Nintendo 3DS Games Are Still Being Discovered By New Players - Game Design Gazette

Thursday 6 May 2021

Nintendo 3DS Games Are Still Being Discovered By New Players

While Nintendo no longer manufactures its Nintendo 3DS devices, games developed for the 3DS family are still finding buyers.

In 2019, Nintendo announced that it had discontinued development of first-party software for the 3DS, and that the company's development efforts were squarely focused on the newer Nintendo Switch. Then, a year later, it announced that it had discontinued production of 3DS hardware as well, bringing the platform's 9-and-a-half year tenure to an end.

Still, the Nintendo 3DS is home to a vast library of games, and the most popular of these were still being discovered by new players in late 2020 and early 2021, whether they were budget-conscious consumers that don't need the latest and greatest in gaming, or simply collectors that wanted to round out their libraries.

Here's a look at how the most popular 3DS games sold during the period of September 2020 - Mar 2021: 

GameSep 2020 - Mar 2021Life-to-Date Sales
Animal Crossing: New Leaf110,00012.93 million
Pokémon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon90,0008.98 million
Pokémon Sun/Moon50,00016.25 million
Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire50,00014.39 million
Pokémon X/Y40,00016.53 million
Super Mario 3D Land40,00012.81 million
Tomodachi Life30,0006.66 million
Mario Kart 720,00018.94 million
New Super Mario Bros. 210,00013.38 million
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS10,0009.62 million

During the same six-month period, Nintendo reported it sold 1.36 million units of 3DS software, which means the ten games above accounted for 33% of total 3DS software sales. 

A quick look at historical data for the Nintendo 3DS eShop charts tells us what else contributed to that 1.36 million figure. For starters, Pokémon Crystal (which only costs $10) has consistently been the top-selling digital game on the 3DS for several months in a row, with other classic Pokémon games also holding up very well. Meanwhile, more niche but similarly meaty games that have been permanently discounted, like Shin Megami Tensei IV ($20), show up frequently in the top-10 best-sellers list as well.

The one thing most of these games have in common is that equivalents or successors for most of them have already been announced been for the Nintendo Switch. The one exception to this rule is Tomodachi Life, for which Nintendo has not yet announced plans.