News Article

Feature: 3DS - A Report Card Ahead of Its Biggest Year

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

You're doing well, young one

Earlier this week British tabloid The Sun somewhat defied its own 3DS-bashing tradition, when one of its writers rather boldly proclaimed that Nintendo's portable is "the best console ever". While we're not sure about that just yet, we do think the handheld has come a long way since its early days of non-existent sales and "3DS is doomed" headlines of Summer 2011 — that reminds us of another, more recent Nintendo system.

Still, we do feel that the 3DS is a pretty powerful reminder that sometimes a little patience, a juicy price cut and a lot of excellent games can all go a long way. Nintendo clearly thinks so, too, as a new video below does its best to reinforce the point that, really, the 3DS is the console to own at the moment.

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With the 3DS embarking on its third full year on the market, and with a blockbuster lineup so hot the company is projecting 18 million hardware sales for the financial year, let's break down where it stands, from our perspective.


The most important category, we feel most would agree. Prior to Winter 2011 the system arguably had a fairly slow start, but Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 soon sorted that out. There's been a fairly impressive run since then, with plenty of genres covered throughout 2012, including standouts such as Kid Icarus: Uprising, Resident Evil Revelations and plenty of Mario, with tennis, 2D platforming and RPG-lite fare featuring the mascot.

And yet, 2013 feels like the most vital year for the 3DS, particularly in the West — some of the year's big-hitters graced Japan in 2012. We've already had the brilliant Fire Emblem: Awakening and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, while Animal Crossing: New Leaf has blockbuster potential. Then there's Mario & Luigi: Dream Team coming in the summer, as well as a certain Pokémon X & Y in October. If that's not enough, there's always The Legend of Zelda 3DS on the way; there are more, but you get the idea.

We can't do justice to the full lineup on the way, but what are the shortcomings, if any? Perhaps one is the overriding reliance on first-party content, making the sales success — or otherwise, as may be the case — of titles like Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate and LEGO City: The Chase Begins of particular interest. The big reveals have focused on Nintendo's titles, or those made with close second-party partners, and E3 may be an important testing ground to see how many major third-parties are bringing games to the system — we know of some like Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, for example, but the more the merrier.

How's the 3DS library stacking up in terms of diversity? Rather well, if you know where to look. The DS family of systems was particularly well-served by RPGs and games generally considered to be 'niche', perhaps due to the genre being a good fit for the limitations of the hardware, whereas the 3DS is far more capable. Niche titles and experiences are out there for the 3DS, with the issue perhaps being more about availability. We have the likes of the Shin Megami franchise continuing on the new handheld, with Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan being another, but not all regions are promptly served. That said, the recent confirmation of games like Project X Zone and Bravely Default: Flying Fairy for the West certainly bodes well.


The eShop has evolved a great deal during the system's lifespan, incorporating re-designs, demo downloads, retail downloads and plenty of video content since its humble beginnings. It's also been the vanguard for smaller indie projects that are allowed greater scope, escaping the restraints of the DSi's humble tech and painful file size limit.

Generally we've seen a steady stream of new releases, ranging from borderline classic platformers and puzzle games, to genres as broad as shmups, racing, music rhythm and more. Rather like DSiWare, there's a core of steady, high quality and committed developers stepping up on the platform, while newcomers from the smartphone world, such as Bertil Hörberg with Gunman Clive, are very welcome. If you have more retro leanings, you can also dive into the Virtual Console or the almost full DSiWare back-catalogue.

We'd argue that the eShop's current accumulated library is strong both in quality and size, and certainly beyond what we saw on either the DSi or Wii Shops; the increasing willingness of Nintendo to run price promotions and make retail games available are also big benefits to attract gamers online — Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies will also be a high-profile eShop 'retail' exclusive. If we were to pick some negatives, there's the high retail download prices, trickle of Virtual Console games that are lacking in unique offerings — lots of NES games we've seen before — and, as with any platform, there can be some abominable shovelware.

Non-Gaming Software and Features

Out of the box the 3DS has some decent little extras, and the operating system is a significant step-up over its DSi predecessor. The Friend List lets you jump into online matches in select games, you can pause a game and take notes at any time, and you can use the passable web browser. The sound app isn't that far ahead of the DSi version, while the camera is as fuzzy as ever — that said, the outer camera lenses allow you to take 3D pictures and videos. The StreetPass plaza is also perfect for taking along to expos or when meeting friends, with puzzle pieces and the delightfully quirky quest being good value to raise a smile.

