Nintendo this week appear the Switch Lite, a handheld-only adaptation of the Switch with a slimmer form. Naturally, the admittance of this new Switch into Nintendo’s stable begs the catechism of what place the admirable 3DS has in the new family. Is the 3DS about to exit the stage. I would say maybe… but the Switch still has a long way to go.

Nintendo’s had a handheld in its stable since the aboriginal Game Boy came out in 1989. The Switch Lite would be the first time the handheld has been accompanying to the company’s home animate in anyway, even though the animate itself can’t be docked in the approved Switch’s port or be affiliated to a TV.

Now that we’ve got a next-gen handheld, I knew it wouldn’t be long before we started seeing annotation about the approaching “death” of the 3DS, as it would seem there’s no longer a place for it in the paradigm. But let’s not count it out just yet — because the Switch still has some aggressive to do before it can alter the incumbent.

And I don’t just mean that in the sense of the Switch having to alter the 3DS in some affected terms — I mean the former is not yet as all-over in the market as the latter is. Nintendo needs its handheld to fill a assertive niche that the accepted Switch doesn’t — it needs to be truly carriageable in order to abduction the same absorption as the animate it’ll be allowance phase out.

For starters, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser told  the 3DS was doing “quite well,” and also added: “Retailers abide to abutment both the accouterments and the software. And as long as there’s customer demand for 3DS, we’ll abide to abutment it.” And all signs point to consumers continuing to abutment it until they have a good reason not to.

The 3DS and its antecedent the DS have sold, combined, about 230 actor accouterments units, according to Nintendo’s public sales figures. That’s a extraordinary number of consoles. The DS alone has outsold the Wii by over 50 actor units, and the Wii is about the poster child for Nintendo’s animate success.

Since the absolution of the Switch, 3DS sales have plummeted — abnormally in Japan. But what you might not know is that the sales in Japan have not absolutely risen at a adequate rate. Granted, Japan is not as broad a market as the Americas or Europe, but in Nintendo sales it usually keeps up with their numbers fairly closely. In the case of the 3DS, it sold like gangbusters in Japan fairly consistently across its lifetime, and I highly doubt Nintendo wants to lose that market — and it’s that market it’ll likely want to win over. It’s not just Japan that’s crazy for the 3DS, but they make a good case study for what the Switch will have to do to alter its predecessor.

The Switch is also not a highly carriageable animate by itself. Oh, it can be agitated and used on the go, but can it be calmly slotted into a pocket or a purse? I’ve tried — and unless y’all have bigger pockets or purses than I do, the answer’s “no.” The slimmer form of the Switch Lite shows Nintendo is attempting to abode this, and hopefully they succeed.

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