Nintendo has announced that production of the New 3DS has ended in Japan. An update on the official Nintendo Japan website indicates that white, black, and limited edition models of the base New 3DS are no longer being manufactured. The 2DS, New 2DS XL, and New 3DS XL pages do not display the same message.
It is unclear what this means for the western 3DS lineup. The Nintendo US Store currently has no standard New 3DS systems listed, while the UK Store only shows remaining stock of limited edition bundles. GameSpot has contacted Nintendo for comment.
The news comes on the same day Nintendo launched another addition to the 3DS family of systems in Japan. The New 2DS XL came out today, July 13, over there and is already available in Australia and New Zealand. It’s coming to the US and Europe on July 28, priced at US $ 150 / £130 / AU $ 200.
It’s possible that Nintendo is beginning to phase out the standard New 3DS model in favor of a three-option system incorporating the 2DS, New 2DS XL, and New 3DS XL. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime recently explained the New 2DS XL is designed to exist “between” the New 3DS XL and the standard 2DS.
“The Nintendo 2DS really focused on that entry level gamer,” he said. “The four-, five-, six-year old that is just getting into gaming, but wants to play Mario Kart, wants to have a Super Mario Bros. experience, wants to play Pokemon. And we feel with Nintendo 3DS XL at $ 199 that it’s a fully-featured product, that it is, if you will, the Cadillac of handheld gaming. And then we heard from consumers, ‘Boy, I wish there was something in between.'”
The platform holder already ended production of the standard, non-New 3DS XL in Japan in 2014.
Of course, Nintendo also launched the Switch in March this year. Over 900,000 units were sold in its first month in the US, contributing to around 2.74 million units shipped worldwide in the same month. Supply shortages continue to be an issue for the Switch, and it seems likely that sales would be even higher were it not for that. Retailer GameStop has suggested that could be a problem for the entire year, and Nintendo of Japan recently apologized for the situation.