Extras have arrived in system updates and as free downloads from the eShop, and it's these that have fleshed out the system a little further. Nintendo Letter Box/Swapnote is a fun messaging system, that while slow and full of limitations can be an enjoyable diversion between friends. Nintendo Video is also neat, with new weekly content typically being made up of sub-5 minute trailers and exclusive content, some of which are genuinely entertaining. Add in SpotPass — which supplies freebies for various games — and Nintendo Zone at public Wi-Fi spots, and the system has a decent range of apps and features beyond its core gaming purpose.

What are we missing at the moment? That's easy but set to be fixed later this year — Miiverse. The existing Friend List and Swapnote apps will become borderline irrelevant if a fully-tooled Miiverse is brought across from the Wii U, and the bespoke social network could really take the connectivity and communication aspects of the handheld to the next level. Some regions are also lacking the likes of Netflix — which in turn lacks 3D content — while a YouTube app doesn't look likely but would, nevertheless, be nice to have.

Battery Performance

This is an area that isn't necessarily a strong point for anyone picking up a system today. The original model's performance isn't good, struggling beyond a couple of hours with an intensive game, full brightness, Wi-Fi etc. The XL model is an undoubted improvement and can certainly go quite a distance in standby, with game performance up a couple of hours too. You can see a battery test here, with third-party add-ons being a useful — albeit pricey — option.

Hardware Iterations and Special Editions

An area where Nintendo typically steps up is with handheld console re-designs and iterations, and the 3DS is no different. We have an impressive range of colours available in the standard and XL models. One area that's a little less predominant is with unique designs in the West, such as the Fire Emblem: Awakening model in Europe and the yellow Pikachu model worldwide. Lots of colours, maybe not enough designs.

Unless you're in Japan, in which case there are too many awesome designs to recount. If even half of those came West, we'd be absolutely delighted.


As it stands, the 3DS is in rather strong shape. As of 31st March 2013 over 31 million units had been sold worldwide — while Japan accounts for over a third of those sales, this year's software lineup and Nintendo's promise to enable more Japanese releases to come West are encouraging. In fact, this year's lineup is so outrageous that, as we mentioned earlier, the company is estimating 18 million sales this financial year, and that doesn't seem unrealistic. If momentum is the key for specialist game hardware, then the handheld seems to be in a good spot, with NPD results for last month — and estimates for this month — suggesting that it's doing reasonably well in North America in comparison to equivalent periods in 2012. The Holiday season, in particular, could be a serious success story for the 3DS if Nintendo's regional teams get the marketing and release schedules right.

From a first-party and localised titles perspective, we have lots to look forward to. If there's one area for improvement, which may come at E3, it's a few more third-party big-hitters. It's simple though, if the system sells in big numbers, those third-parties are likely to follow.

Let us know about your "report" for 3DS at this stage, as we're certainly aware that we haven't covered everything. Maybe you disagree with some of what we've said, or want to highlight missed points? We'd love to read all about it in the comments section, as always, and you can give a basic view in the poll below..

Ahead of a big 2013, how would you rate 3DS right now? (369 votes)

I think the 3DS is kicking a lot of behinds, and is pure awesome awesomeness


It's doing well, and I hope for big things in 2013


It's doing OK, but with plenty of room for improvement


I don't agree that it's doing so well, it's not cutting it for me


I'm not sure, to be honest


I don't even have a 3DS, why are you asking me?


None of those answers match my thoughts on the 3DS


Please login to vote in this poll.

From the web

User Comments (104)



Squashie said:

I love my 3DS! I always thought it had great potential, and this year alone has completely proven that. I think that with time, the Wii U will take the same path.



bezerker99 said:

I hope somewhere, from his burrowing hole perhaps, Pachter is reading this article.



TomJ said:

So many awesome games in the pipeline, so little money....sigh
But I guess that's why I need more work ours



Midnight3DS said:

B... er... +

Some things could use work if we're taking everything into consideration. Better browser capabilities, since they bothered in the first place. I don't expect Vita capabilities, but something better. An e-reader is past due. Reading on the 3DS works fine .. 100 Classic Books proves this. And the circle pad could use a grit texture. It's too easy to slip off.

Other than that, pleased as punch so far.



FernandoMachado said:

It really is the best gaming device at the mo and I think we all agree that GAMES are what makes it so special. <3



Justaguest said:

It's doing well, but with plenty of room for improvement, and I hope for big things in 2013 - my thoughts



Ralizah said:

The Wii U will eventually develop a powerful software lineup, but for the moment the Nintendo 3DS is easily the most fun I've had with a single device in a long time. I hope the system gets at least one more 3D Mario title before it is replaced.



TimeGuy said:

I am more than happy with my XL and I'm salivating at what's to come later this year. Miiverse and Pokemon X/Y in particular.



WarioPower said:

I actually think the 3ds is one of Nintendo's weakest consoles. With the exception of FE and Zelda OOT 3d, their first party offerings have been pretty mediocre.. There are some good third party games, but nothing really amazing..



