News Article

3DS Celebrates First Birthday in Europe

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

It's come a long way

Today is a big day for Nintendo's latest bid for continued handheld gaming dominance: the 3DS is one year old in Europe. Its North American anniversary arrives on 27th March, so there will surely be plenty of high-fives and Mario style 'wahoo' whoops coming from the famous old company's regional teams.

It's been a rather dramatic first year for 3DS, certainly not the simple rise to glory and sales heaven that some may have expected. It had a high-profile launch, a painfully slow summer period, a major price cut and an impressive revival courtesy of some exceptional games. The device itself has also evolved since launch day, with Nintendo showing a genuine enthusiasm and willingness to improve the portable with a number of system updates. It's been a truly remarkable year, though one that seems to have finished well.

During the course of this week we'll be naming our favourite 3DS games so far, looking at the successes and failures of the system's first year, and also sharing a number of other articles and opinions about the handheld.

Today, we just want to hear from you. What have you thought of the 3DS' first year? Which periods or events stick out as bad moments for the console, and what system features or games have given you the 'wow' factor? Let us know in the comments below.

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User Comments (82)

Justaguest

#1

Justaguest said:

Cant believe its been a year already. Time flies! It really has been a bad start for 3ds though. I am glad it was revived by some pretty amazing games. I just hope nintendo will be prepared with a great amount of games from beginning when they release Wii U. Happy birthday 3ds^^

Linky_97

#2

Linky_97 said:

Hmmm... I just love the AR, 3D and the Gyro on the system. oh, and its grafphics ar fantastic! And my favourite game is Kid Icarus: Uprising!

Linky_97

#3

Linky_97 said:

Hmmm... I just love the AR, 3D and the Gyro on the system. oh, and its grafphics ar fantastic! And my favourite game is Kid Icarus: Uprising!

Byuu

#5

Byuu said:

Can't spend a day without playing it at least 10 minutes. Joined a StreetPass Party in Paris yesterday and met 200 users. StreetPass function is for me the best feature of the console, far before the 3D.

FonistofCruxis

#6

FonistofCruxis said:

The 3DS may have struggled nthrough the start but now it has many great games with Dead or Alive: dimensions and Mario kart 7 being two of my favourites, and it may not have been made for the system originally but nothing on the system can compare to the masterpiece that is Tales of the Abyss.

Ai64

#7

Ai64 said:

Despite its slow start, it did improve a lot and built up steam. I'm struggled to keep up of playing them all.
Happy birthday 3DS! ^^

Wesker

#8

Wesker said:

I could do with a few more games for it that take advantage of all it's capabilities, not necessarily made by Nintendo. Maybe I expected too much, but I thought that it would take off a whole lot more.

Victoria

#9

Victoria said:

I just love my 3DS. I still play every day, and carry it around whenever I go out. For it's 1st birthday I bought a 2nd charging cradle to use upstairs, and new screen protectors. Only the best for my 3DS :)
My favourite part of the 3DS right now is Letterbox. I have so many nice friends (most of them people here on NintendoLife) that really make it a lot of fun.

cfgk24

#12

cfgk24 said:

Lol, Iwata is a Level 5 Hero on Streetpass Quest - he kicked butt!

How fabulous is Kid Icarus? :) If games are being produced to that standard every time then the 3ds has a very bright future!

I predict Next 3ds will be HD 3ds - but really - please, just a simple mobilephone function for texts and calls and I don't need any stupid iPhone or Android. . . . :)

WaveBoy

#13

WaveBoy said:

Opened my 3DS up 2 days before E3 2011 back in June on a beautiful bright sunny day with Sponge Bob blasting in the background. :p The Aqua Blue/3DS design had my mouth watering, it was just gorgeous looking and it felt fantastic in the hands. I was so thrilled to finally get a glimpse of the S3D effect. It Blew me away the moment i fired up PilotWings and saw my Mii Flying around on a Jet pack. :D I also got SSIV, and Nintendog's + Cats to go along with it but i honestly didn't care too much for either...To my suprise, Pilot Wings took center stage. :p

Then came the GameBoy Virtual console with Super Mario land and Kirby's Dreamland, with Zelda: LA DS on the way and the free ExciteBike:3D Classics download ect ect. But yup, I love my 3DS, but i'll admit i haven't exactly gotten the most out of it like many on here have, while half of the retail games I've played left me dissapointed(Super MOnkey Ball 3D, Nintendog's + Cats, SSFIV to a lesser degree and most recently StarFox 64 3D which i couldnt exactly get into) My headphone input ended up breaking, and I stopped playing my 3DS for almost 3 months after that until finally just caving in and buying a new one all together which i kind of got for free in a wierd way. I still need to play Super Mario 3D Land, LOZ OOT 3D, Super Mario 3D Land and now Kid Icarus: Uprising.

