Nintendo’s announcement today of the Switch Lite has a few 3DS owners reeling. The new handheld-only Switch model will be price at $199, which puts it very close to the highest-end model of the 3DS/2DS family at $150. Despite the small price difference and the fact that the Switch Lite is essentially the latest member of the Nintendo handheld lineage, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser confirmed to The Verge that it will not completely replace the 3DS/2DS family just yet.
Time is ticking
Bowser’s statement on the matter reads: “We’ll continue to support our 3DS family of systems as long as there is demand.” So, the 3DS will continue to trudge along for the time being, though it’s still becoming increasingly clear that this won’t last for that much longer. If you visit Nintendo of America’s site to buy a 3DS, only the 2DS systems are displayed. Even typing “New 3DS XL” on Amazon shows that most models are being sold used. Thus, time really is limited for the aging platform. New retail releases are extremely infrequent, and the vast majority of new indie games are skipping it. So, while Nintendo isn’t officially shutting the whole 3DS platform down, it will be extremely surprising if it’s still truly active by 2020.