Peach64 said:

It's doing well for me, but plenty of room for improvement. I think the DS had a far stronger library after 2 years, but things are really improving as of late. Fire Emblem is in my top 2 games of the year so far and Luigi's Mansion isn't far behind.



bizcuthammer said:

The 3DS is my favorite portable system I've ever owned. I don't know about best console ever... I'd have to give that to the SNES. As for what I'd like to see in the coming years for the console... Another Super Mario 3D Land-type game would be awesome, maybe with more power-ups this time around. I'd also really like to see a new entry in the Golden Sun series. Oh, and a 2.5D Metroid game in the style of Super Metroid/Metroid Fusion would be awesome as well.



Ralizah said:

Unless it has a really short lifespan, it'll be the best Nintendo handheld ever at this rate. It is already better than the Gamecube, N64, and Wii. It'll need a LOT of years like 2013 for it to compete with the SNES, of course.



DualWielding said:

The 3DS has great third party support from Japanesse deveopers, Capcom, Square-Enix, Level 05 and Atlus have all done a lot to take the 3DS to where it is now, I think if all the third party games that are available in Japan where available int he West it would be doing even better here......

On the non gaming side, I insist access to the Youtube 3D channel should be priority, I think its crazy we don't have that yet, that's key if you want the 3D gimmick to take off...

Account system for the e-shop is another area that needs to be fixed ASAP, Nintendo should not wait until the inevitable horror stories of people breaking their 3DS and losing hundreds in download games begin popping and scaring potential customers



Late said:

I'd say it's my favorite console thanks to Virtual Console, eShop games and because I can use it to play DS games. There weren't many must buy retail games before but now, in near future, there are almost too many games I have to get at one point or another.



gavn64 said:

The 3DS mission has succeeded, now time for the WiiU just you all watch its gonna kick serious butt this time next year NINTENDO FTW!!!



nocode said:

I love the system, but I've never been able to get comfortable with the 3D. It kills my eyes. I always leave it turned off and since it It really doesn't seem to matter to most games, I don't think i'm missing much.



bassoongoon said:

I can't wait to be part of Nintendo's 3DS success! After the club Nintendo year is over, I'm going to by a purple 3DS (I am platinum, and want the 3DS to count towards next year )!



rmeyer said:

I wouldn't mind another iteration of the 3ds, with better battery life and a second thumbstick



Midnight3DS said:


If they make a second stick model, Then I want to be considered an ambassador and get every game ever made, all VC'd, for free.



Mahe said:

The 3DS has pulled out of its funk, and has a good number of games lined up for it.



Dpullam said:

When I first purchased my Nintendo 3DS on launch day, I was concerned about the future of the handheld. Well, we all know how that turned out, over 31 million 3DS systems have been sold thus far and there is no sign of slowing down.

I'm eager to play the new games that will be released later in the year, like Mario & Luigi Dream Team and especially the new zelda game. Well, that is assuming that it won't get delayed like other games in the zelda series have.



Spoony_Tech said:

Yes and this year is only going to get better! I still have yet to really jump into 3 of my retail games this year and am about half way through luigis mansion. We still have about 6-7 games coming out this year that I want that I know of. After this year it could definitly be my favorite of all time.



rjejr said:

If Nintendo were to announce a 3DS port of Pikmin 3 I'ld add a 3DS XL to our three 3DS household and forget about getting a WiiU.

If Nintendo makes the 3DS Two w/ 2 thumbsticks and an HDMI out port (top screen to tv) they can stop making home consoles entirely.



HeatBombastic said:

@Metal_Sonic Shin Megami Tensei: Overclocked, and the other Smt games? I'm not sure if you know that much about the library. Have you played Kid Icarus Uprising? Not to mention all the awesome indie games.



HeatBombastic said:

@rjejr That sounds abosulely horrible.

The control scheme, and not to mention they'll be no use of the 3D (Unless they use gamecube controls, which is limited compared to Wiimote and touchscreen controllers). An HDMI port would mess up the shape, and they'd have to make a new system entirely.



Beta said:

Super Mario 3D Land
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Kingdom Hearts 3D (it never gets a mention, somehow, I think it's getting underrated >.<)
Luigi Mansion 2
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
And more

And awesome games to come like:
Pokemon X and Y
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 2
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies (Final adventure sob )
Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
Bravely Default
Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros.
Super mash Bros. 4
And a LOT more I don't think anybody can hate this BEAUTIFUL system ^_^



Datasun_7 said:

For me the first party titles from Nintendo haven't been particularly great, except kid Icarus uprising last year and fire emblem and Luigi's mansion 2 this year. But the various third party awesomeness has made the in between time great, I think this will be an awesome year and by its end anyone not sold on the 3ds will buy one. Hopefully.



nothankyou said:

The 3DS is doing a lot better than I expected. While I don't really like Awakening, RE Revelations, Luigi's Mansion 2, SSFIV 3D, Mario Kart 7 and a plethora of quality eShop titles are certainly keeping me busy. Also, it may be a personal point, but I love the easy to use MP3 player. I haven't touched my iPod since I got my 3DS, now that I think about it.



grumblegrumble said:

I love my 3DS XL, I use it every day to relax and I love my puzzle and retro games Virtual Console really needs to step it up, though.



