News Article

The 3DS Celebrates Its Third Birthday in Japan

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Happy 3dees day

Put on the party hats and break out the bunting, the 3DS is three years old today. Or it is in Japan which, judging by the time we're posting this and thanks to the vagaries of time zones, is actually yesterday in Nintendo's homeland. But still, we'll celebrate anyway.

The 3DS was greeted with plenty of launch day buzz in 2011, shifting some useful early units before embarking on what we'll refer to as the "dark pre-price cut days". Once the horrors of a poor start were retrieved with a new price and some juicy games Nintendo's handheld hasn't looked back; its continued success, helped along by the 3DS XL in 2012 and a particularly vibrant software lineup in 2013, is an ongoing source of relief for Nintendo fans and the company itself. It's the current saviour of Nintendo from a business sense, while also taking important steps with its eShop — since expanded nicely on the Wii U — to greatly enhance the company's download services; it was the first Nintendo platform to offer retail downloads, for example.

Heading into 2014 it has some promising releases already confirmed for the first half of the year, while the 2DS is now settled in as a member of the 'family' outside of Japan. It may not have sales tracking successfully alongside the phenomenal DS range, but the vast majority would agree that — to date — the 3DS has been a notable accomplishment for Nintendo. It's progressed from being a doomed handheld in a disappearing dedicated portable gaming market, to a system with over 40 million units in the wild around the world. The growing games library is rather awesome, too.

So here's to you, 3DS. We'll do something better for your North American and PAL anniversary, we promise...

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User Comments (44)

HopeNForever

#1

HopeNForever said:

Let's hope the same can be said for the Wii U someday. In the meantime, happy anniversary, Nintendo 3DS!

Spoony_Tech

#2

Spoony_Tech said:

I'm having way too much fun with my 3ds! So much so that my battery is definitely showing signs of slowing down. Some times charge it twice a day!

King47

#4

King47 said:

I bought my 3ds last year and so far it's been worth the purchase. Anything from New is extra goodness.

Daisaku36

#9

Daisaku36 said:

It always makes me chuckle when I think back to the beginning of 3DS's lifespan, when it was pretty much universally hated, even by a lot of NL frequenters. Being one of the few people that kept liking it, even after the perceived bad launch and first year, it's almost vindication. I think people are overcompensating now when they talk about how great it is, especially since a lot of those same people talked crap about the device. If you think this is me gloating about being right, you're correct.

Hy8ogen

#12

Hy8ogen said:

I waited until last month to get my 3DS and yes....I'm one of the people who bashed the 3DS like a chicken on steroids when it first came out.
But now, all my hate turned into love. The 3DS is my favorite handheld of all time...Sorry GBC....

gsmaciel

#14

gsmaciel said:

I remember being very skeptical about the 3D effect until I saw it for the first time. It was perfect and still is the best/most natural 3D effect you can get. Much better than the one in the movies.

DanteSolablood

#15

DanteSolablood said:

If proof was ever needed that a great product can survive a horrific launch, then the 3DS more than fills that role. I've always loved handheld gaming & have seen many come & go, I wouldn't say the 3DS is my favourite (that honour goes to a non-Nintendo product, sorry) but it's up there with the best.

I sincerely hope we have many more great handhelds from Nintendo, but I fear another terrible rushed launch of it's successor could sink Nintendo's hardward side completely.

HMNIM

#16

HMNIM said:

@DanteSolablood honesty nintendp could fick up like 3 times and still have enough money to syrvive. The wiiu, while terrible, will eventually be a success. Lets hope it stays that way for all future consoles.

BinaryFragger

#17

BinaryFragger said:

Time flies when you're having fun...
I'm really enjoying the 3DS, so much in fact that I now own two of them after picking up a red 3DS XL this morning. I don't plan on getting rid of my black launch-day 3DS either.

CrazyOtto

#19

CrazyOtto said:

@Frank90 Hopefully at least 3 more, Nintendo also supports their current handhelds for 2 more years after the next one comes out.

Dark-Link73

#20

Dark-Link73 said:

No this can't be true! This has to be some sort of Nintendo propaganda! The 3DS was dead, remember!?!? I was there! The news of its failure were everywhere! I saw it myself! The 3DS was a failure!!!!!

Gerbwmu

#21

Gerbwmu said:

Finally bought a 3DS back in July for a few trips I had and it hasn't disappointed. For Wii U's 3rd bday I'm guessing 21 million out in the wild.

dumedum

#22

dumedum said:

@gsmaciel I don't know know about the movies, but it's definitely better than the TV's effect, which is completely worthless in comparison.

Giygas_95

#24

Giygas_95 said:

"Happy 3dees day." ABC News is never gonna live that one down.

Still, it's definitely my favorite handheld ever. Nintendo has always dominated the handheld game console market in my opinion. Maybe not so much the home console market, but I still really enjoy my Wii U.