THEN i'll finally feel like I'm up to speed, or have at least gotten a real taste of the 3DS.

chewytapeworm

#14

chewytapeworm said:

My 3ds is 1 year old already!?!? I didn't even get it a present! As if it was a year ago to this day that I took it out from the box it came in when it arrived at my door. Hardly put it down since. Sunrise, sunset...

MAB

#15

MAB said:

3 months ago I got my black 3DS for $190 at an EB games sale in preparation for resi evil revs and since then I have enjoyed many greats like mario 3D land and OOT 3D plus MGS. But the best would be the VC (I absolutely pillaged the Wii VC to the point where my console is worth like 2000 smackaroonies) never owned a GameBoy or GameGear so looking forward to another master purchase of old school shiznit. Big up to ninty, me mate and hope the SUPER WiiTENDO brings the AWESOMENESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

SkywardLink98

#16

SkywardLink98 said:

The 3DS my have struggled at first but now it's got more great games than I (My wallet mainly) can handle!

theJOE

#18

theJOE said:

i just got iwata mii in spot pass, when you get a puzzle piece off him you can choose anything since he has all of them :)

pntjr

#19

pntjr said:

Wow, the 3DS. The little console that could. I remember when people called it a failure, and the next Virtual Boy. Well, the 3DS is still here, and more successful than ever.

Slapshot

#20

Slapshot said:

Hey, I just found my misplaced 3DS this morning! It's been missing for about a month now. :)

pastasauce

#21

pastasauce said:

3DS will be a great system this summer when Luigi's mansion 2, Paper Mario, Theatrhythm, and Kingdom hearts come out.o

Sam_Loser2

#23

Sam_Loser2 said:

As embarrassing as it was, I am truly GLaD I got my 3DS early and became an ambassador. Streetpass is amazing, though I rarely tag anyone. The 3D is amazing (most of the time, up to the developers there) One of the highlights of the year was playing though Ocarina of Time for the first time in 3D. The VC is great, allowing me to purchase once retail games for only $4 and <40 blocks. Finally the mere hope and vision of a Fire Emblem on my beloved system has me giddy.

RR529

#24

RR529 said:

I must really say I'm still wowed by the 3D (U.S. Launch buyer and proud ambassador here)! While of course you'll talk about the big games like 3D Land and Uprising, hopefully you take the time to mention some of the hidden gems. Dead or Alive: Dimensions comes to mind here. It hasn't sold nearly as well as I'd hoped, but it's currently the best fighter on 3DS. Unlike SSFIV (which I still enjoy), DOAD was made specifically for 3DS, because of that, it utilizes the system's features better than SF. Everyone I know who has played both almost unanimously view it superior to SF's 3DS outing, and definately a hidden gem.

BTW, Ace Combat; Assault Horizon Legacy also deserves a healthy mention (IMO).

Yosher

#25

Yosher said:

Holy.. a year already?! Well the 3DS had a slow start but now it's probably my most used system!

Sockymon

#26

Sockymon said:

I got a faulty 3DS on Day 1, but Nintendo quickly replaced it. I've come to love playing it now, especially StreetPass enabled games.

Mariokart7fan

#27

Mariokart7fan said:

lets hope it continues to produce quality and fun games in the years to come and doesnt fall because of the Wii U

LAA

#29

LAA said:

Sure has come a long way. You seen all those 3DS games on the eshop... Oh wait... I mean come on, Vita got pretty much the same amount of games on their store on week 1... (SSD, Motorstorm, Escape Plan), and it took 3DS a year.
To be fair, I am happy with my 3DS, (Espicially Kid Icarus right now), and looking forward to much more on the 3DS than the vita (KH3D, Luigis mansion 2, AA vs layton, Layton, AA5, etc.), but 3DS just has barely moved online since last year, so I dont really think 3DS has done anything, just the developers.

Kimiko

#30

Kimiko said:

It's been a year already? That went by pretty quick then.

Most important point for me: There still aren't any Must-Have games out for the 3DS. And so I don't have one yet. Looking over your 'coming soon' list of games, only Fantasy Life looks like it will be a reason to buy a 3DS. Etrian Odyssey IV will be anyway, but that hasn't been announced for not-Japan yet.

One thing I'd like to read about is how far along people are toward making the 3DS region-free. As a European gamer I'm used to importing practically all my games, either from N-America or Japan. It'd be kinda cumbersome to have to buy two or three consoles.

