The 3DS is dead, but Nintendo won’t actually say it.

This article originally appeared on June 11th, 2019, however with new information about Nintendo Switch Lite, we felt it important to update it with new details and repost it as a new entry.


Nintendo last week revealed its latest Switch console, appropriately dubbed “Nintendo Switch Lite” given its smaller, portable-only nature, as well as teased us with new looks at Luigi’s Mansion 3Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening at E3 just a month ago. All of the aforementioned games, as you may have guessed, are coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch (and, by extension, the Switch Lite).

Nintendo Switch has been a smash success for them since its release in March 2017, and while it is indeed a hybrid device for portable and home console gaming, the Kyoto-based company also has a dedicated handheld that they seem to have completely forgotten about: Nintendo 3DS.

There was also the Nintendo 2DS, which brought a different form factor to the 3DS line and was targeted towards younger players with a lower price point, and a notable lack of 3D.

The company’s previous money-printing handheld (it’s sold over 75 million units worldwide), which debuted at E3 2010, has seen nearly a decade of great games, including mainline Pokémon entries, Zelda remakes, new portable Mario titles, and even 3D versions of games like PilotWings and a reimagined Kid Icarus.

But with the Switch pulling console and handheld double duty, Nintendo has all but left the 3DS to languish. With nary a mention of the handheld at their Nintendo Direct E3 2019 presentation, it is clear that the 3DS is dying, if it can not already considered dead.

Of the 56 games recently released on Switch according to Nintendo’s website, only a single game–Sketchy Snowboarding–launched on 3DS, and there are zero upcoming titles in this category.

Naturally, if Nintendo does decide to officially kill the 3DS, nobody would call foul. It was released over eight years ago and with an install base of 75 million units, the company has seen quite a bit of success from the product line.

But even with those numbers, the Switch pulls focus away from a grossly-underpowered handheld that doesn’t offer much in the way of unique experiences that can’t be had on Switch. Even some of Nintendo’s recent games are not playable in 3D because they’ve just decided to omit the feature entirely.

So we just ask: Nintendo, send the 3DS off properly. Let us know that you’ve ceased production and what your plans are for bringing some of those games to Switch, because you know you’re already porting everything to the Switch anyway.

Nintendo Switch Lite may just have been the final nail in the 3DS coffin.