Midnight3DS said:


I just assumed the VC was going to be so spectacular, I was going to get lost in all the titles, GBA included. Disappointing to say the least, but probably my fault for not researching the matter beforehand.



b23cdq said:

My maincomplaint with the 3DS is universal for nintendo, tieing software purchases to the console, and not the account. Unless this is fixed, I will never switch to digital only.



Spoony_Tech said:

@HeatBombastic Dnot mind him. He thinks the wii u is better then the 3ds. He just doesn't like portable gaming as much. Too bad as its the best for me and the only thing I play anymore!



Yoshi3DS said:

the 3ds is AMAZING.
it's not the best console ever, i must admit, but it is up there with the best. and while its definetely the best handheld console ever, despite competition from the ps vita, it will never be the best console ever. whether it's because of the n64's amazingness or the soon-to-be-the-best wii u, it just won't happen. but that doesn't mean anything. the 3ds is magnificent. my xbox 360 has been untouched since i lay my hands on my shiny black 3ds back in christmas 2011. mariokart 7 is the best of the mariokarts yet. kid icarus uprising is quite possibly the best game i've ever played. luigi's mansion 2, paper mario sticker star, new super mario bros 2 - they're all up there with the best games i've ever played. and it just keeps getting better. mario party, yoshi's island, mario golf, 2013 is looking good for 3ds owners. pokemon x and y will sell millions. and what about the wii u? ¨wii u is doomed¨ you say? isn't that what everyone said about the 3ds? if you want good games you need to given them time to make them. in my opinion the longer we wait for mariokart u and the new zelda the better. nintendo has a bright future ahead of them...



miiandmario said:

The 3ds is a fantastic system and the online community is thriving. Although I only have 3 games (Kid Icarus Uprising, NSMB2 and Fire Emblem Awakening) I hope to get many more this year.



LordGeovanni said:

I really love the 3DS but I still voted "It's doing OK, but with plenty of room for improvement". It will always fail a perfect score from me until they implement a truly reliable user account that I will not have to worry about down the road.

The lacking line-up on the VC is another thing that I think that Nintendo should really look at. Even if it takes "time and money to convert the games into VC capable", there is no reason why they cannot devote more time to the process. We don't need sub-par Pacman games from Gameboy or NES when they can easily focus on more popular releases like some of their SNES games and GBColor and GBAdvanced games. We have Zelda: Link's Awakening in Color and the Oracles coming at the end of the month. Three games: one released in 1998 and the other two in 2001. But still no SNES games... And we were hinted/told about possible GBA releases...

If you want to follow up with their freeware, the Nintendo Video is great but I wish that Nintendo allowed users to save their favorite videos or at least made videos cycle more often. I have four videos on right now: Rerun, Rerun, Rerun, and Rerun. One of them hasn't even updated this month. With the possibilities, why isn't there at least a new video each day? That way we would have ~3 days to watch each one before they disappeared and another movie would be guaranteed so that I don't look at the same BearShark or Dinosaur Office again... The Mii Plaza is great too, however I have already maxed out almost everything that is not a stretch goal and I easily 100% the new puzzles each time they come out - and without even really trying. I gave up on using the playcoins to get the Luigi puzzle and still have them all already.

My full verdict: Great system, best of the time (currently), Needs improvements that everyone can see.



GameLord08 said:

It's a successful handheld indeed, but certainly not the best it could've been.

Performance-wise, it's doing well in my eyes but I do think there's a lot of room for improvement. With its current insights, I still don't see it measuring up to the DS' legacy for now. However, I will say it has built up a considerable library to date so at least that's a relief from its initial reception.

Other than that, I'm pretty sure The Sun was aiming for sensationalism with that hyperbolé of a title. We should all be able to agree that the 3DS is not yet eligible to be "the best console ever".



onex said:

I don't get to play games like I used to, but it's a true testament to this handheld's staying power that I've managed to log 65+ hrs with FE:A alone! Then there are the daily Layton puzzles that keep me coming back, not to mention the genius that is PUSHMO..which I've personally deemed the best puzzle game ever made...

