Skip to main content

Nintendo 3DS nowhere to be seen at E3 2019, but apparently not yet dead

The Nintendo 3DS will live on, even if the handheld console was entirely overshadowed by the Nintendo Switch at E3 2019.

New Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser — who landed the top job in April, when beloved CEO Reggie Fils-Aime retired — reiterated that the company will continue to support the 3DS. In an interview with Time, Boswer said the focus at E3 2019 was on the Nintendo Switch, and that the company had no new Nintendo 3DS games to announce at the annual video game event. But that doesn’t mean Nintendo is pulling the plug on the handheld console.

The Nintendo 3DS business “continues to do quite well,” Bowser said, stating that as long as there is consumer demand, the company will continue supporting the device. Retailers also continue to sell hardware and software for the 3DS system, likely sharing Bowser’s sentiment that the console is “a great entry point for young gamers.”

“A 3DS at $79 with a game included is a great value proposition for a young gamer coming into the Nintendo ecosystem,” said Bowser.

Nintendo’s renewal of its commitment to the 3DS echoes the company’s stance from last year’s E3, when then-president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime said that the company has no plans of phasing out the handheld console.

Fils-Aime said at the time that new games were coming to the handheld console, but in a financial briefing by the company in April, the device was not even mentioned, with no new game announcements. A spokesperson clarified that there were no first-party games in the pipeline for the 3DS, with software coming instead from third-party publishers.

Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn was the last first-party game launched for the handheld console, and the last significant release was Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth. It remains to be seen how long interest in the console will hold, when there is so far nothing laid out for its future.

The Nintendo 3DS has an extensive collection of knockout games, of course, reason enough for both new and old players to keep picking up the console. The Nintendo Switch may have the spotlight, but it looks like the 3DS is not sinking into the shadows, at least for now.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
The future of E3 is in question again as ESA reportedly seeks a 2025 reinvention
E3 logo

The future of the once popular video game industry expo E3 is once again in question as the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) ended its partnership with ReedPop, the company that was helping it revitalize the event.

ReedPop is the company that runs events like PAX, EGX, and C2E2, and the ESA had brought them on board to help reimagine the in-person experience at E3. This was supposed to start with E3 2023, but it ended up being canceled a couple of months before it was supposed to take place. Clearly, the ReedPop and ESA partnership wasn't working well, so both companies have decided to move on. ESA CEO and president Stanley Pierre-Louis provided the following statement on the matter to GamesIndustry.biz.
"We appreciate ReedPop’s partnership over the past 14 months and support their ongoing efforts to bring industry and fans together through their various events. While the reach of E3 remains unmatched in our industry, we are continuing to explore how we can evolve it to best serve the video game industry and are evaluating every aspect of the event, from format to location. We are committed to our role as a convenor for the industry and look forward to sharing news about E3 in the coming months."
This seems to confirm a claim from the Los Angeles City Tourism Commission from earlier in the year that plans for E3 2024 and E3 2025 at the Los Angeles Convention Center had been canceled. That said, Pierre-Louis' statement and the GamesIndustry.biz report indicate that E3 2024 and E3 2025 aren't canceled outright.
GamesIndustry.biz notes that it's still possible for the event to take place in 2024 -- just not at the Los Angeles Convention Center -- and claims that the ESA is "working on a complete reinvention of the E3 show for 2025." We'll just have to wait and see if those plans actually come to fruition, though, as E3 has struggled to return to its former glory since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more
ESA denies E3 2024 and 2025 have been canceled, despite LA tourism board’s claims
E3 logo

There are conflicting reports over whether or not E3 2024 and E3 2025 will take place. A new document from the Los Angeles City Tourism Commission claims that both E3 2024 and E3 2025 have been canceled, but a spokesperson for the Entertainment Software Association claims no final decision has been made yet.

For over 20 years, the ESA held an event called E3 each June, where companies from around the video game industry would come together and show off their upcoming games. It got canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and the ESA took 2022 off after a rough digital-only show in 2021. The expo was set to return in 2023, but was canceled in March after Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and other game companies pulled out of the event. E3's future was put into question after that, and now it looks like it might not be coming back for the foreseeable future.

Read more
With E3 2023 gone, other gaming events need to step up
A purple E3 logo floats in the air.

Despite how inevitable the complete downfall of E3 felt over the past several years, E3 2023’s official cancellation still strings as it’s a significant loss for the game industry. For gamers, press, and developers, the show served multiple purposes that digital livestreams and scattered publisher-specific events don't currently replicate. In lieu of E3’s cancelation this year, and potentially forever, it’s time for other gaming events to step up and help push the video game industry forward.
Why we lost E3
I’m lucky enough to have the experience of attending three E3 shows across 2017, 2018, and 2019 and many publisher-run events focused on specific games or tighter game lineups. In its final years, E3 felt like the perfect middle ground to the gamer-focused PAX and industry-focused GDC, where people from all walks and sides of the video game industry could come together, see what’s coming in the future, and share their love for games.

It also felt more freeing than publisher-run events, as I discovered and experienced games of all sizes that I may not have otherwise and got to meet many people from every angle of the game industry. Apparently, the Entertainment Software Association struggled to convince enough people that this style of expo was important four years after the last physical event.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Entertainment Software Association president Stanley Pierre-Louis blamed E3 2023’s cancellation on the Covid-19 pandemic, “economic headwinds” due to the current recession that impacted marketing budgets, and the fact that “companies are starting to experiment with how to find the right balance between in-person events and digital marketing opportunities.”
The first two are understandable and have impacted a lot of physical events over the past couple of years. Still, the last reason speaks to a bit more worrying of a shift for those looking to network, get attention from the press, get a broader look at the industry’s future, or even pitch a game.
What we lose
Events are a great way for indies to get unexpected and much-needed attention from players and the press; look at the chance encounter that got one of our team’s freelancers hooked on Homeseek at PAX East. Now, indies will have to hope to gain attention at those more indie-focused events like PAX or be cherry-picked to be featured in a more prominent company’s showcasing. There’s also the networking and pitch factor to it.

Read more