Nintendo isn’t Giving up on 3DS Just Yet, Promising to ‘Maintain Momentum’

by Kyle Hanson

Nintendo has released their hardware and software sales figures for the last fiscal year, and there’s some surprising info to be found in here. Along with strong sales of the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it looks like the 3DS is still going strong. Sales have actually increased over the last year, most likely due to popular titles like Pokemon Sun & Moon. With this, Nintendo has pledged to try to “maintain the momentum of the platform and to reach a broader audience.”

That “broader audience” that they’re talking about seems to be a focus on female and younger gamers. The 3DS already sells extremely well to children, especially with the 2DS offering, but it seems that Nintendo thinks there’s still potential here. Considering how fragile the Switch is, it makes sense that this audience would still be viable for the 3DS, even with the newer console available.

The decision comes with the 3DS posting a 7% hardware sales increase of the previous year. In total the 3DS sold 7.27 million consoles across its entire family line. Software sales were also strong, selling over 55 million copies of 3DS games, which is a 14% increase over the previous year. 15.44 million of these were just from Pokemon Sun & Moon, which had extremely strong support around the world.

This all compares to the Wii U, which saw massive declines across the board. Hardware sales were down 77% and software plummeted 46%. The Wii U is certainly dead at this point, being totally replaced by the Nintendo Switch.

So it seems that the Nintendo 3DS, as of now, is far from dead. We kind of saw this with the recent Nintendo Direct, where multiple 3DS titles got announced or had their release dates firmly set on the calendar. The future of the platform will likely rest on how well it does this year, without a major Pokemon game to boost it so significantly.

- This article was updated on March 8th, 2018