Yeah, 3DS could easily be considered the best gaming device ever for me.



rjejr said:

@HeatBombastic - point by point reply

"they'll be no use of the 3D" - unless you hook it up to one of the 2D to 3D converting tvs:
or a converting box:

"The control scheme" - they wouldn't have to add much to a 3DS to equal the Gamepad.

"An HDMI port would mess up the shape" - How so? There is plenty of space on the back of the 3DS for an HDMI mini-port like cameras and video cameras have.

"and they'd have to make a new system entirely." - Do you think they won't make a new system? Gameboy, Gameboy color, GBA, GBA SP, DS, DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL, 3DS, 3DS XL. They've come out w/ a new handheld system EVERY 2 OR 3 YEARS FOR THE PAST 17 YEARS. It's also why I said 3DS Two.

That's fine if you don't like the idea, but it is very feasible.

Do you know what a Gamecube Gameboy Player is? -

I'm just helping Nintendo get to where they were going 10 years ago by cutting out the middle-man.



WingedSnagret said:

Now it is almost time for 3DS's big brother to start the climb on the stairway to glory. That's the hope anyway.



nickysilks said:

Iv got the original 3ds and my cousin the xl-the xl is more comfortable to use has better battery life but I still prefer the original. Much sharper visuals and the sound on the xl is utter pants! I like the fact I can put it in my pocket too. Needs a better web browser though and id like more use of the 3d(although i know it doesnt agree with everyone). Overall it's an amazing bit of kit. It's becoming the norm to go to work with my iPhone and 3ds in tow. Lets hope the wii u learns some lessons soon!!!



Marshi said:

@Metal_Sonic Are you having a laugh? Paper Mario? Kid Icarus? Mario Kart? Castlevania? Proffesor Layton? Pokemon? Luigis Mansion? None of these were good to you?



Electricmastro said:

It's essentially a definitive DS in which it's like a combination of a regular DS and an iPhone. A largely customizable handheld in which you can also download games on, both old and new.



Marshi said:

Maybe im getting old but am i the only one who adores their wiiu? Dont get me wrong i know suport for the system is lax to say the least,and i cant defend Nintendo for the shocking lack of advertisement in eu territories.But i can honestly say the wiiu is the best console ive owned since the snes.You can rabbit on all you like about 8 cores this and no frostbite 3 that,but the shear fun and potential of the system blows my mind.Yet i seem to be the only one thinking that...Back to point though i love my 3ds xl almost as much and it proves (yet again) that a more powerful system NEVER means a BETTER system.When will people learn that games and gameplay matter.Not how many polygons a bloomin face has on it!



MeWario said:

Really the only thing that is letting it down is Virtual Console, pure and simple.



MeWario said:

@Marshi I love it! I thing it's a wonderful machine and maybe my favourite console ever one day. But, yes, it needs games!



onex said:

@Marshi You are not alone in that sentiment. I love my WiiU. I don't know what everyone is complaining about..I have plenty of games for it. Lego City is wonderful fun and I'll be snagging Super Metroid VC either today or tomorrow morning. Might pick up NFSU once they reduce the price, and contemplating RE:Revelations although I have the stellar 3DS version. Man, so many games, so little time/money! XD



TromaDogg said:

The 3DS has rekindled my interest in handheld gaming so much recently that I've even been picking up a load of original DS games that I missed first time around (as they work on 3DS) thinking that I'd never get around to playing them. But I'm using the 3DS way more than anything else at the moment.



Marshi said:

@onex I think the wiiu is actually doing fine.4 and a half million sales is better than any other console in its first six month.And thats with "no games" and a "terrible cpu".So how much attention do you think the wiiu will recieve once the big guns start appearing.And poor cpu?I dont care as long as my game plays well.Crysis has reportedly the best graphics ever but have you played it? take metriod prime 3 over crysis anyday of the week



xinoeph said:

To think I had thought Nintendo handholds had lost that special 'feeling' when I bought my 3ds! They seemed to added the feeling back in with one of the updates! I love this machine more than the ds series and i didn't believe that would ever happen



Pichuka97 said:

There is tons of room for improvement system wise. The VC needs more games and different systems on it, the friends list could use a few more options, a new menu on the 3DS, and a more intagrated way of seeing what friends have been up to. Miiverse will probably fix the latter though. All in all, I am really happy with my 3DS and I can't wait to see what Nintendo does next with it.



Pichuka97 said:

Oh, if Nintendo would pay Ubisoft to port over Scott Pilgrim to the eShop, the 3DS would sell like crazy. Well, maybe.



MetalKingShield said:

Retail Games - Great line-up for this year, but I would love to see a 2D Metroid (with graphics like Project X Zone) and a proper 3D, Wind Waker-style Zelda. A Dragon Quest would be nice too.

eShop - With WayForward supporting it, that's all I really need.

