After many years, Nintendo officially stopped making their super popular 3DS line of handheld gaming consoles. They also removed most references to it on the Nintendo website; it’s discontinued. A search for “3DS” shows a page with a link to the 3DS page, but it redirects to the main home page instead.
I mostly missed that era of Nintendo handheld gaming. Before getting back into Nintendo, I was only playing mobile games on my smartphone or tablet. That said, I did own a New 2DS XL just to play Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Late in the 3DS life cycle, my 5 sons all got their own 2DS or New 2DS XL. So we have several used games in our library. There are so many good ones! Of course, now they all want a Switch Lite, which is Nintendo’s newest dedicated handheld gaming machine.
I still think the Switch Lite doesn’t quite live up to its name since, you know, it can’t actually switch from handheld to console mode! But I understand the simple marketing behind it – consistent branding.
Most importantly, for the first time in the history of Nintendo, it’s fascinating to me that their home console and mobile handheld both play the exact same games! No more separate cartridges and discs. No more disparate versions of games. Any Switch game, physical or digital, plays the same on both the Switch and Switch Lite. Fantastic!
I wonder if this strategy will prove more, less, or the same financially for the makers of Mario and Zelda. The 3DS line of devices made Nintendo a ton of money during a time when their home console, the Wii U, was as popular as a screen door on a submarine. (For the record, I own a Wii U; there are many great games for it! In fact, it’s the system I played Breath of the Wild on.)
As Nintendo has always done in the past, I fully expect the company to introduce new versions of the Switch, especially since it’s so popular AND does double duty as both a home and mobile console.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see an even smaller Switch Lite (Switch Mini?) to hit the $149.99 price point and make it more pocketable. And many people expect a high-powered Switch Pro to be revealed as soon as 2021. Hopefully, it will boast improved joy-cons as well. And 4K.
On top of that, you could bet new Switch colors and special editions will appear down the line, much like the Animal Crossing: New Horizons unit that came out back in March. I’d be up for a snazzy looking Metroid edition or a new Zelda version. Also, I admit some regret in not buying the Pokemon Sword/Shield Switch Lite; that thing looks cool!
Gone are the days when I faked being sick in Jr. High to stay home and play the Gameboy I borrowed from a friend. Nowadays, I bring my Nintendo Switch with me to my job to get some gametime during lunchtime. Things have come a long way, and the future is looking fun.
What was your favorite Nintendo handheld system?
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