Alongside the rather dispiriting — perhaps even controversial, depending on your take — news of the Wii U and 3DS eShop being shutdown in the next year, Nintendo also shared a rather neat trip down memory lane. Similar to the year-end Switch website many of us used, you can visit My Nintendo 3DS & Wii U memories, login with your Nintendo account and see lifetime stats for your 3DS and Wii U usage.
There are some provisos for the data (for example the 3DS data only includes up to February 2020), but nevertheless it's a nice little trip down Nostalgia Lane.
We've generated our 'Memories' and shared the resulting infographics below for your viewing pleasure, even if some of us have disagreements with the 'data'!
Damien McFerran - editorial director
As you can see, StreetPass was a BIG part of my 3DS life, and one of the main reasons I carried the console around with me. Animal Crossing was also a firm favourite, as I imagine was the case with most 3DS owners. I tried to crack Monster Hunter on 3DS – mostly due to Tom saying how amazing it was – but as you can see, I perhaps didn't get as far into it as I should have done.
Gavin Lane - editor
Unfortunately, my Nintendo Network ID and Nintendo Account are from different regions and I can’t link them to get my Wii U and 3DS stats in snazzy infographic format. I can, however, fire up my trusty 3DS (New, XL, Super NES edition, he says smugly) and check my Activity Log for some cold hard stats. I could do the same for the Wii U (White, 8GB edition), but that would mean getting it off the top of the wardrobe.
At the time of writing, I’ve apparently played 172 titles on my 3DS and registered 7,455,756 steps — ha, they don’t include that on your fancy-pants infographics, do they?! Number 1 is Animal Crossing: New Leaf, with 239.42 hours played. StreetPass Mii Plaza comes in 2nd with 207.39 hours (so many meet-and-greets under that arch!), and Fire Emblem: Awakening also makes the podium with 106.38 hours.
Most surprisingly (or not), I spent over 44 hours perusing purchases on the eShop, which makes it my 9th most ‘played’ piece of software on the console. Maybe that’s a sign I need to re-evaluate my financial life choices, but I prefer to see it as a fitting tribute to the awesomeness of the 3DS eShop and just how much it’ll be missed when it’s gone.
Tom Whitehead - deputy editor
Oh how I loved Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on 3DS; I have fond memories of flinging myself around with the Insect Glaive and doing mounted attacks at every opportunity. I still play Monster Hunter Rise that way, to be honest. Fire Emblem Fates is on there because it had 3(!) campaigns and in truth I didn't reach the credits in all of them. Most telling, though, is the presence of StreetPass, a feature I still feel is sorely missed on Switch. StreetPass was brilliant for the community and social elements, even if you were merely meeting Mii characters and not actual people.
I have a number of lovely StreetPass memories, but my favourite was when I actually passed a former NL contributor who is also one of my favourite people. He lives in the US, but we passed in person in Edinburgh, Scotland without realising it when he was on Holiday. Our mutual amazement at that was quite something.
As for Wii U, the funny thing is I don't remember using Netflix on it that much; what's even funnier is we still don't have Netflix on Switch! Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is there of course (the last MH game on Nintendo hardware to support voice chat natively, amusingly), as is the brilliant Mario Kart 8. I loved the Wii U and enjoyed experiencing a lot of its smaller eShop games, but even with relatively high numbers they're still well down compared to the 3DS - the Wii U just didn't connect with the gaming public, and its impact sadly suffered as a result.
Kate Gray - staff writer
The 3DS might still be my all-time favourite console, so I'm not surprised to see so many hours! I used to play it on my one-hour bus ride to work, as well as pretty much every single night before bed — and I lived in London, so the StreetPass was always poppin'. It's also not surprising to see that my three most-played games are Animal Crossing and Story of Seasons, because those types of games reward daily play, and dole out their content very, very slowly. I don't think it necessarily reflects which games I enjoyed the most on 3DS — Ace Attorney doesn't even feature! — but I'm glad to see Fantasy Life hanging in there. What a gem.
I'm a little ashamed at my Wii U numbers, but to be honest, when I was at ONM (Official Nintendo Magazine) we mostly reviewed games on the shared, in-office Wii U... and who knows where that is now.
Alex Olney - senior video producer
The biggest surprise was seeing the Wii U so much higher in numbers than the 3DS, but Splatoon alone basically confirms that it's probably accurate. Smash doesn't hurt things either of course, but the outstanding happy surprise for my Wii U times is the inclusion of SteamWorld Heist's icon in the bottom right hand corner. Can't beat that.
At first I was amazed that Pokémon Y came out on top for 3DS considering my memories of that game are minimal at best, but it probably comes down to the fact that my partner played it on my account as well before she got her own 3DS. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is no surprise whatsoever, except for the fact that it's categorised as an RPG. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate? I think a majority of those hours were spent trying to understand the tutorial, and I still never managed to defeat a Deviljho.
Ollie Reynolds - reviewer
So, a slight caveat on my memories... Neither of the screenshots is a full representation of my time with the 3DS and Wii U, because I went through multiple consoles and accounts! I used to sell things to buy new things, then sell the new things to buy back the old things... It was a whole thing.
Anyway, I'm pretty confident that although Twilight Princess HD sits at the top of my Wii U playtime, I actually played the Metroid Prime Trilogy a lot longer, just on a separate profile. Similarly, I played a tonne of Fantasy Life on the 3DS, but you wouldn't know looking at the screenshot! I'm actually quite surprised I spent so much time with Pokémon Ultra Sun, actually — I didn't really like that one...
Gonçalo Lopes - reviewer
Looking at these images brings me back to a very happy period in my life. The 3DS by far remains the best portable console I ever owned, with more game time combined than both my PSP and Vita. That image doesn't really show the full picture because the 3DS remains home of several of my all-time favourite franchises that stubbornly remain absent from the Switch: Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Dead or Alive Dimensions, Tekken 3D Prime Edition, Ridge Racer 3D and most important of all Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy + are all present and accounted for on the 3DS.
Rather more shocking might be the top three games I spent the most hours on the Wii U. Xenoblade Chronicles X was always going to be the obvious number one since I didn’t just complete the game, I lived it for three months. Now Devil’s Third and Call of Duty: Black Ops II might strike you as a bit odd but the reason is exactly the same: solid, fun online modes. The Wii U was my very first HD console so there are several absent titles on that screenshot. It made me a fan of Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, Darksiders among many others I had never experienced before. Also unacknowledged is the amount of hours on both Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition and Tank! Tank! Tank!
Austin Voigt - contributor
I remember thinking it was amazing that I would watch Netflix on my TV, and then pick up the GamePad and watch that same show anywhere around the house! Within 25 feet. In all seriousness, the Wii U may have been considered a flop, but it was everything I loved about Nintendo - something unique and weird and different.
The 3DS was easily my most played console, ever - even though the numbers have somehow disappeared from my account? (I had three different systems, so that likely has something to do with it). I remember the first time I experienced the stereoscopic 3D without glasses, it blew my teenage mind. It was literal technological magic, and to this day nothing else has hit quite as hard. I also know I've spent hundreds of dollars on themes for that thing - where are our Switch themes, Nintendo?! And I still remember sneaking that thing into work at my very first adult job, and somehow StreetPassing with professional adults in my office building - who were also playing Pokémon and Animal Crossing? I love the Switch dearly - but it could still learn a thing or two from the 3DS.
Those are our official memories, be sure to share some of yours in the comments!