The Nintendo 3DS is something of an odd duck in Nintendo's current line-up of systems. There's no denying the Nintendo Switch has taken full focus from both the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS, but the little handheld refuses to die a solitary death. Detective Pikachu debuted on the system this year and there are a handful of game that continue to release for it. In fact, Nintendo of Japan just announced three new 2DS XL systems for Japan and Europe that will debut later this year.
Nintendo's new president Shuntaro Furukawa has stated that he believes there is still some life in the Nintendo 3DS family of systems and Reggie seems to agree with that. In a recent interview with Game Informer magazine, Reggie stated that the Nintendo 3DS is absolutely still a big focus for the company. In fact, he described it as a gateway system for younger kids before they get their first Nintendo Switch.
"Here in the U.S., through May, it’s up 10 percent year on year. It continues to be a vibrant system. The reasons are, for the target audience we are going after – parents with kids – we see this as a great first device for that five, six, seven, and eight-year-old. The portability, the ability for the hardware to take damage and survive the drop test, over a thousand games available with new ones coming, that’s what’s driving the performance. It becomes a gateway for these kids that turn 10, 11, and 12 to then jump on to Nintendo Switch. It’s a strategy that’s working, and we’re going to continue to support that platform. We have more games coming, and certainly into 2019, we see it as a key part of our business."
That sentiment seems to mirror Nintendo's dedication to the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, since they are still debuting new models well into the handheld's eight year life span. But it makes sense as a strategy to get young gamers hooked on a portable system, since the Switch is a natural progression from the Nintendo 3DS. Nintendo's strategy of selling more than one Switch per household also seems to be paying off, as Reggie says second dock sales in the US are up.
This combined with Furukawa's comments about the potential of a 3DS successor seems to indicate that if anything, hardware revisions are the continued future of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.
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