ThomasBW84Admin

#25

ThomasBW84 said:

If my house was burning down I'd probably stupidly try to retrieve my red 3DS XL before escaping. I'm not even sure if I'm kidding.

idork99

#27

idork99 said:

On 9/9/11, I wrote a little Blog for IGN in regards to my thoughts on the 3DS and concluded with:
"I've come to recently realize that this little system covers many of my favorite home console and portable games of all times; in portable form! It's a great feeling to know that you can play the original Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, Link's Awakening, and Ocarina of Time all in one system! Pretty much, the 3DS is my golden age of gaming all in the palm of my hand! So it is with great surprise that I'm proud to say that the 3DS is my favorite Nintendo system of all time!"

Happy (3DS)rd Birthday to my favorite system of all time.

@ThomasBW84 LOL! I'd probably do the same. In fact, I worry more about not having my 3DS with me than my mobile phone :p

DanteSolablood

#29

DanteSolablood said:

@HMNIM I respectfully disagree. Since the end of the N64 the only genuinely successful home console that Nintendo has released is the Wii & even that had a reasonably poor launch with few release titles. Everytime Nintendo makes these big errors in judgement it throws away trust from it's third party companies... and that's what's biting Nintendo in the butt now with the WiiU.

As with the GBC & DS keeping the company alive while the Gamecube flushed Nintendo's money away, the same thing is happening with the WiiU. If the follower to the 3DS isn't a smash hit we could see Nintendo turning into a software only company within the next decade.

Will-75

#30

Will-75 said:

@idork99, LOL I completely agree I worry more about having my 3DS with me than my phone and the 3DS is hands down my favorite system of all time although I know its a dead horse I do hope they bring back Swap Note .

IceClimbers

#31

IceClimbers said:

@DanteSolablood Personally, I expect the 3DS' successor to not be a smash hit at launch, but it will still have a moderately big launch. It will definitely not have the horrid launch that the 3DS had.

IceClimbers

#33

IceClimbers said:

The 3DS is shaping up to be one of my favorite gaming systems of all time. It's library of games is absolutely incredible.

I have an Aqua Blue Launch 3DS. I didn't buy any 3DS games with it, but I was okay with that as I had the recently released Pokemon Black/White to play thanks to backwards compatibility with DS games. A couple months later I got SSFIV3D as a gift for working hard in school. Great game, but it wasn't until I got Ocarina of Time 3D for my bday that I truly loved the system.

Things had been looking bleak with the bad sales of course, and then the price drop announcement came. I was excited by the Ambassador games. Then Nintendo finally started to turn things around with proper advertising and some hard hitters like Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, and Resident Evil Revelations. Kid Icarus Uprising, the game that sold me on the system, finally released and is still my favorite game for the system. More and more games arrived, and the 3DS never looked back.

Here's to several more years of success!

Giygas_95

#34

Giygas_95 said:

@ThomasBW84 I know I would! I've got too much software on mine to let something like that happen to it! Plus I'd probably also try to save my Wii U, PS3, Wii, Gamecube, TV...you get the picture.

navonod18

#36

navonod18 said:

I've pretty much played every major Nintendo handheld device, from the GB Pocket, GB Color, GBA, DS, to the 3DS. And I must say that the 3DS is by far my favorite gaming handheld of all time. It may not be the best media device, in terms of internet, music, movies and all of that (who cares). But the games are quality, and a blast to play. Happy Bday 3ds! Keep the games comin!

TDS_Computer

#37

TDS_Computer said:

I bought one the first week, and love it! I just upgraded to an XL over Christmas and gave my 3DS to my son. I own a nice tablet and a Galaxy 4 phone, and not one single game even approaches the fun we have had with our 3DS' s. There are still multiple games on my "must buy" list that have been out for over a year or two. Just so many fun things to do with it!

HandheldGuru97

#38

HandheldGuru97 said:

Happy birthday 3DS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Proud to say I got my Classic 3DS Cosmo Black back on the North American launch on 3/27/2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely love love my Red/Black 3DS XL sooooooooooo many great games that have come out this year looks pretty good (not nearly as good as last year but who can beat last year on the 3DS???) glad to have upgraded at the beginning of last year! To the 3DS have many happy happy returns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Artwark

#39

Artwark said:

Love my Cosmo Black 3DS. I love my 3DS. It has soo many great games at the moment and I've yet to try out games like Fire Emblem!

Cheers to you buddy! :)

worldstraveller

#41

worldstraveller said:

I was one of those who pre-ordered Aqua Blue in my country, N3DS is my first nintendo handheld (this is someone who never had a chance to afford the previous handhelds, I always wanted to own one), N3DS came at a very good timing, when I recently received my internship, with it's backwards compatibility from expansive good DS librabry and 3DS promising games, I knew I wouldn't regret.

Frank90

#42

Frank90 said:

@Liquid_ice
I hope too! But I'm talking about years on the top. Probably we will hear something about the next "DS" at E3 '15.
And will be released later 2016.

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