The official Japanese Nintendo 3DS website has quietly announced a major update. At the bottom of the page, a bolded box states that the production of the main body of the Nintendo 3DS has been discontinued.
This information was first discovered from a Japanese news website, Gamestalk, that investigated further. The site attempted to look into previous site updates, but couldn’t find the notice until sometime around September 15.
Unfortunately, this means that the production of new 3DS models has ended, but there was no information about the end of the 2DS system. For now, the only major handheld that Nintendo continues to produce is the Switch. Even the Switch had problems staying in stock because of the issues surrounding some of its manufacturing plants pausing production due to COVID-19. The Switch became difficult to find in Japan, and second-hand retailers were selling the systems at an inflated price.
The Japanese website also did not mention if the company would stop accepting repairs for the 3DS family of systems. It’s unknown why the system was put out of production, but the company may still be willing to do repairs. This differs from the WiiU, which is not only out of production, but Nintendo is not accepting new repairs for the console or accessories due to the difficulty of accessing repair parts.
The Nintendo Japan Support website no longer has the Wii listed, but the WiiU can still be sent in for repairs. The 3DS is also listed on the page beneath the Nintendo Switch. The online request form is also available with no notices, other than the standard COVID-19 warning.
Nintendo did place a notice to customers regarding the acceptance of the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite for repairs. There is currently a delay, but Joy-Cons and other peripherals will still be returned within 10-14 days, which is the standard timeframe.
The Nintendo 3DS was announced in March 2010 but made its debut during E3 2010. The release followed the success of the Nintendo DS and was backwards compatible. Players could use various features online, including streaming video, using an internet browser, and using the Nintendo eShop for digitally downloaded games.
After the successful launch of the 3DS, Nintendo later released a larger size as the 3DS XL. Later, the company launched the 2DS, which removed the 3D functions and was suitable for younger players.
According to a Nintendo earnings release, as of March 2020, the 3DS family of consoles has sold 75.77 million units. The primary focus of the company appears to be on the Nintendo Switch. Some game developers and publishers are still releasing games for the Wii and 3DS so that users will continue to have more options, but that number is becoming even smaller.
Nintendo has now ceased production of the 3DS family of handheld consoles.