Virtual Console - This is the real area I feel the 3DS could improve. SNES and GBA would fit it like a glove.



NintyMan said:

The 3DS is awesome, no doubt, but as of right now it still has some improvement yet to go. Thankfully, that will be reached by this end of this year with Animal Crossing, Mario & Luigi, Mario Golf, Pokemon, Zelda, and Mario Party, and that's when I'll say it's pure awesome awesomeness. Even games the following year will just add on to that.

And to think that in the summer of 2011 that the 3DS was going through a blistering drought in which doubt and gloom was leveled at the system. Makes me think of a certain Nintendo home console with a tablet controller.



Kirbic said:

More Game Gear stuff. I want Tails Adventure, and it is rated. And can they focus less on NES stuff for the 3DS? I'd rather see more retro portable games released on it. That's what I'm using the 3DS's VC for. I'm not likely to buy GBA games on the Wii U's eShop for a similar reason. I use that for retro home-console releases.

Lastly, Pokemon for the VC. Link Cable support via Wireless is not needed for me to enjoy the 1st generation again, though I really want Crystal personally. And if that link-cable functionality is really so important and GB games won't ever have it, release Pokemon as a 3D Classic to allow for more modern features. Problem solved.

That aside, I'm happy with the way the 3DS is going. Virtual Console is really the only part I have nitpicks with that I feel are worth saying.



ouroborous said:

i love my 3DSXL a million times more than my DSLite and more than i had ever expected as well. i have hardly stopped playing with it at all since i got it a year or so ago now.



Buduski said:

My little brother has a 3ds and its great, I really want a 3ds xl but the color choices in the U.S suck so bad. Red, blue and pink yet in Europe and especially Japan they have a lot of color options, and I know it shouldn't be a big deal but I haven't bought one just because I want one in black or grey, but non the less the 3ds is great.



Intrepid said:

There are still some franchises missing that I enjoy, but otherwise, the 3DS is unstoppable.



Meaty-cheeky said:

The Nintendo 3DS is great, but it can still improve in a lot of ways. For example where are the 3D Movies that Nintendo mentioned at E3 2011, where's the YouTube and Hulu app, where on earth are all of the GBC and GBA games? Lastly, Miiverse needs to be on the 3DS.



Dpishere said:

I know given the degree of quality of software from consoles in the past, many people may not agree with this, but I personally feel that the 3ds is my favorite gaming system ever released! It has some of the best games in their respective series and so many third parties have jumped on board with the 3ds. This is only in 2 years, just think what it will be like in another 2!



Zodiak13 said:

@Funny_Moblin I prefer the XL because the bigger screen is important to me. However the sound seems worse then the 3ds, which my son now has. Some people say the resolution is not as good, but I haven't noticed that.
As for the system, it is my favorite at the moment. Lots of great 3ds games, and I can play my massive library of DS games on it as well. E-shop has some fun games, and the future looks oh so bright.



Yoshis_VGM said:

As a person who started playing Nintendo handhelds with the GameBoy Advance and started playing their consoles with the Wii, I have to say that the 3DS is my favorite console. As the article states, a little patience, a price cut, and a few quality games can make all the difference. The 3DS made a HUGE comeback and it's showing no signs of stopping (I'm hoping this kick will happen later this year for the Wii U when it's big titles start to come out). It has a massive game library and I think that some of the more recent titles really show the system's true capabilities. Mario Kart 7 brilliantly showed off the 3DS's online presence, and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon continues to show off the online capabilities. A lot of the first-party titles are really good, such as Super Mario 3D Land. I'm hoping that before the 3DS's cycle is up we will see a much superior sequel to 3D Land. Don't get me wrong, 3D Land was amazing, but there was much room for improvement, and a sequel can easily fix the original's mistakes. I'm also hoping we'll see a redesign soon (a 3DS Lite or 3DSi) that can extend the battery life and improve the 3D viewing window.

Basically, I'm super impressed with the 3DS right now, and it is my favorite console. The 3DS is living proof that a comeback is totally possible. The 3DS has had an amazing first 2 years that has seen many great titles. 2013 looks like a great year for 3DS and I think that Nintendo will shatter their 18 million unit projection. I can't wait to see where the 3DS will stand 2 years from now. The 3DS's presence is too great to be ignored.

I can say without a doubt that Nintendo will once again take 1st place for the handheld console race. The handheld race is Nintendo's strongest point - they've always excelled in that market and I can't wait to see what they do next with the 3DS.



Emaan said:

I love my 3DS so far and I'm sure by the end of this year I'll love it even more :3



Funny_Moblin said:

There are only two things keeping me back from considering to buy 3DS games digitally.