Mahe

#31

Mahe said:

^ Completely agreed. I have a 3DS, and there's very little to play on it. The game selection is just not for me at this point.

LAA

#33

LAA said:

I do think there are some must have games for the 3DS personally. KH3D definately being my main one.
I just dont think 3DS has progressed much as a system and the online hasnt progressed either. Letterbox has pretty much been their only advancement this year, and that could be better if it had instant messaging and you can multi task with other games too with it. I think 3DS needs a redesign too. Not really cause it isnt good enough, my main gripe is the battery. After having a vita and comparing its life to the 3DS, the vita's battery can last me long enough for when I want to switch off anyway. 3DS always blinks at me when I dont wanna switch it off yet and only way they can really conquer it is with a redesign. While they're at it, they might as well have a bigger screen, make Home/Select/Start buttons better, fix that line issue and perhaps add the circle pad pro buttons if possible.

LAA

#37

LAA said:

@siconlolz No it came out on friday, but every year days move up one, and this year is a leap year, which accoutns for two days.

dizzy_boy

#39

dizzy_boy said:

tbh, i`m struggling to find a good reason to spend my money on games for the 3DS really. there isn`t many that i`m interested in, and now that GAME is on the way out, the selection in the shops is now going to be bare minimum, and the deals will be even fewer and far between.
the first few months may have been tough, but the next year or so is going to be hard on alot of games companies if something good doesn`t come along soon.

Emaan

#40

Emaan said:

It started off slowly, but by Christmas 2011 it just blasted off with sales and great games. Now we have Kid Icarus Uprising and the 3DS is just getting started!

Dak_n_Jaxter

#42

Dak_n_Jaxter said:

I've really enjoyed it... LOZ:OOT 3D was probably the best handheld experience i've ever had. A bit disappointed with the overall game selection, but it's still been a lot of fun. I took quite a big break for my Vita and those games, but now i'm back to my 3DS.. as i expected.

Can't wait for Kid to come in the mail.... looks fantastic. I don't ever use the 3D, to me it's a waste, and sometimes a bit nauseating.. It's neat at times, but i would have much rather had them invest in better graphics/screen quality.... and a second pad... haha. But oh well, i still love the thing.

Pichuka97

#43

Pichuka97 said:

It has been a wild ride so far and I cant wait for more surprises from the big N. I hope they do make a new 3DS with a extra circlepad and some other goodies. That next system update cant come sooner. I want it rigt now!

motang

#44

motang said:

By day wise it has been a year since 3DS came out here in the US, but by date wise it will be on Tuesday. Happy 1 year bday 3DS!

Yellowgerbil

#45

Yellowgerbil said:

(Sniff) 3DS we have come so far (sob). But seriously it is an amazing console and because I got my 3DS on the 20 of april, I use it all the time because of the ambassador program. I really hope MH3G comes to the west though. Happy Bday Buddy!

TheGreenSpiny

#46

TheGreenSpiny said:

I bought a 3DS last august, and it's like the gift that keeps on giving. Between the ambassador games, the freebies Nintnedo gave out, and the free games I've been getting from Club Nintendo, there simply isn't enough time in my day to play the 3DS. And that's not to mention the retail releases.

What surprises me the most is how the system keeps growing on me. When I first started playing it, I didn't care much for the 3D effect. Now I can't play games without it. And while the first batch of game I bought were solid (DoA, RE: Mercs, Ghost Recon, Star Fox), the next batch has completely blown me away. MK7 is far better than MK Wii. SM3DL has quickly become my favorite Mario game. RE: Revelations is the RE game I've been waiting forever for. And last but not least, I've finally got around to playing Ocarina of Time 3D, which I found a few months back for half price. I've haven't played that game since I had the original gold cartridge stuck in my N64, and I forgot just how good that game is. It is quickly becoming my favorite handheld game of all time.

LinkaHolic

#47

LinkaHolic said:

Happy Birthday 3DS!! Our love affair started the day the Gamestop guy put one in my hands for me to try and it was love at first sight!! Thank You Nintendo for allowing me to transfer my Ambassador status to my BEAUTIFUL new Legend of Zelda system...I'm loving RE:Revelations and multiple Marios of course! It's been a great year and I'm waiting with bated breath to see what my beloved Ninty has in store for me in 2012!!!!!!

Mariokart77

#48

Mariokart77 said:

The streetpass feature is my favourite part about the 3DS besides the games! I went to the mall yesterday and met 8 people and one of them twice! I found it awsome. Can't wait to meet more people!!

