After 9 years from its launch, the Nintendo 3DS line-up of handheld console is now officially through as Nintendo commits to ending its production.
Effectively reaching the end of its full life cycle, the Nintendo 3DS family of systems has left a legacy. One that puts it among Nintendo’s most successful product yet at a total of 75.87 million sales as of June 30, 2020. It ranks fifth among best-selling Nintendo titles following Nintendo DS, Game Boy, Wii, and Game Boy Advance, respectively.
The Nintendo 3DS’ demise follows the 18 months of stagnation after the release of Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn. Essentially a move pushed by the need to focus on the development first-party titles to the Nintendo Switch.
The 3DS Family of Systems
Like some previous Nintendo platforms, the 3DS has seen multiple iterations, beginning from the regular and XL models. This is followed by the cheaper, less feature inclusive 2DS and the more advanced “New” models of all three. The latter referring to the New 3DS, New 3DS XL, and New 2DS XL models, which feature more powerful hardware than previous renditions.
The original 3DS made its debut to the world in 2011 with an introductory price of $250, with a lukewarm reception. This is despite introducing a handheld device that makes for a significant upgrade from the previous Nintendo DS. Not to mention of some of the best titles available at the time and innovative features never seen in any other device prior.
One of the 3DS’ selling points at its launch is its glasses-free 3D technology which, while amazing, has its issues to be of practical use. But the same feature was offset with the 2DS which subsequently saw release in Japan in 2016. Removing what is a dizzying element in the device while being substantially cheaper and not less as capable as the 3DSes.
Rise to Popularity
To make the handheld appeal to a larger market, Nintendo made a price cut to the device in less than six months after launch. Those who pre-purchased the 3DS during its $250 launch was incentivized into becoming part of the Ambassador Program. The said plan grants eligible members 10 retro games from both NES and GBA libraries to add to their games.
The rest, as they say, is history.
While the hardware alone is revolutionary, part of the Nintendo 3DS success boils down to games. Evergreen titles such as the Fire Emblem series, Pokemon series, and the likes being a driving force to the demand.
Image used courtesy of Nintendo UK