In a recent interview with Kotaku, Reggie says that he hopes Nintendo will continue to sell the 3DS for 4 more years. That sounds nuts, and it is. But of these 4 years, how much longer can Nintendo keep the 3DS going. Once again, they still stick to the claim that the 3DS will continue to be supported in 2019 and that new software will be released for it. However, use the term "support" very loosely here. Of the 4 3DS games shown in September's Direct this year, only one new game was announced, Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, a port of an 8 year old Wii game. This past year saw Nintendo slowly beginning to phase the system out. It's release slate has been slowing to a crawl, advertising is sparse and only promotes older titles, it was a complete no-show at E3 this year, 2 of its games were ported to Switch, its segments in Nintendo Directs are getting shorter and shorter, and this year's Nintendo Holiday Mall Tours have it regulated to a small, barely-acknowledged, kiosk of a Switch dominated event, even hilariously going as far as to place a Switch in Handheld mode next to the 3 current models as a "fourth" handheld option, despite Nintendo insisting the Switch isn't a successor previously. Yeah, real subtle guys.
Nintendo can say the 3DS will co-exist with the Switch all they want, but in the end, it's the consumers who'll be the judge of that. Right now sales have plummeted everywhere both in hardware and software, as more people move over to the Switch. Surprisingly however, hardware sales have still been pretty decent in North America all things considered, probably because it's so cheap along with its massive library. But that may change come Black Friday. The One-Two Punch of Pokemon Let's Go! and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will surely have the eyeballs of gamers and parents with kids. And without a major release for this Holiday, the 3DS is going to have a tough time justifying itself in post-Switch world. I'd say we're looking at, at least one more year of first party release for the 3DS before Nintendo pulls the plug in 2020. 2019 is when the Switch will really start feeling like a Nintendo handheld as all the 3DS series such as Fire Emblem, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, and Luigi's Mansion will all have sequels on Switch that can be played on the go AND on a TV, and that's not even talking about whatever else Nintendo has lined up in 2019. 3DS will have a few more first party games, but don't expect anything cool. We'll see Mario and Luigi, Kirby, the long awaited Yokai Watch 3, and maybe another port, but everything else will be Switch and Mobile in 2019.