1. The games are not tied to your account. If something happens to your 3DS, you lose the games.

2. With the eShop, it's online. If a company decides to shut down the game, it shuts down for you.



kenzo said:

I would like to see 3D streaming from a PC for games and other apps that are not available on 3DS anyway. The streaming rate would be fairly low for the low 3D resolution needed to be sent and therefore undemanding for the WiFi and PC. The 3DS controls and motion sensors could be used for interesting control effects.



AVahne said:

DS got DSi, which added camera and so many other things. I'm expecting the final 3DS to start off portable virtual reality.



ejamer said:

Fire Emblem
Luigi's Mansion
Animal Crossing
Legend of Zelda
Etrian Odyssey
Shin Megami Tensai
Project X Zone
Monster Hunter
...and more.

This year, the 3DS has been swimming in games that appeal to me. It's gone from a piece of hardware with potential to an absolutely must own gaming console.



Giygas_95 said:

I love the 3DS. I've already got so many good games, and there's more on the way like M&L Dream Team, and the sequel to A Link to the Past. Can't wait. I think the 3DS is the best portable Nintendo console to date and one of the best Nintendo consoles ever.



Zodiak13 said:

@Funny_Moblin I have migraine issues and 3D effects can cause them, so I don't play in 3d. My son say's it looks better on the XL, but he is just 9...



Funny_Moblin said:

@Zodiak13 Maybe he's right! It's believable. But this isn't my biggest problem. For some months now, I have been battling with whether to get digital or physical copies. The thing about digital that bothers me the most is that after 5 3DS system transfers, you cant transfer games anymore if it gets broken. Some people say that Nintendo has transferred their data using proof of Club Nintendo. But it's weird, their policy is that if your system breaks, they can't transfer the games. Great. Not only am I uncertain if they transfer your games or not when a system breaks, but I still can't decide between physical and digital!!! I CAN'T DECIDE. THESE THOUGHT ARE PAINFUL. IT FEELS LIEK I WILL NEVER DECIDE. I wanna keep my gaes forever, you see? And when I can't trust the eShop.....but I need convenience of having all my games in one place!!!! But-I like cover art--nah I'll choose convenience. I'd choose digital if it weren't for the risk of Nintendo not transferring your games over--but even of they do transfer them over--you lose the save data. Oh, what do I do....what do i do.....



Zodiak13 said:

@Funny_Moblin I have lots of both. I like physical media, I am a collector as well as a gamer, but only RPG's make me feel like I must own physical media these days. I will be gettin AC:NL digital, since that will be perfect for quick plays at lunch and such. Nintendo worked with me when I traded up w/ my XL, but I also only had a few E-shop games at the time. It is a conundrum, losing save date would really irk me, thankfully the game I care the most about my saved data on are owned with physical copies. If the game means a lot to you, go physical if not which ever catches your fancy. In the end only physical will stay forever, cause any online service may disappear in the future, which in the business world is very unpredictable.



taffy said:

Great read. Hit the nail on the head that 3rd party support (in the west) hasn't been that strong but with the numbers the system is pulling now I hope to see some quality 3rd party support



KryptoKrunch said:

The 3DS was already a great handheld gaming device before 2013(with titles like 3D Land, OoT, Kart 7, Kid Icarus, NSMB2 and Resident Evil) but now with Fire Emblem, Dark Moon, Monster Hunter and many more to come, it's become even better.

I'm extremely satisfied with my 3DS XL, been playing the heck out of it. If there's one thing that could make the 3DS even better is better VC support. More frequent additions from the GB, GBC, NES and GG libraries and start to add GBA and SNES titles.



mjhopkins81 said:

I DO love the 3DS XL. It is, however, high time that Nintendo cuts the crap with this region locking nonsense, particularly if they're going to keep glutting the Japanese market with dozens of special edition 3DS/3DS XL systems that will never see the light of day in Western markets, despite their likely appeal to consumers. The same should be said of their other console offerings.

Furthermore, and I can't hammer this point home, enough, Nintendo needs to welcome itself into the world of modern technology as it relates to account management. It is unconscionable, the level of disrespect they pay their customer base, locking accounts and eShop purchases to a single console, despite those purchases being linked to their accounts on the websites. It's an embarrassment.



CoAndy said:

Glad the 3ds is kicking butt, just waiting for more 3rd pary titles to be announced, and SNES and GBA titles for the Virtual console



Ducutzu said:

I love my 3DS (unlike some of the guys commenting on this web site, I actually own one). I think that the original model look way cooler than the XL edition.



Sun said:

Good article but I disagree a little bit when it comes to games. Not Mario Kart 7 nor Super Mario 3D Land nor Paper Mario nor Mario Tennis and of course nor New Super Mario Bros. 2 were great games. On the other hand, Resident Evil Revelations, Fire Emblem Awakening and Luigi's Mansion 2 are really amazing. Nintendo just rushed most of their games in order to boost the console sales. That's not the way to go in my opinion.