Expa0

#49

Expa0 said:

So far the only good thing about the 3ds has been the fact it can play DS games. Still waiting for those good games and/or a way to remove the region lock, so I can at least get Devil Survivor Overclocked and the other Atlus games yet to come which I, as things stand now probably never get to experience.

MattEriks

#53

MattEriks said:

i got my 3ds 1st day. My original plans was to buy it later when oot 3d got out. That plans changed when cdon.se sent me a coupon code for 600 sek (around 58 £) and i only got 10 days to use it, then my mind was made.

Since then i got
oot 3d, cave story 3d, MK 7, RE Revelations, and now iam thinlking of getting KI uprising

Oscarsome

#54

Oscarsome said:

The handheld just has hardly any good games for it. Finally now with Kid Icarus: Uprising do we get a "launch title". A non-Mario must-have.

Ras

#55

Ras said:

I think I got it a day after day one in the US (I think it came out on a Sunday, and we don't get Sunday mail) and I've loved it ever since. Even through the lean times, there was cool stuff on the eShop. And, the Christmas 2011 games and beyond have been fantastic. I'm enjoying playing the original Kid Icarus right now (though, it would be cool if there was an option to play it exactly as it was on the NES), and may start Uprising tonight.

RR529

#56

RR529 said:

@007, and others who are saying the 3DS the 3DS has very little good games. Is Dead or Alive, OoT3D, SF643D, Ace Combat, SM3DL, MK7, MGS3D, Kid Icarus, Tales of the Abyss, and RE: Revelations really a small collection of great games?

Those games alone could keep you occupied for quite a while, and with Kingdom Hearts, Paper Mario, Luigi's Mansion 2, Heroes of Ruin, amongst others coming out soon, it doesn't look like the great games are going to be stopping any time soon (and that's not even counting the fantastic eShop offerings, such as Pushmo, VVVVVV, and Sakura Samurai to name a few).

The game selection may not have enough games that spark your particular interest, true, but that has everything to do with your taste in games, not the quality of the current line up. I honestly believe what you were trying to say is "the 3DS has a great library, but only a few of those great games are ones I'm interested in."

Why I say that is because the assertion that the 3DS has very few great games, is an undefensable falsehood, plain and simple.

Dak_n_Jaxter

#57

Dak_n_Jaxter said:

@RR529 Very true. I need to check out more of what the eShop has to offer.. and that is a very impressive list for a 1st birthday...

TheRegginator

#59

TheRegginator said:

I don't think any system can match the 3DS's first year. Nothing can touch Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, and Kid Icarus: Uprising.

Vincent294

#61

Vincent294 said:

@master344 If that were true, then the 3DS would suck as well. Both are awesome, and if you disagree, give your reasons. Good reasons too; did the 3DS have anything good for us at launch? Just a little. So does the Vita. Now phone gaming? I feel bad for those who have to mash at a screen w/ a poor games selection (for the most part, there are a few exceptions), and deal w/ less processing power, etc. (the iPhone 4S actually has a half-decent amount of it, but the 3DS is still better). 3DS owners get Zelda, Resident Evil (and lots of it), Mario (Kart), and more. Vita owners get Uncharted, and more will come. Phone users get Infinity Blade, Angry Birds (which is on the PC and coming to the 3DS & Vita), Fruit Ninja, and that's about it.

Dreadjaws

#62

Dreadjaws said:

I frickin' love my 3DS. I got it in December, and between the card/cartdrige games, the 3DSware games and the VC games I can't get enough of it. I take it with me wherever I go, and I play with it every day. I've never felt so much love for a console before.

Perhaps it's because I got lucky of getting the console just at the moment of its resurgence, when the major titles were released, but I've played most of the greatest portable games in existence thanks to this console, and many more are yet to come.

3dbrains

#64

3dbrains said:

I am loving the movies, nintendo video, eurosport, nintendo tv, video previews of nearly every game, demo's as well.
AR is brilliant, ive only just realized the pokedex has AR and on friday I will have kid icarus and a load of AR cards :)
full movies bext please nintendo!

EvilLucario

#67

EvilLucario said:

Kid Icarus: Uprising, Super Mario 3D Land, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Mario Kart 7, and Bit. Trip Saga... holy $***. The 3DS is going all Reggie at us! Kickin' @** and takin' names!

GamerZack87

#68

GamerZack87 said:

I'm sorry, but I refuse to acknowledge the 3DS as being a full year old until Saturday! It's how I was raised since E3 2010! :)

RantingThespian

#69

RantingThespian said:

I grabbed my 3DS right before the price drop to get the Ambassador games . . . and I have been very happy with my purchase ever since! I love my 3DS more than my DSlite or DSi. Also, now that I have the NYKO battery installed (doubling it's power), I have no complaints at all about the system.

