NewsNintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS Market Was Still Alive in 2019


While the Nintendo Switch has been a major success over the past three years, the Nintendo 3DS also played an important role in the videogame market in 2019. Its low price-point, smaller size, and durability made the 3DS an attractive proposition for the market that wasn’t prepared to upgrade to a Switch, or is too young for one.

While the Nintendo 3DS/2DS only sold 870,000 units over the past calendar year, it’s in its software sales that one sees why Nintendo has kept pushing the device onto store shelves. Here’s how some of the Nintendo 3DS’s evergreen games sold in 2019:

Mario Kart 7 – 570,000 units
New Super Mario Bros. 2 – 240,000 units
Super Mario 3D Land – 260,000 units
Animal Crossing: New Leaf – 350,000 units
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS – 120,000 units
Tomodachi Life – 150,000 units

Most of these games already have a successor on the Switch but their 3DS counterparts are still moving copies. In 2019, the Nintendo 3DS sold a total of 6.25 million units of software (including the ever-popular Pokémon games). By the end of its lifecycle the 3DS will have sold more software than the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo 64, and SNES.

That’s quite remarkable for a device that came out 8 years ago in an incredibly challenging market for portable game machines. Going forward, though, Nintendo intends for the Nintendo Switch Lite to take the place of the 3DS as a cheaper and more casual-friendly games machine, which means 2020 will likely be the 3DS’s last year on the market.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.