The Legendary: Nintendo 3DS (& DS)
Nearly a decade ago, the Nintendo 3DS hit the shelves in 2011 for $300 CDN. I got it on launch day and honestly, the price felt worth it. Luckily for others who were wiser with their money, it quickly dropped to $250 and eventually $180. I didn’t feel betrayed though, I felt that getting my hands on the 3DS earlier was worth the price I paid. Looking back, I’m still glad. After all, the 3DS is a legendary device.
Whether it be taking it in the car with me during long drives, or playing games at my house while my family watched TV. I was lost in my 3DS playing Mario Kart, Ghost Recon, and whatever other games I could get at the time. But my 3DS experience didn’t really begin until high school a year later. High school wasn’t great for me, but my 3DS helped. I used to work out every day in the weight room but I was probably the only one with a 3DS in my gym bag. After working out during lunch, I’d head to the library where I’d play my 3DS in the back where there were a few couches for people to hang out at. Around this same time, my friends and I began having 2 or 3 Zelda marathons a year. We’d meet a friend’s house with pizza, chips, soda, and play The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time in one sitting. We’d do it overnight and it took about 8 hours, or 7 if we made no errors. When Ocarina of Time was released for the 3DS I began to play it everyday… everyday. I would beat half of it a day, every day. Meaning I would complete the game once every other day. I drilled every detail of that game into my brain and I remember one time I was sick from school I beat the whole game twice in one day. That means I played it for 14 hours straight. I was a psychopath.
But these were great memories for me. Whether it be playing in the library or sitting in an empty school hallway during my spare. Things were good. But they got even better when Super Smash Bros hit the 3DS in 2014. Now the library was crawling with geeks with a 3DS in their bag, ready to join a match at any time. I remember eves dropping on people’s conversation and joining their Smash Bros match without even being their friend, and then they’d look around for who it was and I’d just wave and they’d give me a nod. Back in the day, I was in the top 3 players at the school, so whoever I played with I always dominated. Unless I was up against a certain two players who actually gave me a run for my money. Nonetheless, about 30–50 of us regularly played Smash Bros and Mario Kart in the library.
The 3DS somehow allowed for some rather impressive graphics on such a small device with great battery life. The games on it were great, but to be honest the only games I played much of were Mario Kart, Smash Bros, and the Zelda games on it. Those games brought people together. Nerds, Geeks, Jocks, Gamers, and even the odd Newb who just wanted people to play with. Everyone had a 3DS, it was the foundation of a community that brought people together. It sounds cliche, but true. Myself, and I’m betting thousands or millions of other people have made countless memories with our 3DSs. The 3DS means a road trip with a box of Timmies Tim bits. The 3DS was a Mario Kart tournament. The 3DS was fighting your friends on a whim in Smash Bros. The 3DS was being alone waiting for a Bus to pick you up but the time would fly ’cause you were fighting a boss.
The 3DS was in a word, Amazing.
The 3DS is being abandoned now that the Nintendo Switch has been out for over three years. The Switch does an amazing job of replacing mobile gaming where the 3DS once stood and being a home console. With cell phones having better and better games, young kids or even adults don’t want to buy a small handheld gaming device when a cell phone has several free games, despite being crude. However, buying a Switch that allows you to play console games on the go? Absolutely.
The era of small cheaper mobile gaming consoles seems to be over. That being said, the future is bright. If I was in high school now I can imagine myself and all my friends would be bringing Switches to school instead and it would basically look like a low-key LAN party (but without all the wires and setup required).
Needless to say I will miss the 3DS (and DS) era. My 3DSs and DSs will live on for as long as they work. I will pass them down to my kids and we will have a blast with them. It’s a bittersweet goodbye. Let’s just hope that Nintendo and other companies do a good job making content for the Nintendo Switch, potato laptops, and any other mobile platforms that come along the way in the future. Highschool and many other parts of my life would have been very dull without gaming on the go. My friends would have fewer memories and would not have bonded over much of anything without videogames.
Thank you Nintendo for your amazing mobile consoles, and thank you Playstation for your mobile consoles as well. Even though your mobile gaming attempts will always live in the great shadow of Nintendo, I respect your efforts.