Araknie said:

@Sun Exactly, that's your opinion.

That's why i agree the NSMB2 and Mario Tennis were not great, but i think the others were.

Anyway now they are not rushing the games for the Wii U in order to avoid having half-done games like on the 3DS and people complain anyway.



CosmoXY said:

I love my Cosmo Black 3DS! From Nintendogs and Pilotwings to Fire Emblem and Luigi's Mansion, this system has been a ton of fun since day one for me. By the time Animal Crossing and Pokémon come out this year, I can forget about eating, sleeping or having any other life. The XL looks and feels nice, but I'm holding off on picking one up until if/when a Pokémon X/Y special edition comes out.



triforcepower73 said:

I'm kind of getting overwhelmed. There are so many games that I want to play but don't have the money or time for all of them! Not just current games though. A lot of old games on the wii, ds, and even back to the snes that I missed out on too.



Morph said:

I still think its not as popular in the uk, not really sure what the issue is but I go into big stores like tesco and theres hardly any games or units at all. Today all I saw was luigis mansion and the lego game that was it, next to loads of ps3 and 360 games and certainly no wii u presence at all. Yet I go into game and 3ds is usually towards the front of the store with a fairly big presence. Has nintendo somehow pissed off uk retailers?



Funny_Moblin said:

@Zodiak13 Thanks for the response. Yes, I think I'll get physical copies, you're right. They are the most secure. Even if it's a Nintendo title you never know. Not because Nintendo would shut down their games, but because they have a pretty weak base in the online structure. Thus, hackers could potentially harm eShop titles. There has of course been a hack in the online system recently.

As much as I'd love to have digital games all in one place, I'll be sticking with physical copies. I'll wait a couple of years and see how and if Nintendo will change this online structure. If a day comes across when Nintendo lets consumers fully own a game, with it being tied to an account, then I may call up a friend called the Transfer Tool...and see if it's worth paying $40 again.



Arcamenel said:

I don't think it's fair to fault the 3DS for lack of an account system when realistically that's something that should've been around on the Wii long time ago.



McGruber said:

You could have been more critical, but I agree that the 3DS is had a great year game wise. I love my 3DS, but it's def not the best system ever. Just in terms of usability, it lacks far behind everything else. You said the browser is passable, but I don't know if I would be so positive about that either. Nintendo's greatest strength is also it's biggest weakness. They make great games and because of that they rest on their laurels a little bit more than the rest in terms of hardware and usability imo



Marshi said:

Hot topic: Do people think the wiiu will get a similar feature in a year or two?



8bitforever said:

The games are great but the eshop account handling gives it a fat "F"! I refuse to download anything that I cannot recover and Nintendo acts like they have no interest in fixing it. I have a Vita that allows me to redownload stuff I have bought and even back it up to my PC because they use an account system. Until they fix this there is no way the 3DS can be considered the best!



Lvl100Caterpie said:

I love the 3DS!!! best system so far! GIVE US MORE PUZZLES!!! I also want an Avatar like on X Box 360 with unlockables!!!! #MOREPUZZLES



SubZer023 said:

this is my favorite system ever i just love it so much great games, that if i even try to write them down ill forget about some, swapnotes great friendslist is great can be better tho just everything eshop, classic's its doing well, but i would like to see just a lil more 3rd party support from companies from the west but thats it. i love you 3DS



DanielBass1986 said:

I must admit, when I got my original 3DS when it came out, I was sad with the lack of games but this year, it's made such a come back and am loving my 3DS XL and all the great games coming out. Especially Project X Zone!



Relias said:

Well I love the 3DS it is almost a perfect upgrade from my favorite system of all time.. (The DS) But I will say this.. it falls a little short in a couple areas.. battery life.. and games... while it is getting better in the games department.. it's still not as good as the DS.. I remember I waited 2 years to buy a DS and the reason was because I wanted a system that at least had 12 games I wanted to play... when I finally got it.. within months I had 20 games in my collection that was how strong the library was.. I have had my 3DS for almost the same amount of time.. and only have 6 actual 3DS games.. (That being said I do have a reservation for one) Needless to say... The 3DS needs a little more meat in it's lineup.. (I would also like to suggest strongly a sequel to Dragonquest Heroes: Rocket Slime... yeah it was easy.. and a little kiddy.. but dang I loved those tank battles.. actually I think I got KO'ed twice through the main story of the game.. and both times was from Tank Battles)



crazyangrygamer4 said:

its epic cant get enough of it love paper mario super mario 3dland starfox643d kid icarus uprising thats some good stuff

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