One of the big questions surrounding Nintendo after the Nintendo Switch was announced, was what would happen to the company's other handheld systems? Well, it appears we now have an answer to that question and what it will mean for those who want to get their hands on one.
According to Polygon the Japanese version of the New Nintendo 3DS will cease production. This was first revealed over on the official Nintendo of Japan website. The New Nintendo 3DS comes in two different form factors, the New Nintendo 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS XL. Polygon is reporting that only the first iteration is ceasing production in the land of the rising sun.
The New Nintendo 3DS first made its debut in the fall of 2014 in Japan, and just three years later the system is now being halted on the production side.
Eurogamer is also reporting that production for the New Nintendo 3DS is also being stopped in the PAL regions in Europe, which will inevitably bring an end to the availability of the system in European territories.
According to a representative from Nintendo, this will not affect the New Nintendo 2DS XL or the New Nintendo 3DS XL. In fact, according to the representative, the New Nintendo 3DS vanilla version was only available in limited quantities and was supposed to be sold only as a special offering, telling Polygon...
This sort of answers the question about whether or not Nintendo is going to continue to allow the Nintendo 3DS to exist alongside the Switch. The answer is definitely an emphatic "Yes!" but at the same time, the company also seems to be positioning the products to ensure that the older systems are taken out of the production pipeline and only the newer systems remain.
It definitely makes sense given that the New Nintendo 3DS XL is larger and offers the same power upgrade over the original 3DS.
Nintendo is also positioning the New Nintendo 2DS XL as an option for those who don't want the autostereoscopic 3D capabilities presented in the 3DS version.
It still seems to be a ways off before Nintendo actually phases out the handheld offerings for good, despite the fact that some see the Nintendo Switch encroaching on that market while also offering gamers console-quality content as well.
It's likely that the dedicated Nintendo handhelds could be used entirely for the lower end of the market, offering gamers a cheap way to play Nintendo's exclusives, such as Kirby, Mario and Pokemon, without having to commit to the $299.99 purchase of a Nintendo Switch. Either way, the vanilla New Nintendo 3DS is being phased out of the marketplace and will be replaced with the New Nintendo 3DS XL and New Nintendo 2DS XL.