At this year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), the world’s largest video and computer game event, Nintendo’s presentation reportedly lacked shock value, and had one little scare: the absence of the popular portable 3DS console, first released in 2011, made fans worry that the company planned on edging it out.
Nintendo’s video presentation focused on its Switch console’s edition of “Super Smash Bros.” and other upcoming games for its new, and very popular, hybrid console. The portable 3DS, however, was nowhere to be seen.
As this chart from Statista shows, that wouldn’t be a wise business move on Nintendo’s part. The steady sales growth of the portable consoles (3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, and 2DS XL) has led to more than 70 million units sold and more than triple the amount of software sales than its successor. The Switch might have seen immediate and overwhelming popularity, but the 3DS family has proven dependable through the company’s lowest profit years in the last decade.
President and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed to Bloomberg that the company has no intention of nixing the 3DS or the 2DS, because of the critical hole these consoles fill in Nintendo’s customer base. Fils-Aime said the affordability of the consoles is what gets kids and families into video games in the first place, making them more long-term customers.
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