The Afterlife Of The 3DS


Since Nintendo revealed the Switch to indeed be a hybrid between home console gaming and handheld gaming, one thing that’s been discussed is the role of the 3DS after it launches. How much longer do you plan on playing 3DS games once the Switch starts moving forward? It may be a long time yet in my case despite what I previously thought about the system’s future.

Even though Nintendo is pushing the Switch as a console, I think it will very much be the successor to the 3DS. Recent revelations about the Switch’s hardware suggest it’ll be more this than a system for blockbuster console games. We won’t know a whole lot about the its software library until January, but I like to speculate that simply being a new handheld from Nintendo is going to cause the same third party support that held up the 3DS to be a major part of what holds up the Switch. Pokemon and Monster Hunter just need to get the ball rolling in the Japanese market. It’s still too early to say whether or how quickly the Switch will supplant the 3DS, but it’s certainly possible.

Even if it does, I still have a lot left to play on the 3DS. I already went over the system’s impressive 2016 lineup in April, and I’ve actually gotten the chance to play almost none of the games in that lineup. Right now there isn’t much on the chart for 3DS in 2017: pretty much just Poocy & Yoshi’s Woolly World, the port of Dragon Quest VIII, Dragon Quest XI, Monster Hunter XX, and Ever Oasis, but games like Shin Megami Tensei IV Final or Pokemon Sun & Moon will be waiting for me. First I have to finish the predecessors to those games. That goes along with the massive handheld backlog I already talked about that goes all the way back to the original DS and Game Boy Advance. All this is why I saw fit to take advantage of this holiday season’s $99 deal for the new model 3DS.

I think anyone who jumps on the 3DS this holiday season through either that deal or a 2DS will have made a good deal. We may be approaching the end of the 3DS’s lifespan, but over time it has built up an excellent back catalog. That’s a lot of good games to go back to for a low price, just like when I bought a PlayStation 2 in 2005. I think the 3DS (or 2DS) is a great buy for kids now.

When you stop to look at the big picture, the 3DS might have the best overall library of any Nintendo handheld when you factor in its own games along with its backwards compatibility with games for the original DS. I can still use it to finish Solatorobo, Dragon Quest IXGhost Trick, the Professor Layton games, or the DS port of Chrono Trigger. Maybe the Switch’s lack of backwards compatibility is what might keep it from immediately replacing the 3DS. The 3DS has Virtual Console games too, but we’ll see how Nintendo plans to bring those to the Switch.


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