Nintendo 3DS Has No New Games Coming from First Party
With the rise of the Nintendo Switch over the last two years, the only question remaining for the Nintendo 3DS handheld was how long it would continue seeing support in the form of new games. While the 3DS has reached nearly 70 million units sold, and Nintendo has confirmed it will not discontinue the 3DS in 2019, the lackluster release schedule and attention given to the handheld has dwindled significantly.
A Nintendo spokesperson has confirmed to Kotaku that it has no plans for any new, unannounced first-party titles for the Nintendo 3DS. This statement suggests that, with the system’s current release schedule, Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn was the last first-party game to come to 3DS. With more and more developers pushing games onto the Switch now, it’s likely there won’t be much more on the third-party side either to give 3DS owners reason to come back.
Even before heading into this year, the writing has been on the wall for the 3DS. Back in 2017, Shigeru Ohmori, creative director at Game Freak, told IGN that Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon would be the last mainline games to launch on the 3DS. With the announcement of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield confirmed as Nintendo Switch exclusives for this fall, one of the handheld’s biggest franchises has moved on.
Given Nintendo’s responses and comments over the past couple years, it doesn’t appear the company ever intended to see the Switch as a replacement for the 3DS. It very much felt as if Nintendo had more likely given up on the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U, especially given how many games from the latter system wound up being ported over to Switch anyways.
When taking into account the Nintendo Switch surpassed the N64’s lifetime sales in just over two years, it produced the 2017 Game of the Year in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and has pushed the company to try and get over twenty new games on the eShop every week, it appears the Switch’s success has caused an inevitably premature ending to the Nintendo 3DS era.