A new notice on Nintendo's website and within the Nintendo 3DS platform itself revealed that the YouTube app on the 3DS will no longer be supported as of the end of August. The notice states:
At the end of August, the YouTube app for Nintendo 3DS family systems will be removed from Nintendo eShop as the service is ending. Owners of New Nintendo 3DS XL, New Nintendo 3DS or New Nintendo 2DS XL systems will still be able to watch YouTube through the built-in Internet browser. Thank you for using the YouTube app.The Nintendo Japan website has a similar notice, however, that notice states that the support for the Nintendo 3DS' YouTube app will end on September 3 at 9 a.m.
This announcement coming just after the reveal of the Nintendo Switch Lite seems to lend credence to the idea that the Switch Lite is meant as a replacement for the 3DS going forward, despite Nintendo trying to publically state otherwise. It's hard to imagine why Nintendo would even want to continue the 3DS line when the Switch Lite is handheld focused and a more powerful platform than the 3DS itself. The overlap of having two consoles in the handheld space doesn't make too much sense, and Nintendo themselves don't even list the 3DS on their own site anymore. The Nintendo website only shows the 2DS line when you look for information about the systems. Why would someone buy a 2DS XL when they could get the Switch Lite for around $50 more, and get all the latest games, including the upcoming new Pokémon Sword and Shield games?
Whether or not Nintendo will publically admit that the Switch Lite seems designed to be a replacement for the 3DS and 2DS lines remains to be seen, but unless they announce the next generations for those lines people will continue to see the Switch Lite as the replacement regardless of what they say. The market has already moved on, with sales for the 3DS family of consoles decreasing to around 200k copies, a significant decrease compared to only 2018 in the first quarter of 2019.
What do you think the next step for the 3DS and 2DS lines will be if Nintendo stays true to its word and continues to support them? Let us know in the comments below!