We love the 3DS here at Nintendo Life – the handheld system is arguably up with there with Nintendo’s very best in terms of its software library – but it’s hard to deny that the now almost-eight-year-old machine is well and truly on the verge of dying, with recent sales dropping by a significant amount across the board.
Sales of the system have been relatively slow in its home region of Japan for some time now, with the Switch naturally becoming the main focus of Nintendo’s efforts and the go-to system for most players. Perhaps the best indicator of the console’s demise is in its software sales, though, with major releases now struggling to make any real dent in the charts.
Recent figures from Famitsu show that Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey, which launched in the region just after Christmas, only managed to shift 9,178 copies in its opening week. For the sake of comparison, the last entry in the series, 2015’s Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, sold 49,266 units in that same period, and even that higher figure was considered to be an underwhelming launch at the time.
Likewise, Luigi’s Mansion has only sold 82,577 copies in just over two months on sale in the region, despite the series’ fame and any potential hype for the upcoming Luigi’s Mansion 3. On its launch day, reports suggested that the game only sold through 20% of its initial shipment; sales tracker Dengeki had predictions set rather higher at 45%.
It appears that, just like many of the readers who comment on our very pages, Nintendo fans as a whole are slowly ditching their 3DS consoles, instead wanting to play all new releases on their shinier Switch. Nintendo has repeatedly said that support for the 3DS will continue, but how long will this realistically go on if sales continue to fall?
We’ll let you mull that conundrum over in the comments below.