Forget the Switch, Where are all of the 3DSes?

Avatar image for jcracken
#1 Posted by jcracken (39 posts) -

Many of you might remember Jeff talking about how the 3DS was hard to find during the last holiday season. Well, as a followup, here's the retail situation for the 3DS a week or two after the Nintendo Switch, based off of my search for a non-XL new 3DS:

  • Online (Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Gamestop): Not in stock, except for 2DSes at Gamestop. The sites that support it (Amazon, Walmart) have third parties selling every SKU at a not-insignificant markup.
  • Various Walmarts in Phoenix, AZ area: No new 3DSes, but like clockwork every store had exactly one 2DS on sale.
  • Various Walmarts in Tucson, AZ (two hours south of Phx): One red new 3DS XL at one store, one Galaxy Style at another (since sold)
  • Various Targets in Phoenix area: sold out
  • Target in Tucson: sold out

It seems NoA quietly stopped shipments for the 3DS in order to make way for the Switch. Ignoring their pledge to keep supporting it (c'mon we all knew the truth about that), this arguably makes the 3DS (specifically the non-XL new 3DS, since that was always de-emphasized in the US) harder to find than even the Switch. More shipments of the Switch in a week or two will alleviate some of its demand, but we may never get another shipment of the 3DS again.

Side-note: Because of the markup on US units sold by third parties, it's actually cheaper in most instances to import a Japanese console and then mod it to be US region.

Avatar image for the47ronin
#2 Posted by the47ronin (78 posts) -

Pretty sure Nintendo is not restocking. Yes they say the 3DS will be supported, but its all about the Switch now.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#3 Posted by BigSocrates (1463 posts) -

It's likely that manufacturing has switched to the Switch for now, and that is causing short term shortages. I doubt the 3DS is truly discontinued, considering what a success it has been and that the Switch is not appropriate for children (since it's $300, far too delicate for a child, and too big to carry in a pocket.) Nintendo does use the manipulation of availability of hardware to drive long term demand, but they are also, frankly, bad at managing their supply chain. They will probably fix the problem within a few months, possibly with a new SKU of some sort.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#4 Edited by ripelivejam (11236 posts) -

i have one that i shoved loose into my backpack a few days ago for some reason (probably laziness). though i might as well throw it in the trash now that i have a switch.

honestly i'd kinda prefer they go all in on the switch, but i am biased being an owner. i know it must suck for those who haven't bought in yet or are interested in a nintendo system but want something cheaper with a bigger library.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#5 Posted by BigSocrates (1463 posts) -

though i might as well throw it in the trash now that i have a switch.

Does your Switch have an app that lets you play the huge 3DS library on it? I just wrote a long post praising the Switch, I really like it, but the 3DS isn't ready for the junkpile just yet.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#6 Posted by ripelivejam (11236 posts) -

@bigsocrates: twas being facetious. i love my 3ds to death (i.e. i would die for it. probably still being facetious...)

Avatar image for jcracken
#7 Posted by jcracken (39 posts) -

@ripelivejam: I just want a device that I can use to catch up on the DS and 3DS games I missed (had a DS lite but stopped paying attention it years ago and think it died? don't remember). Like cool Nintendo that you want me to buy a Switch but a. I can't buy that either and b. a Switch won't let me experience your older stuff. And even if they add support through emulation or something, it wouldn't be the same--IMHO trying to recreate the DS or 3DS, devices that specifically relied on two screens in a clamshell position, just doesn't work unless you have the same form factor.

Avatar image for neurogia
#8 Posted by Neurogia (60 posts) -

@jcracken: Yes, I agree. There's no elegant way for the Switch to replace the 3ds because of its reversal to a single screen.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
#9 Posted by BigSocrates (1463 posts) -

@neurogia: the Switch has a large screen. It could just divide its larger screen into top and bottom halves and do a decent job emulating the 2DS (which is also actually one screen with a plastic divider.)

It would need borders to match aspect ratio but because the Switch screen is bigger it would still be readable.

Avatar image for quantris
#10 Posted by Quantris (933 posts) -

You might have some luck getting a refurb unit directly from Nintendo. But yeah, I'm glad I was lucky enough to grab one of the Black Friday specials, since I'd been holding out on getting a "new" 3DS (and my brother gets the 3DS XL I had been using, so win-win)

Avatar image for andythemez
#11 Posted by andythemeZ (119 posts) -

Profit margins on Switch must be so much higher, its roughly twice the price, made from seemingly way cheaper plastics, and Zelda attach rate must be insane. Nintendo must have realized that even when producing two great systems, people would only justify buying one. Cause Switch is almost identical to Wii U, and if theyre not making 3DSes and losing those profits, they must think the Wii U wouldve sold as well as PS4/XB1 if only the DS didnt exist, and that the Switch will sell as many units as a "slim" Wii U and "New 3DS _____ (micro?)" would have simultaneously.

Avatar image for jcracken
#12 Posted by jcracken (39 posts) -

I ended up importing a model from Japan through an Ebay seller. Even after shipping it was only $205 so it was far cheaper than buying from a reseller in the states, and I should be able to mod it to be region-free. Don't see how NoA won out at all here.

Avatar image for pyrodactyl
#13 Posted by pyrodactyl (3743 posts) -

I'm glad to see they have some confidance in the Switch. You really couldn't tell looking at the software lineup for the next 8 months

Avatar image for generic_username
#14 Edited by Generic_username (888 posts) -

Fire Emblem Echoes comes out next month; I'm sure that bare minimum there'll be a special edition 3DS XL released around then. Also, just a feeling, but I bet the next Pokemon games, either the Sun/Moon "sequels" or a 4th gen remake, will be 3DS titles. Maybe they just had to slow production temporarily for this launch, but there are still a few major titles coming to the 3DS, so I would think they'd keep making them for at least a little longer.

Avatar image for shig
#15 Posted by Shig (16 posts) -

Nintendo is awful at keeping things stocked, just keep checking back. They've still got some titles dropping on the 3DS that are likely to be pretty popular, so I wouldn't go off the deep end and start worrying that they're going to stop supporting the platform just yet.

Avatar image for sloppydetective
#16 Posted by SloppyDetective (1104 posts) -

I've thought about getting a refurb bundle from Gamestop--it comes with 3 games. The 3ds/ds has a huge library of games I never played. But getting the Switch is really tempting. Might end up with both eventually.

Avatar image for tatsuyarr
#17 Edited by Tatsuyarr (156 posts) -

Come to Europe, we have almost every model still available (in France anyway), from 90 euros 2DS to 250 euros 3DS XL limited editions. So no problem for finding one over here.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.