Nintendo Continues Supporting The 3DS Beyond 2019
Nintendo is truly on fire right now in virtually all aspects of their brand. The Nintendo Switch is the hottest console on the market right now, and its software is selling like hotcakes. Its mobile initiative is still going strong, with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes continuing to do well long after release. And then, there's the Nintendo 3DS, which turned 7 years old this past February. Despite many feeling that the system should be retired soon, Nintendo has other plans.
The company recently gave out their financial briefings, and in it, they made a statement about the Nintendo 3DS, saying that they intend to release more titles for the system in the years to come:
"In addition to the titles currently on sale, we have announced the coming release of the titles shown here. We are even preparing new software for release in 2019 and beyond."
This is a bold move on many accounts and one that may puzzle many Nintendo gamers. From Nintendo's perspective, this is somewhat understandable, as the 3DS continues to sell, and is nearly 73 million units sold worldwide. Last December was the best sales month for the 3DS in years, showing that there's still interest in the platform. So it's logical that they want to keep it alive as long as possible.
However, with the arrival of the Switch, many feel that the 3DS just doesn't match up. The Switch is very much a portable console, and a true successor to the 3DS and its mobile capabilities. Not to mention, that the system has HD graphics, while the 3DS is beginning to show its age in the graphical department. So the decision to support it not just through 2018, not just 2019, but beyond that, is quite confusing.
Now, it could be that Nintendo just doesn't have an idea on how to replace the 3DS without infringing on what the Switch is doing, which makes sense to a degree. With the Switch doing so well, Nintendo wouldn't dream about messing with it. So maybe the attempt to prolong the life of the 3DS could be to help benefit the Switch even more.
The real question though is whether Nintendo will truly be able to support the handheld for the next few years. At present, 2018 honestly doesn't look that impressive in terms of titles. Many of the big names are ports or "enhancements" of previous titles. Including Mario + Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and Luigi's Mansion. Now, it's true that they could have big games coming to the 3DS this year and next, but it's unclear what they would bring. They've already stated that the Fire Emblem franchise won't have a main title on the 3DS again, the Legend of Zelda is likely going to the Switch, Mario is always an option, but it's tricky, and they've brought Metroid to the system last year. So, which franchises could highlight both this year, next year, and possibly 2020? It looks like we'll just have to trust Nintendo and see where it goes from there.