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Nintendo detailed new games in a number of series that have previously appeared on the 3DS at its E3 2019 Nintendo Direct, but this year’s presentation offered no new announcements or upcoming games for Nintendo's long-running handheld.
Though Nintendo seems to be giving the system less and less attention with each passing live stream, the company has yet to officially announce that it’s moving on from the 3DS. When asked about the platform’s future in investor calls, Nintendo frequently responds by saying that the 3DS still has a market and serves as an entry point to video games for families with young children.
Last month, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said that “demand for the 3DS is stable” despite a 60.2 percent decrease in hardware sales between its 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years. The decline isn’t anything surprising; though the 3DS has evolved and changed through the years, the platform itself launched back in 2011. While Nintendo hasn't said the 3DS is done, it is making deliberate decisions to ensure that 3DS players that move on from the handheld keep the Nintendo Switch in their sights.
Bringing familiar 3DS games and franchises to the Switch is something the company once again did during this year's E3 presentation. Doing so serves to encourage players to make the jump to the partially portable Switch console and is a major part of Nintendo's plan far into the 3DS’s lifespan. Switch entries for series like Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion, and Super Mario Maker made a significant appearance on this year's E3 Direct and Treehouse streams, all franchises that saw their preceding games land on the 3DS.
Most notably, the next entries in the main Pokemon series are leaving dedicated handhelds behind for good with the upcoming Switch games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Prior to that, mainline Pokemon games had been exclusive to Game Boy and 3DS systems since their start in the mid-1990s.