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Nintendo: The 3DS isn't about to be replaced by the Switch Lite

Nintendo just unveiled the Switch Lite, a more compact version of its flagship Switch that also happens to be a dedicated handheld. So, where does that leave the long-serving 3DS?

Chris Kerr, News Editor

July 10, 2019

1 Min Read

Nintendo just unveiled the Switch Lite, a more compact version of its flagship Switch that also happens to be a dedicated handheld. 

It's an announcement that has many wondering what the company has planned for the enduring 3DS. Does the arrival of a handheld-only Switch mean the flippable handheld is finally being laid to rest? Well, according to Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser, not exactly. 

Speaking to the Verge, Bowser explained Nintendo will "continue to support" its 3DS family of systems as long as there is demand. While that might sound like the 3DS has been given a reprieve for the time being, it's worth pointing out that sales of 3DS systems have been dwindling significantly for some time. 

Since launching back in February 2011, lifetime 3DS sales have topped 75 million units worldwide. The line of handhelds is now over eight years old, however, and sold just 2.55 million units during the past fiscal year -- which is actually around 1.5 million less than Nintendo had initially anticipated.

Despite its continued insistence that the 3DS is still part of its plans, Nintendo also failed to announce anything new for the system during this year's E3 Direct.

To those on the outside then, it might seem like the 3DS' days are finally up, but Nintendo clearly isn't willing to officially call time on the handheld just yet.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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