My favorite titles so far are: SM3DLand, Mario Kart 7, Pilot Wings Resort, and Resident Evil Revelations. Soon I will pick up Kid Icarus (and I bet that will be a favorite as well).

Also, people are jealous of me for having Netflix on it :D

Jono97

#70

Jono97 said:

I'm not surprised of the sales of the 3ds, well after the price drop. I mean, the 3DS isn't just a better DS. It is a hole new system that just has the same appearances. Meh still wishing a lot of stuff available to European or USA can come to Australia... I'm also very happy I have come across this website. Nintendolife FTW

Ducutzu

#71

Ducutzu said:

I'm 30 years old, got my 3DS at launch and used it every single day for at least an hour - and often more.

To somebody like me, who stopped playing video-games when he grew up and then got hooked back again by the 3DS, I would say:

Be warned that professional game reviewers now-days seem to be raised on Call of Duty and other disgusting war simulators. There are very few game reviewers that seem to be adequately equipped to make a proper assessment of a Nintendo 3DS game.

Also be warned that many people providing user reviews online do not even own the product that they talk about.

MAB

#73

MAB said:

LOL who invited all these captain bring downs to the party. No good games on 3DS compared to vita, u serious? or u trollin.

Ducutzu

#74

Ducutzu said:

@James: When it comes to the 3DS, it appears to me that many professional reviewers are looking for things that are totally unimportant for me. For example: I don't think that Pilotwings Resort needs more content, I do not care that Resident Evil Mercenaries does not have a story, and the list goes on. Many reviews that I read for the 3DS seem to be written by people who mostly play PC games.

theblackdragonAdmin

#75

theblackdragon said:

@Ducutzu: Actually, it sounds as if your complaint is that reviewers expect 3DS games to be as robust as games for other systems, which isn't a bad thing at all — Nintendo is starting to step up their game, and screw Capcom anyway, lol. I've never played a Call of Duty game in my life, and still Pilotwings Resort was much too short for me; i think it would've been better for them to release that as a downloadable title instead of putting it on a cart and selling it at full retail price, lol. :3

Ducutzu

#76

Ducutzu said:

When I had a GameCube, I found that many, many game reviews on various web sites were spot on.

But with the 3DS, it's like many reviewers are playing a different game. Maybe now I'm in a different "market segment".

Dashtag

#77

Dashtag said:

It wasnt good until August when it really picked up and was BEAST! Graphics, gameplay, 3D, gyro, everything you could ask for. My favorite games are MK7 and KI:U. Also, online is actually ok on this system. This will be and is one of Nintendo's greatest consoles.

Mowzle

#78

Mowzle said:

@Red_Kinetic: I presume Iwata has arrived on your Mii Plaza by now, but if not, just make sure you've got your wi-fi switched on and can accept street pass visitors.
I completed the Streetpass Quest today with a bunch of cats led by Iwata. I noticed he was a Level 5 player and expected great things, but he was a bit of a damp squib in my game. Still I've got my crown now :D
I love my 3DS, and like Victoria at #9 I love the Swapnote/Letter Box application, but I'm waiting impatiently for Animal Crossing 3DS - just hope the wait will be justified with lots of wild world goodness.

P.S. Now I want to move on to the new Streetpass Quest (sorry to go off topic here). Does it just open up when I opt to play the game again?
Edit PS - Just realized I need to get all the hats in the first Quest before I can move onto the second one. Bummer!

Onett

#79

Onett said:

@Mahe

I agree for the most part. The only reason I picked up my 3DS was for Mario Kart 7 and that was somewhat of a disappointment. Recently I've been debating whether or not I should sell it while it is still worth something. So far I only have Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising and I feel like I've already put more hours into Kid Icarus than the other two games combined. Perhaps when Animal Crossing is finally released that may change.

James

#80

James said:

@Ducutzu Sounds to me like you need to read different websites, dude. If one isn't fulfilling your needs find another, it's not like there aren't enough ones out there :)

Ducutzu

#81

Ducutzu said:

Your website is quite good. But the 3DS will attract lots of people that won't fit the profile of those that read gaming web sites.

Tinky

#82

Tinky said:

Did anyone remember that there was once a was once an eagerly waiting for the successor of the GBA ? The DS was stated by Nintendo not to be the official successor of the GBA, so, may I ask then, where is the successor of the GBA then?? I would have loved a more modern, single screen, Nintendo handheld, but it was kinda obvious back then that this was only spam talk by Nintendo, if the NDS hadn´t been so succesful, they would have said that the "real" thing is about to come or such.

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