Nintendo has officially confirmed that it has ended production of the New Nintendo 3DS handheld models worldwide.
Japan was the first territory to close shop last week, followed by confirmation that the hardware is shuttering its doors for Europe as well. While the announcement made no mention of North America, the New Nintendo 3DS was mostly on sale in the region through special bundles and promotions. Hence, customers should not be affected by the discontinuation as the model in question was already being sold in limited quantities.
The New Nintendo 3DS came in two versions: the New Nintendo 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS XL. The basic smaller version, featuring changeable face-plates and colored buttons, is the one that has been discontinued. The larger version, featuring the same capabilities, will remain on sale. However, it is also nearing the end of its production cycle.
The announcement of discontinuation arrives just before the release of the New Nintendo 2DS XL, a revision of the 3D-free Nintendo 2DS handheld. It borrows the clam-shell design from the New 3DS and is pretty much the same except for the 3D element and face-plate options.
There is still life in the 3DS handheld devices, with a number of games inbound. The hardware remains as a popular purchase for customers in Japan and is always topping the weekly/monthly sales charts. Nintendo is likely to shift the models a few places but will not drop support despite the launch of the Switch. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon launch later this year, while Hey! Pikmin arrives in two weeks.