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Celebrating Five Years of the Nintendo 3DS

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On March 27th, the Nintendo 3DS celebrates its North American bow. It’s history has demonstrated that it’s the little handheld that could. The 3DS was born into a world where smartphone and social games on PC were becoming more popular than before, so it has focused on unique features and stellar games to stay competitive.



Internally, the 3DS built on the DSi with a greater range of downloadable software and a more customizable user experience. The 3DS is also well known for its increased focus on social connectivity, thanks to lauded additions like StreetPass, where users could connect to each other’s system while it was closed and exchange Miis and game date. Over the years, Nintendo has made it a far stronger device than on Day One as we’ve seen unprecedented additions like the Badge Arcade Center, Home Menu themes and customization, and (wait for it) folders.

Happy times ahead

The 3DS had a decent launch of its own, but it ended up below Nintendo’s own lofty expectations. Despite a positive reception at its E3 2010 reveal, many people turned sour grapes by the time the 3DS launched. Perhaps people weren’t so persuaded to pick up the system with a less-than-stunning launch line-up.  For those expecting star power franchises, here was a new Nintendogs, Pilotwings, the original but underwhelming Steel Diver. Third party support mostly consisting of shoddy Ubisoft ports, single-player only efforts from Madden and Bust-a-Move. Perhaps because of this, sales slowed in the months after, and not even the much-expected Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D could stop the bleeding. Nintendo fought back with a drastic price cut and free games to early buyers, an unprecedented recovery move.

Among the system’s classic games, there are too many to count. Super Mario 3D Land made a case for the system’s signature stereo-3D effect. Kid Icarus: Uprising brought back a dormant series in style with gameplay custom tailored to the strengths of the platform. Fire Emblem Awakening made the strategy series more popular than ever before by tweaking its design to offer difficulty for every and anybody. Pokémon X and Y connected the Pokémon player base like never before and brought the classic series kicking into polygonal 3D.

2013 marked arguably the pinnacle year for 3DS

The 3DS has been able to serve the triple-A retail releases as well as the indie download scene with style and grace. Just take other games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Bravely Default, A Link Between Worlds, Super Smash Bros. 3DS. On the smaller side, there have been fantastic games like Mutant Mudds, Pushmo, BoxBoy!, Gunman Clive, and Yumi’s Odd Odysee.

That’s not even including the Virtual Console and backwards compatibility, spanning the NES, Game Boy, DSiWare, DS, Game Gear, and now the Super NES for New 3DS owners. The 3DS library’s historical breadth is unparalleled by anything except maybe the Wii.

Even if Nintendo’s Wii U business can’t keep up with the times, the 3DS demonstrates the power of a Nintendo portable to withhold a corner of the gaming public’s imagination. It’s not only a cool piece of kit, it’s been kept alive with quality games.

Source: http://nintendo-3ds/