Is It Time For The 3DS To Go?

The 3DS originally released in February of 2011. That’s 6 years ago and it’s still selling units and getting great games, but how long does it have left as the number 1 handheld gaming device? 

The 3DS is old. There’s no other way to put it. We live in a age where consoles can no longer go 8 years without a serious upgrade because they’ll quickly become obsolete. That’s why we got the PS4 Pro, and later this year we’re getting the Xbox Scorpio. The Nintendo Switch is finally here and it’s sold out all over the world right now. You can’t find them unless you’re willing to pay third party sellers up to $700 for it on Ebay or elsewhere.

The Nintendo Switch is a portable console. You can play games like Zelda, and Mario on the go like you could do all of your favorite 3DS games. This made me question what plans does Nintendo still has for their aging handheld device. Right now they’re still supporting it and I think that’s because that’s where most of their users are. You don’t discontinue a product just because your new one is off to a great start. If the Nintendo Switch fails to sell well later this year and next year they’ll still have their 3DS to fall back on and develop games for. What will Nintendo do if the Switch continues to sell the way it is right now?

The smart choice would be to stop production of your 3DS units and focus solely on the Nintendo Switch. We’ve already seen some handheld games being announced for the Switch. Fire Emblem, Dragon Quest, and Shin Megami Tensei are usually handheld games and both of them are being released for the Switch at a future date. I’m pretty sure the next Monster Hunter game will also be announced for the Switch and Pokemon has to go sooner or later. Once all of the big franchises from the 3DS makes their way over to the Switch I think we’ll say goodbye to the 3DS.

I love my 3DS. I’ve played some incredible games on it, but it’s gotten to a point where new games don’t feel any different than older ones. Games haven’t really improved much on the 3DS over the last 6 years. Pokemon Sun/Moon pushed the 3DS to it’s limits and the result was two games that rarely ran at a solid 30 fps. Etrian Odyssey has been around for quite some time now and it’s even gotten a nice spin-off series called Etrian Mystery Dungeon and it’s getting a sequel. The problem with the sequel is it (graphically) looks just like the one I own now. Could you imagine how much better games would look, run, and play on the Nintendo Switch? You wouldn’t have to worry about trying to fit your new games on 6 year old hardware.

It’s time for the 3DS to go. It’s time has come and gone and every great thing eventually comes to an end. I don’t expect this happen this year, but next year is going to be very interesting. Will Nintendo keep developing games for both the Switch, and 3DS or will they finally bring both groups together on one platform and give us the ultimate Nintendo machine that we’ve all been wanting for years.

What do you think of this? Are you ready for the 3DS to ride off into the sunset?

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12 thoughts on “Is It Time For The 3DS To Go?”

  1. The 3DS does feel antiquated when compared to a Vita. Nintendo should have made a new handheld rather than a tiny upgrade with the New 3DS. With the Switch being portable maybe they will no bother make another handheld for a while.

  2. I hear ya – it struck me as odd that I finished the Nintendo Direct way more excited for the 3DS, as it does feel very antiquated when I play it now. I don’t have this problem with the Vita, as the Vita was ahead of its time and still looks great.

    The 3DS though.. well let’s just say part of me wishes all of these 3DS game announcements were happening on the Switch! Why develop for an old system when you have a beautiful new one to work with?

    1. The only 3DS game I’m really interested in is Fire Emblem. I can see myself getting some others eventually, but I didn’t see anything I need to rush out and buy on day one.

      I agree with all of your second paragraph.

  3. Honestly, I don’t think the Switch is ready yet for mobile gaming. Simply because the battery life is too bad for it. Also, I don’t think it’s a good idea for Nintendo to stop with the 3DS. An upgraded system would be a great idea. A new handheld. If they stop the production of the 3DS and try to replace it with the Switch… I don’t see it going well.

    What we need is a new experience to play games on the go. That would be interesting to see. And please, don’t replace it with mobile games…

    1. The battery life is fine on the Switch. Playing a game like Zelda won’t give you much battery life, but I think you could get a easy 6-8 hours out of Pokemon.

  4. As it stands, if the 3DS is still selling I don’t think they’ll stop production. Once the Switch really takes hold though they probably will. It’s a system that’s had a pretty good lifespan and reminds us that Nintendo really do dominate the portable console space. It’ll be sad to see it go.

    1. I really was a late bloomer to the 3DS (only got one back in August ’15) but it quickly took over my life lol. Such an incredible list of games, and of course, it includes the entire DS library as well, a library I’m still getting involved in. Over a thousand hours playing both my 3DSes and I’m not even close to being done. Pretty crazy.

      1. I got my 3DS 3 years ago. The first game I brought was Fire Emblem Awakening. I have a nice collection of games for it now too. The 3DS has a amazing library of games.

  5. Now that I’m spoiled by the Switch’s mobility, larger/higher resolution screen, and playing beefy games like Breath of the Wild on the go, I’m finding it hard to care about *any* new 3DS game announcements. At all. If they were being ported to Switch simultaneously (I understand the 3DS uses two screens, so it’s not as simple as “just port it”) that’d be a different story entirely. It’s the same feeling I got when I picked up an Xbox One and a PS4. I just lost interest in PS3 and 360 games.

    I’ve said this numerous times already, but if Nintendo wants people to buy a Switch they need to (1) supply to meet demand, and (2) put Pokemon on there. A real, full-fledged Pokemon. Not a spin-off. Show people “Switch is where Pokemon lives” and it’ll sell millions.

    1. Pokemon, Monster Hunter, and Fire Emblem are the biggest 3DS titles. 1 of the three has been confirmed for the Switch next year. Here’s to hoping we get a nice Pokemon surprise at E3 :).

      And you’re right about how hard it is to go back to the 3DS, PS3, and 360. I’ve gotten used to having a nice quality experience with the newer generation of consoles than the older ones. It’s hard to back and play older games on the Wii when I have much better looking games on the Wii U and now it’s the same way with the Switch.

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