Nintendo has just subtly announced that they will cease production of the new Nintendo 3DS in Japan. Production of all variations, including special editions, have finished, and are unlikely to return. However, the New 2DS, New 2DS XL, and New 3DS XL have not had similar messages.
On the official Japanese website for the New Nintendo 3DS it simply states that "production of all models is ended." That means in Japan if you want a regular New Nintendo 3DS you'd better hurry, because now they're in a limited supply. This is every version too, every color and special edition is no longer being made in Japan. The rest of the world will most likely follow very shortly.
Japan is huge on gaming on the move. For many people it is more practical to get a mobile system like a New 3DS than a console that has to stay at home. So if they're ending production in one of the biggest markets for it, there must be a bigger plan. Honestly, it's doubtful that Nintendo would want the Switch to replace their handheld empire, which is one reason they may shut down production. A much more likely reason is to narrow their product line. Making a product is expensive, and being able to change entire factories from making New 3DS systems to something else, like perhaps mini SNES, or Switchs. The DS system is one of the biggest money makers for Nintendo, and they probably won't ever get rid of it.
What do you think? Is this just Nintendo culling their handheld systems so that they can increase production of other ones? Perhaps you think the Switch really is taking over their mobile market? Maybe you think there is some other, more nefarious scheme going on? Well, whatever your thoughts, feel free to let me know. I can be contacted on Twitter @spencerhavens.