo Switch. Their main reasoning is that the 3DS is a lower priced and dedicated handheld console as opposed the the hybrid Switch which can be used on televisions or on the go, and is far more expensive.
The price of the Nintendo 3DS is the clear differentiator when it comes to the Nintendo Switch, which costs around £100 more in most cases. Nintendo see the 3DS more as a point of first contact for many consumers with the company, thanks to the portability and lower price of the unit. This will then lead to on-going business with Nintendo, whether it’s through future software sales or an upgrade to a new console.
The New 2DS XL, one of the latest versions of the Nintendo 3DS, is now retailing for about half the price of a Nintendo Switch, making it the perfect entry level console. The 3DS is also still home to the very latest Pokemon and Metroid titles, as well as the latest games in other franchises, making it the best place to play these games right now. The console also has a huge backlog of brilliant titles that have kept consumers entertained for the last eight years.
Sales of 3DS hardware has fallen over the last six months by 65.1 percent year-on-year. However, the sales of the last six months still show one million new units which have been shipped in 2018. Over the same time period the Nintendo Switch shipped 5.07 million units, which isn’t much more considering the age of the Nintendo 3DS. This data shows that while a lot of Nintendo consumers are interested in their latest console, a not insignificant proportion still very much prefer their older offerings.
With new games such as a remake of Luigi’s Mansion and Bowser’s Inside Story on the way, the 3DS is proving to have more longevity than anyone gave it credit for.