Nintendo has officially revealed the end of production for the New Nintendo 3DS hardware in Japan. While no announcement was released, the New Nintendo 3DS product page was updated to include a message stating the end of production. That includes base models of the New Nintendo 3DS and its special editions, of which Japan had many. There’s no word yet on whether production of the New Nintendo 3DS will be ending outside of Japan.
The New Nintendo 3DS is the smaller sibling to the New Nintendo 3DS XL, also known as the New Nintendo 3DS LL in Japan. The New Nintendo 3DS LL has not had its production canceled overseas, or at least has not had its product page updated in the same way the standard New Nintendo 3DS has.
Conclusions regarding the New Nintendo 3DS ending production are varied. Some believe that the larger 3DS LL is simply that much more popular than the smaller version, a trend that’s absolutely truth in North America. But Japan has preferred pocket-sized, commute-friendly alternatives for some time now and while that trend may be shifting it’s difficult to believe it shifted enough to end production of the extremely popular hardware line.
There’s a much more likely possibility explaining why Nintendo is ending production on the New Nintendo 3DS — the New Nintendo 2DS XL. The streamlined, clamshell iteration on the 2DS may not be as small as its New Nintendo 3DS predecessor, but it’s absolutely meant as the inheritor of the cheaper, comfortable version the 3DS hardware line-up. Nintendo may have preferred to maintain the New Nintendo 3DS for longer, but saw that these two devices were only competing with each other on the market, which is not unlike what might have happened with the NES Classic.
Japan’s gaming market is much smaller and less demographically diverse, meaning Nintendo can pick up on sales trends and react quickly. Any similar decisions in the West would likely take much more time, so Nintendo can judge if the New Nintendo 2DS XL is successful, if it’s competing directly with the New Nintendo 3DS hardware, and how the New Nintendo 3DS XL’s sales relate, too. That’s a good problem to have with so many SKUs for the 3DS, a system still wildly popular even after its most prolific years.
The New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL remain available outside of Japan.
Source: Nintendo Japan