The Nintendo 3DS has been on the brink of retirement for a while now, with sales plummeting and new game releases grinding to a halt as the new, fancy Switch takes over. If we're reading this correctly, which we're pretty sure we are, it would appear that Nintendo has finally admitted to that fact, too.
Ever since the Switch was released, Nintendo has time and time again expressed full commitment to the ageing handheld in official statements. We were glad about this - the 3DS is a cracking little machine with a wonderful library, after all - but its comments have been starting to feel more like a generic template as of late, with pretty little evidence to actually back up its claims.
Today, in the company's six months earnings report, Nintendo has said the following about the console:
"For the Nintendo 3DS family, we will continue to fully utilize the platform's rich software library to appeal to consumers purchasing game hardware for the first time, while continuing to drive sales of evergreen titles that leverage the hardware install base."
Reading between the lines, this suggests that game development won't continue on the 3DS, with Nintendo now opting to promote the console as a way for new gaming fans to be able to pick up a device with lots of great games already available.
It makes sense, too; Nintendo's report notes that during the six months ending 30th September 2019, 3DS hardware sales totalled 0.37 million units (which is a 62.9% decrease year-on-year), while software sales totalled 2.60 million units (a 58.5% decrease year-on-year). Compare that to the Switch - hardware sales reached 6.93 million units (36.7% increase year-on-year), while software sales reached 58.49 million units (38.8% increase year-on-year).
All good things must come to an end, and it looks like the 3DS' time as a current system is officially up.