Nintendo has decided to call off the production of its small, flip-top, 3D handhelds in Japan, according to a message on Nintendo’s Japanese website. The message includes the fact that it will continue with the New Nintendo 3DS XL (‘LL’ in Japan) model. The existing models are New 3DS XL, 2DS and 2DS XL/LL.
It is not clear if Nintendo will shut down production only in Japan or in the rest of the world, but Nintendo of Europe has confirmed to Eurogamer that this market will follow suit after Japan.
Nintendo of America territories will not be affected, according to a statement issued to Polygon:
“This announcement does not affect Nintendo of America territories, as the model in question was only sold in limited quantities as special offerings,” a representative told us. “There are no changes to the sales status of New Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 2DS or the upcoming New Nintendo 2DS XL, which launches on July 28.”
The decision of winding up the 3DS portables has left Japanese players with a smaller form factor which does not feature stereoscopic 3D. The new Nintendo 3DS XL will continue to be on sale with a glass-free stereoscopic display, but it seems to be replaced by the recently launched Nintendo 2DS XL, excluding 3D feature. The basic version has interchangeable face plates.
In recent years, Nintendo has been reducing its focus on the 3DS line’s stereoscopic 3D capabilities.
In the recent fiscal year, the sale of larger Nintendo 3DS XL was 1.38 million units, and 120,000 units of small New Nintendo 3DS was sold in Japan.
In any case, Nintendo’s latest portable hardware move helps to simply push forward the portable hardware lineup. There are six different options released since the hardware first debuted in 2011. Three options in Japan and four in North America is probably a good number for the time being.
The production was called off just ahead of the release of the new Nintendo 2DS XL.
The decision did not have much impact in American territories as the model was sold in limited quantities.
The source confirms that there is no change in the sales number of New Nintendo 3SD XL and Nintendo 2DS, and estimated timeline for the upcoming one.
The new Nintendo 2DS XL was launched in Australia and New Zealand last month and is set to be launched in North America and Europe on July 28.