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SYFY WIRE Nintendo

Game over: Nintendo discontinues 3DS console line after almost a decade

By Jacob Oller
nintendo 3ds

Another 3D experiment is over. Nintendo's latest handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS, has been discontinued after nearly a decade and over 75M units sold. While the Nintendo Switch offers the ability to "switch" back and forth between a stationary and handheld experience, the 3DS (Nintendo's beefy and high-tech follow-up to its unique dual-screened DS line) introduced plenty of new features that would become staples of the Nintendo experience, like the Virtual Console and online shop, and a few that wouldn't — like its unique glasses-less 3D.

Nintendo announced it was ending production on the line of consoles (which include the base 3DS; cheaper, non-3D 2DS, behemoth 3DS XL; and the "New" versions of each) after the line originally launched in America all the way back in March 2011.

"Please note: The manufacturing of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems has ended," the website reads. With its impressive sales figures, the 3DS is Nintendo's 5th best-selling console, behind the likes of the original DS, Game Boy, Wii, and Game Boy Advance.

The Nintendo 3DS was the home of best-sellers and franchise favorites like Animal Crossing: New LeafNew Super Mario Bros. 2Mario Kart 7, and Pokémon Sun and Moon, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and X and Y.

The console had so many versions because Nintendo needed to perfect a console that intitially turned off gamers with a high price point and an uncomfortable new dimension — basically the same reasons 3D movies have their detractors. But the company obviously figured it out eventually, and the 3DS ends its run as one of the most successful consoles in history — though not quite as high as the company's prior handhelds. For the sake of comparison, Nintendo sold 100 million GameBoys, 81 million GameBoy Advance consoles, and more than 149 million Nintendo DS consoles.

With production discontinued, the only way people will be able to buy a 3DS in the coming months and years will be secondhand — so start browsing now if gaming nostalgia is a priority!